One&Only Gorilla's Nest

A luxurious launchpad for gorilla trekking

Nestled in the foothills of the Virunga Mountains — a chain of volcanoes along Rwanda’s northern border that was once home to primatologist Dian Fossey’s seminal research — One&Only Gorilla’s Nest specializes in preparing trekkers for a once-in-a-lifetime experience: getting up close and personal with the country’s famed gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.

With just 21 rooms set across the sprawling eucalyptus-laden grounds, you can expect each of the stilted lodges to be private enough to enjoy the outdoor shower and spacious balcony with only the birds as company. Interiors boast local volcanic stone, large soaking tubs, gas fireplaces and plenty of gorilla-themed accents.

The hotel’s onsite garden guarantees each of the all-inclusive meals at The Nest restaurant features fresh, seasonal ingredients in a farm-to-table style, and Nest Bar acts as a natural post-trek gathering spot where guests exchange tales of charging silverbacks and gorilla baby sightings over handcrafted cocktails.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • One&Only Gorilla’s Nest features well-known wildlife expert Jack Hanna’s cottage, which has been lovingly restored with original furnishings and photographs from his time in Rwanda. Explore Hanna’s legacy of conservation in the country, dine on the stone terrace and challenge other guests in his game room.
  • Don’t worry about packing out your muddy trekking clothes — returning adventurers get treated to a fresh pair of flip-flops at the hotel entrance while their caked hiking boots are cleaned and their clothes laundered before being promptly returned.
  • Unleash your inner child on one of the two large swings dotting the grounds. Pumping your legs while flying over the lush flora and fauna, with volcanoes in the distance, is not to be missed.
  • Be sure to explore the cocktail menus every chance you get — the kombucha martini, piña colada made with local beetroot juice and numerous floral-infused gins at Nest Bar are unique to the property.
  • The distinctive turndown gifts, which include a traditional walking stick and plush gorilla, are sourced from local organizations like Handspun Hope, which works to empower local women through job creation. 

Things to Know

  • One&Only Gorilla’s Nest is 2.5 hours from Kigali by car, though you also have the option to take a helicopter from the capital to the property’s helipad in a swift 35 minutes.
  • Gorilla treks require a permit ($1,500 per person) and can only be arranged through the official government website or licensed tour operators, not the hotel. Trekkers must be a minimum of 15 years old.
  • The dress code on the property is decidedly safari chic at all times of day — think cargo pants, neck gaiters and insect-repelling long-sleeved shirts (note that wearing camouflage is heavily discouraged in Rwanda).
  • If you book the hotel’s luxury V8 Land Cruiser to transfer you to and from Volcanoes National Park, you can expect your driver to greet you post-trek with a celebratory bottle of champagne.
  • Every arrival at the Rwanda hotel is greeted by a lively and colorful dance and drumming troupe in native dress performing traditional local dances — don’t hesitate to join in if the rhythmic beats move you.

24-hour room service
Fitness classes
Outdoor pool
Getting There
Nyonirima, Kinigi, Ruhengeri, Rwanda
KGL (2 hr 38 min)   RHG (22 min)  
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