Kitted out with creature comforts and rustic furnishings, there’s no denying that One&Only Gorilla’s Nest in Kinigi on the border of Volcanoes National Park makes a fitting basecamp. Blending seamlessly with its surroundings, as the name would suggest, it mirrors the lush home of the endangered residents that live just up the peaks. You wouldn’t come here if gorillas weren’t on the brain, and joining our second closest relative in the animal kingdom is a whole Jungle Book cast, from mountain elephants and buffalo to golden monkeys and spotted hyenas. Special trekking permits are essential, they don’t just protect the gorillas, but the proceeds also go back into preserving their natural environment – so make sure to purchase one before arrival.
They may be its namesake, but it’s about far more than seeking out silverbacks in their natural habitat here. Gorilla’s Nest is part of the local community and as well as hiring residents from the surrounding area, they’re keen on getting guests involved with their way of life. Rwandan culture is celebrated with craft lessons alongside local women and performances of ancestral poetry and dances. It even works its way into the spa, where treatments are crafted using indigenous botanicas based on ancient tribal remedies.
Gorilla tracking takes place year round – early booking is essential as permits are strictly limited. The climate is pleasantly tropical due to the high altitude and the temperature varies little year round. The rainier months are generally between March to May and mid September to November.
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