One&Only Gorilla’s Nest
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
What it is
A newly-opened 14-room, 7-suite retreat tucked under the Virunga Volcano range, with modernist interiors and jaw-dropping neighbors: endangered Mountain Gorillas.
What it isn't
Isolated. Sure, you’re in the middle of “nowhere,” but you’re also enmeshed in the Eucalyptus forest and Pyrethrum farmland that rolls beyond your terrace.
What we think
Seeing gorillas in the wild is a bucket list experience for good reason, but you don’t need to be a Jane Goodall-type to do it right. At this newly opened lodge, experiences include everything from tracking fuzzy-faced golden monkeys to hiking alongside endangered mountain gorillas in pristine bamboo forests. (You can also opt to spend a day doing any of the myriad other draws in the area, be it spelunking in the 65-million-year old Musanze Caves—watch for bats!—or taking in the live drumming at Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village). Our favorite element of the lodge is one Goodall herself might not be used to: it’s tricked out and ready for over-the-top pampering, including a spa where treatments are bespoke to the region (you want the Afrique Arising massage, which uses omega-stocked Terres d’Afrique oils).
You're here because
The lodge’s interiors are as Instagram envy-inducing as the gorilla sightings. Even the “starter” room, a Forest Lodge King, comes with a gas fireplace, pantry, and al fresco shower—all done in clean-lined neutrals and indigenous patterns.
You’ve had your share of lemonades, but never one as divine as what you’re sipping this afternoon at Nest Bar—it’s infused with eucalyptus that grew right here on the grounds, and is every bit as bracing and refreshing as waking up to monkey calls just beyond your veranda. Bliss.
High in the foothills of Volcanoes National Park, a 2.5 hour SUV drive from Kigali International Airport or 45-minute helicopter flight from One & Only Nyungwe House in southwestern Rwanda.
Nest - All-day Rwandan restaurant
Nest Bar - Apéritifs and digestifs—from jungle-inspired cocktails to international wines and spirits