From hanging out with mountain gorillas to going on a safari in Akagera National Park (and trying out water skiing on one of Africa’s Great Lakes), there are plenty of reasons to visit the beautiful Land of a Thousand Hills. But now, there’s something super fancy on offer.
In July, One&Only, the fancy resort brand, announced that they’re doing something new in Rwanda – a OneEscape Experience. It’s the first of its kind for them.
Craig Storkey, the Area Manager for One&Only Rwanda, said, “This special deal lets guests explore both our amazing places and introduces them to the incredible and stunning country of Rwanda and its breathtaking surroundings.” The OneEscape Experience is like a personalized six-night plan that includes a three-night stay at One&Only Gorilla’s Nest and another three nights at One&Only Nyungwe House.
One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, where you can stay for at least $6,500 per night, is about six miles away from Volcanoes National Park. Speaking of unique places, it’s one of the few spots on the planet where you can see mountain gorillas (there are only around 1,000 of them left in the wild). Besides hanging out with these special gorillas – and that experience costs at least $1,500 per person and doesn’t guarantee you’ll see a gorilla – guests at One&Only Gorilla’s Nest get to do some exclusive stuff. First, they learn how to make coffee from bean to barista. Rwanda has loads of small coffee makers. They also get to enjoy a traditional barbecue at a cottage that used to be home to the famous conservationist Jack Hanna.
Both One&Only resorts also give guests the chance to do some good by buying souvenirs from Handspun Hope, an organization that helps survivors of the 1994 Genocide and people affected by the HIV/Aids epidemic. You can even meet the local artisans who make Handspun Hope’s cute stuffed gorillas. These start at $96 for a nine-inch-tall mountain gorilla – not exactly pocket change. But then again, neither is this OneEscape experience. It costs about $28,000 for two people sharing a room. If you can pay for the package, you can probably afford the plush gorilla, and it’s for a good cause.
After that, it’s off to One&Only Nyungwe House. By car, it’s a five-hour drive through some seriously hilly countryside that might make you feel a bit queasy. But if you prefer flying, the trip from One&Only Gorilla’s Nest to One&Only Nyungwe takes just 35 minutes by helicopter and offers some stunning views. The good news is that One&Only is teaming up with Akagera Aviation to give guests free helicopter rides if they travel between October 1 and December 14, 2023.
If you go outside those dates, you can buy the transfer for $5,775 one way. At One&Only Nyungwe House, where you can stay for at least $3,250 per night, you can start your visit with a lesson in tea (it’s a big deal in Rwanda) or a quick archery lesson. After that, you can try your hand at spear throwing and then go on a nighttime hike or do some stargazing. This five-star retreat is just a short five-minute drive from Nyungwe National Park, and the sky’s the limit here.