Destinations

Mount Nyiragongo Summit Huts

About Mount Nyiragongo Summit Huts

Sleeping on top of a volcano may sound like an activity reserved for the most daring of daredevils, but the predictability of Mount Nyiragongo’s eruptions means you’ll be entirely safe while staying in these summit shelters. Although facilities are basic, the once-in-a-lifetime sights offered from the crater rim – particularly the breathtaking lava lake at the volcano’s centre – makes the experience worth far more than a stay in a luxury city hotel. 

A must for the intrepid traveller, these huts offer a vantage point that is unlike anywhere else on earth.

Style

These small A-frame huts are made from materials designed to keep you out the elements, ensuring you have a warm and dry shelter to sleep in after your hours-long trek to the summit of Nyiragongo.

Setting

The setting for these huts may be unlike that of any other accommodation on earth. Where else can you sleep on top of a volcano? By day the views are stunning: panoramic vistas taking in rolling mists, an endless carpet of greenery and Lake Kivu stretching away into the distance. Perched on the opposite side of the ridge from Nyiragongo’s crater, you’ll also be able to look out at the colossal Shaheru, an older volcano surrounded by small cinder cones, all reclaimed by vegetation. But it is when night falls that you truly begin to appreciate the unique nature of this setting. The bubbling, seething lava lake at the centre of Nyiragongo is one of the world’s largest – some say the largest – and standing atop the crater rim gazing down into this fiery cauldron is an experience that will stay with you forever. Should you be able to tear your eyes away from the shifting sheets of magma within, you can retire to the warmth of your hut and fall asleep to the rumbling of Nyiragongo below you.

Accommodation & Facilities

These huts have been designed not with luxury but with shelter in mind. Every piece of material has had to be hauled up on the backs of the tireless and committed staff working in Virunga National Park, in order to provide guests with a safe and dry place to spend the night after witnessing the awe-inspiring view of Nyiragongo’s lava lake setting the night sky aflame. Each of the 12 huts contains two single beds with comfortable foam mattresses for you to lay your sleeping bag on. There is also a separate bathroom hut positioned slightly further down the ridge, away from the three rows of huts.

Dining

A cook will accompany you on your trek up the volcano, preparing hot and filling food that you’ll be more than thankful for once you reach the top!

Activities

The trek up Nyiragongo is a must for anyone wanting to see the best that Virunga has to offer. The park’s volcanoes are almost as famous as its gorillas, and climbing to the top of one – then sleeping on its rim – is an experience you won’t be able to replicate anywhere else. Ascending in a group led by park rangers, the trek should take around 4 – 6 hours, but the steepness means it won’t be too strenuous for anyone of average fitness. Make sure to adjust to the altitude change by staying properly hydrated – the climb will take you from 6,525 ft to 11,382 ft. People prone to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) should seek professional advice from their doctor before attempting the trek.

Child Policy

Children must be 12 years of age or older to obtain a trekking permit for Nyiragongo. For parents staying at other accommodations in and around Virunga, a minder can be arranged to look after your child while you trek.

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