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.
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“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.
One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, where nightly rates start at $6,500, is located six miles southeast of 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 House. 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.
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