One & Only Gorilla’s Nest – Rwanda’s Top Luxury Lodge

One & Only Gorilla’s Nest is a luxury and premier lodge located in Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills. The luxury accommodation facility is the perfect safari lodge to act as one’s base while gorilla trekking in Rwanda as it offers luxurious, cozy and comfortable accommodation making your stay in Rwanda memorable. One & Only Gorilla’s Nest feature beautifully decorated villas that have been built on stilts almost like tree houses, the villas exude privacy and exclusivity amidst lush green surroundings.

Gardens at Gorilla’s Nest

Over the years One & Only Gorilla’s Nest has mainly welcomed visitors mainly visiting Volcanoes National Park for gorilla trekking but aside from the popular trek there is so much to do including golden monkey trekking that involves spending time with the amazing golden fur coated primates, visiting Gorilla Guardians village for a glimpse into the rich Rwandan culture, hiking one of the Virunga Mountain Ranges and a plethora of other park activities. Gorilla’s Nest is a 2 and a half hour drive by car from Kigali which is the capital city of Rwanda making it easily accessible once you arrive in to Rwanda.

Accommodation at One & Only Gorilla’s Nest

The property features 21 spacious and beautifully decorated villas, the villas are spread out with each villa being away from the other hence offering a private and an exclusive feel. The villas offer an experience of being in the midst of the forest as you relax, listen to birds chirping and step out in to your outdoor to take in the beauty of your surroundings. Each villa is built on stilts and raised above from the ground, the room types vary depending on the guest’s preferences. The room types include suites, deluxe villas, standard tree house villas and family villas that feature two bedrooms, the villas are each named with special names for example the Virunga suite that is named after the picturesque Virunga massif.

A deluxe room at One & Only Gorilla’s Nest

Each Villa at One & Only Gorilla’s Nest consists of;

A Comfortable wooden bed with warm linen bed sheets, comfortable pillows and mosquito nets.

En-suite bathroom with a flushing toilet, double bowl sinks, shower gel, lotion, hair shampoo, bathing soap, mirrors, clean towels, bathroom robes, bathroom slippers and cabinets below the sink where you can store all your toiletries.

Bathroom at Gorilla’s Nest

A bathtub overlooking the eucalyptus forest at the property, perfect for a bath especially after a long day of activity.

An outdoor deck with a swing lounge chair and other comfortable lounge sofas where you can sit and relax as you take in the beautiful nature surrounding your villa.

Large windows that let in enough light, perfect way to be woken up by the sun rays peeking through the windows in the mornings.

A tea/coffee station.

Complimentary drinking water.

Hot and cold showers.

A tea/coffee station.

Bed side tables and lamps.

A reading desk and chair.

A mosquito net.

Comfortable sofas inside the room with a table.

Facilities and Services

The Nest – The Nest is the lodge’s dining area that features comfortable chairs and brown earthy decor. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served here with professional chefs available to cater to your taste buds. Gorilla’s Nest has a practice of “different menu, different venue” which essentially means that the lodge chefs prepare different meals each day depending on the produce they receive from the lodge’s organic garden or community garden, this means that you are assured of a fresh delicious meal daily throughout your stay. The staff then go an extra mile to set up nicely in different areas across the property so breakfast can be in the lodge gardens, lunch in The Nest or a private dining experience at the Jack Hanna cottage.

Dining Area at Gorilla’s Nest

Heated Infinity Pool – Overlooking the lush green environs you find Gorilla’s Nest heated infinity pool, a perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day. The pool area features sun loungers, towels and sandals that the staff offer you in case you need to dive right into the pool. The pool area is also a great place to spend time, order a drink and simply relax by the pool side.

Swimming Pool Area

Trekking essentials – Gorilla’s Nest is one of the few lodges that offers their visitors essentials for their trekking. For the gorilla and golden monkey trekking adventure or any hiking trails the lodge provides you gaiters, rain ponchos, reusable water bottles, hats, backpacks, snacks and packed lunch.

Spa and Wellness Center – The property has a spa and wellness center, while here you can choose to go for a massage which is usually needed after trekking as a form of relaxation. The spa also offers holistic therapies, facials and healing treatments. Gorilla’s Nest occasionally receives visiting professionals to Rwanda like yoga instructors or wellness specialists so if you are staying at the lodge during a time when these professionals are around, you have the opportunity to engage in any sessions that they might be running.

