A peek inside one of the most exclusive lodges in Africa, complete with volcanoes, gorillas and unforgettable adventure - the One&Only Nyungwe House

The One&Only Nyungwe House. (Twitter)
  • The One&Only; Nyungwe House comes equipped with 22 luxury rooms and suites that not only offer unrivaled comfort but an experience like no other.
  • The resort is among several brand-new ventures that are helping Rwanda establish its credentials as a luxury travel destination, particularly targeting high-end western tourists looking for temperate year-round escapes.
  • The resort located in the Western Province Rwanda.

Set amongst the rich tea-plantations of Gisakura, on the edge of the iconic Nyungwe National Park, the One&Only Nyungwe House comes equipped with 22 luxury rooms and suites that not only offer unrivaled comfort but an experience like no other.

The resort located in the Western Province Rwanda offers a number of experiences, from traditional African spear-throwing and hilltop archery to nocturnal walks and helicopter tours that take in the epic panorama of Nyungwe Forest, Lake Kivu and other landmarks, starting from the venue's private helipad.

The resort is among several brand-new ventures that are helping Rwanda establish its credentials as a luxury travel destination, particularly targeting high-end western tourists looking for temperate year-round escapes. A night stay here with your better half will set you back $1,799 (Sh179,900).

The main draw of Nyungwe remains Volcanoes National Park in the northwest, home to a 480-strong population of mountain gorillas made famous by Dian Fossey, the American researcher played by Sigourney Weaver in "Gorillas in the Mist."

Undoubtedly one of Nyungwe National Park's biggest draws is the opportunity to track chimpanzees in their natural habitat. The forest is home to one of East Africa's last intact chimpanzee populations, and for those willing to hike through the steep, muddy off-track terrain, the rewards are great.

Seeing these mountain gorillas doesn’t come cheap, though.

In May 2017, Rwandan authorities doubled the fee for gorilla permits from $750 to $1,500, in an effort to ensure that communities living near the park area receive a larger share of tourism revenues.

For many, the experience in Rwanda is worth the additional cost, largely due to the country's hassle-free visa-on-arrival service, stellar safety record, luxury accommodation options and excellent roads, which mean the journey from the capital Kigali to Volcanoes National Park is less than three hours by car.

To encourage longer stays and visits to the country's other spectacular natural sites, gorilla permits are being discounted by $450 during low season for anyone booking an activity in Akagera or Nyungwe National Parks via the main government Irembo platform.

Visitors here can also sleep easy knowing that the resort pays special attention to nature conservation and the support of local communities. Every last Saturday of the month guests can get involved in Umuganda, a nationwide program where citizens devote one morning of every month to working in the local community.

Another highlight of the park is "nature's boot camp," an exhilarating early morning run and kinetic workout along a track surrounding the resort's tea plantations. The run makes regular stops to observe the spectacular bird life, from dazzling great blue turacos to a male pin-tailed whydah in breeding plumage, gliding effortlessly through the air with its broad ribbon-like tail.

Hikers can choose from a range of trails, ranging in length and difficulty, that snake through the immense equatorial rainforest, including the challenging Rukuzi Trail which offers views across to Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and an opportunity to see some of the National Park's 13 species of primates.

Several hiking trails start from the resort and lead deep into the jungle, including the Isumo Trail, which culminates in Nyungwe's biggest waterfall, thundering down to produce dramatic plumes of mist above the rocky river.

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