From trekking with mountain gorillas to a safari in Akagera National Park (and water skiing in one of Africa’s Great Lakes), there are at least a thousand reasons to visit the Land of a Thousand Hills. The latest draw, however, is by far the most luxurious.

In July, One&Only announced it was debuting a OneEscape Experience, the first of its kind for the renowned resort brand, in Rwanda.

“This exclusive offering invites guests to discover both of our stunning properties and introduces them to the remarkable and beautiful country of Rwanda and its awe-inspiring surroundings,” Craig Storkey, Area Manager for One&Only Rwanda said.

The new OneEscape Experience is a custom six-night itinerary combining a three-night stay at One&Only Gorilla’s Nest with a three-night stay at One&Only Nyungwe House.

One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, where nightly rates start at $6,500, is located six miles southeast of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Speaking of one and only, it’s one of the only places in the world where you can see a mountain gorilla (there are around 1,000 left in the wild). In addition to getting to trek with these elusive endangered animals—an experience that costs at least $1,500 per person and doesn’t come with any gorilla-sighting guarantees—guests at One&Only Gorilla’s Nest will enjoy an array of exclusive experiences. For starters, they’ll get a bean-to-barista master class on the art of making coffee. Rwanda has nearly half a million small coffee producers. They’ll also be treated to a traditional barbecue hosted at a cottage that the legendary conservationist Jack Hanna once called home.

At both One&Only resorts, guests also have the opportunity to give back by purchasing souvenirs from Handspun Hope, an organization that supports survivors of the 1994 Genocide and victims of the HIV/Aids epidemic. They can even meet the local artisans that make Handspun Hope’s signature stuffed apes. Starting at $96 for a nine-inch-tall mountain gorilla, they’re not cheap. But then again, neither is this OneEscape experience. It costs around $28,000 based on double occupancy. If you can afford the package, however, you can probably afford the plush primate. It’s for a good cause: get one.

Then it’s off to One&Only Nyungwe. By 4×4, it’s a five-hour drive through a countryside so hilly that getting carsick is inevitable. By air, the trip from One&Only Gorilla’s Nest to One&Only Nyungwe is a 35-minute scenic flight with million-dollar views. Fortunately, One&Only is partnering with Akagera Aviation to offer complimentary helicopter transfers to guests who travel between October 1 and December 14, 2023. Guests who travel outside those dates have an option to purchase the transfer for $5,775, one-way.

At One&Only Nyungwe, where nightly rates start at $3,250, guests can start their stay with a master class on tea, one of the country’s main exports, or a crash course in archery. Then it’s time for spear throwing lessons followed by a nocturnal hike or stargazing. The sky is literally the limit at this five-star retreat just a five-minute drive from Nyungwe National Park.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here