Lounge Bar – The lodge has a bar that is situated at the lodge’s main area serving an assortment of drinks from beers to wine to spirits to soft drinks. Guests are free to order drinks of their choice from the bar man and mixologist. The lounge bar is one of the best features at the property as it is cozy, amazingly decorated and has a fireplace that accentuates the overall feel of the lounge bar.

Wi-Fi – The lodge has Wi-Fi available for guests at the property so one is able to browse the internet and update your social media at any time.

Other Services at the Lodge include ample car parking area and maximum security.

Things to do while staying at Gorilla’s Nest – Rwanda

Gorilla Trekking – Gorilla Trekking is the most popular tourism activity in Volcanoes National Park. Gorilla trekking is a worthwhile memorable adventure that brings you closer to the mountain gorillas spending up to one hour watching them and taking photos. If you traveled with a tour operator company your driver guide picks you up straight from the lodge and transfers you to Kinigi for your trek. If you are doing self-drive you can use google maps to locate the area from the hotel or even ask the staff at the hotel for directions. Gorilla’s Nest is 8 minutes away from the Kinigi park headquarters.

Golden Monkey trekking – Golden monkeys are primate species with golden fur on their backs and interesting facial features, these primates exist in groups of up to 30 individuals and are rather active compared to gorillas.

The golden monkey trek which starts at Kinigi headquarters is less strenuous than gorilla trekking and requires average physical fitness. The monkeys are usually found in less than one hour of trekking with the guidance of park ranger guides.

Dian Fossey Tomb Hike – The Dian Fossey hike is one of the activities around park and the 4 hour hike takes you to where she was buried. Dian Fossey was a researcher who spent a great deal of her life time researching the mountain gorillas and pushing for the conservation and protection of the gorillas. A visit to the Dian Fossey tomb is an opportunity to learn more about her work and incredible contribution to the mountain gorilla population.

Volcano Hiking – For travelers looking for adventure, Volcanoes National Park offers hiking opportunities with beautiful views. Visitors can choose among 4 main peaks out of the 5 Virunga mountain ranges to hike. The most popular is the Mt. Bisoke hike which can be done in one day; the hike offers breath-taking views of the Crater Lake at the top of Mt.Bisoke. The other volcanoes to hike include Mt.Karisimbi which is a 2 day hike, Mt.Muhavura and Mt.Gahinga.

Archery – One of the best ways to spend an afternoon at Gorilla’s Nest is by engaging in the archery experience at the property. The activity is run and guided by the lodge staff. The archery experience involves shooting with a bow and arrow and is a great activity that will keep you engaged.

Bird watching in Volcanoes National Park – The Park offers excellent bird watching with over 180 species of birds 17 of which are Albertine rift endemics making it rich in avi-fauna making it a worthwhile destination for your Rwanda Birding safari. A birding excursion in Volcanoes national park involves birding in Musanze, Buhanga forest, Rugezi swamp (IBA) which hosts the Grauer’s Rush Warbler and birding in the park’s forest habitats.

Visit Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village – The Iby’Iwacu cultural visit is a great way to experience the way of the life of the Rwandans as you get a look in to their culture, traditions and norms. The cultural visit can be done after your gorilla trek depending on what time you return. While at the cultural village you will visit the traditional medicine man, a craft center and even be treated to the unique Rwanda traditional dances which you are free to join in.

Getting to Gorilla’s Nest

By Flight

The lodge can be accessed by taking a flight from Kigali International Airport to Volcanoes National Park with Akagera Aviation which arranges charter helicopters to the park. The lodge can arrange pick up or your driver guide can pick you up at the airstrip and drop you off at the lodge.

By Road

Gorilla’s Nest can also be accessed from Kigali by road and the distance from Kigali to Musanze district in Rwanda is 96km. The journey is along a paved road and is just two and a half hours away from Kigali when using a private car. The route is Kigali – Rubavu – Musanze – Gorilla’s Nest lodge. The drive is scenic and offers stunning views of the panoramic landscape of Rwanda and the small busy towns along the way that are usually filled with locals busy with the day’s activities.

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