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Mountaintop rooms with breathtaking views

High altitude

Our pick of the best rooms with hilltop views, from India to Zimbabwe

Our pick of the best rooms with hilltop views, from India to Zimbabwe

February/March 2017

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

Sleeping within spitting distance of Nyiragongo Crater is as close as it gets to booking a room in the Earth’s navel. The volcano – which, at 3,470 metres, towers over the forests of Virunga National Park – is a cauldron of molten lava. There are 12 simple A-frame “summit huts” (bring your own sleeping bag) a five-hour trek up from the starting point at Kibati patrol post, which is 30 minutes by car from Goma. Lying in bed at night, you can smell the sulphur and hear the internal gurgling of the world’s largest lava lake. visitvirunga.org; from $300 per person per night, including a permit and guide

MOROCCO

To get to Kasbah du Toubkal you have to hike from the road-head, accompanied by a luggage-carrying mule for the final 15-minute climb. It is worth the sweat: a fairytale castle with flat-topped roofs on which to dine, read or just drink in the drama of the High Atlas mountains. Yet this corner of Morocco, which overlooks a valley of almond orchards, is less than an hour’s drive from Marrakech. The Berber staff cook simple, warming tagines, which are especially welcome in winter when the Kasbah is dusted in the snow that coats its near neighbour, Mount Toubkal, north Africa’s highest peak. kasbahdutoubkal.com; from $91 per night

ZIMBABWE

Villa 7 at Singita Pamushana in the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve can accommodate a family of ten, with room to spare. For a hilltop house in Africa, it’s got immense spirit: furnished with antiques and tasteful textiles, it has floor-to-ceiling windows which frame a vast expanse of African landscape, unsullied by a single electric light. The wooden house sits on a kopje above a reservoir where Malilangwe Reserve’s wildlife comes to drink. This includes a rhino population, trailing its close-protection squad of privately funded anti-poaching guards. singita.com; from $8,970 per night, for a five-bedroom villa, including full board, guide, transfers and excursions

INDIA

You can walk for days in the Kumaon Himalayas and not bump into anyone aside from villagers tending terraced rice paddies – which is why Shakti 360° Leti comes as a surprise. The lodge, perched on the flat top of a mountain, 2,400 metres high, is almost Japanese in its simplicity. The stone, glass and wood cottages look across to Nanda Devi, the sacred, snow-capped peak which inspired the Russian-born painter and theosophist, Nicholas Roerich. The lodge is ideal for those looking to combine hiking and yoga with some decent nights’ sleep. shaktihimalaya.com; from $1,000 per person per night, including full board, guide, car rental and transfers

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