One&Only Resorts Heads to Rwanda

Virunga Mountains, Rwanda // Photo by prill/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Exciting news from the ultra-luxury One&Only brand. Celebrated for its beach resorts, the hospitality company recently announced that it will be branching out into “nature resorts” with the opening of two lodges in Rwanda. Similar to One&Only’s Wolgan Valley resort in Australia, these new African properties will aim to get carbon-neutral certification by CarbonZero.

Scheduled to open in July, One&Only Nyungwe House will anchor the new One&Only Nature Resorts division. It’s located in Gisakura, a working tea plantation next to Nyungwe National Park. One of the oldest forests on the continent, the park has rich biodiversity, and the One&Only lodge will arrange treks to ogle the chimpanzees, grey-cheeked mangabeys, giant hornbills (among 275 species of birds), not to mention the Kamiranzovu Waterfalls. The lodge will have 22 rooms and suites housed in wood villas designed “to frame nature.” Perks include open fireplaces and private decks for wildlife watching.

Following suit in 2018 will be the One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, located in the foothills of the Virunga Volcano range. The lodge will be a jumping off point for observing the country’s famed mountain gorillas in the wild.

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Note that Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley Resort will also become part of this newly coined Nature Resorts portfolio. To quote One&Only: These properties will champion “incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences and provide pure celebration of each dramatic location, offering access to nature’s best kept secrets, in an inspired itinerary, curated for the most discerning global travelers.”

This is a bit of a homecoming for the One&Only brand, as its founder Sol Kerzner is from South Africa. One&Only Cape Town is the only other property on the African continent.

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The Bow Lounge will provide the closest access to water level via the foredeck and will be a great spot to sight wildlife and take in the views.