5 Days Kahuzi Biega and Nyungwe Tour

Lake Kivu – A Must Visit Destination in Rwanda

Lake Kivu – A Must Visit Destination in Rwanda : Lake Kivu in Rwanda is one of Africa’s largest lakes. It is situated near the Congo-Rwanda border, in the Albertine Western Rift and a section of the Great Rift Valley. Lake Kivu drains into the Ruzizi River, which empties into Lake Tanganyika. It is a lovely Inland Sea surrounded by tall, green h ills. Its coastlines are encircled by three towns: Gisenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangugu, all of which are perfect stopping points for relaxing, swimming, or taking a boat excursion via the little Lakeside Villages that provide a pleasant view of rural life.

Lake Kivu also has the world’s tenth largest inland island, with villages along its shores include Kalehe, Bukavu, Kabare, Sake, and Goma in DRC Congo, as well as Gisenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangugu in Rwanda. Kivu is home to a number of fish species, including Clarias, Barbus, Haplochromis, and Nile Tilapia. Kibuye will satisfy your needs for sunbathing, swimming and water sports, speedboats, canoe sailing, or just mountain treks and picnics.

Lake Kivu - A Must Visit Destination in Rwanda
Lake Kivu tour

Gorgeous homes border the tree-lined shore…a beautiful white sandy beach…Kivu is perfectly clean. Gisenyi, the most developed of these resorts, is less than an hour’s drive from Volcanoes National Park (natural habitat of the rare mountain Gorillas), and is nestled on a sandy beach bordered with swaying palms and colonial-era hotels that emit a sense of tropical languor.

To the south, in Kibuye, tourist activities revolve around a modern lakeside hotel with views of pine-covered slopes that appear to have been transplanted from the Alps. Cyangugu, next to Nyungwe Forest (Nyungwe National Park since 2005), is another exception, with more muted tourism development compensated for by a captivating environment of twisting inlets, Lake Kivu – A Must Visit Destination in Rwanda

Winding through narrow Valleys Lake Kivu is the largest of several freshwater lakes that glisten amid Rwanda’s lowlands. Lakes Burera and Ruhondo, near the gorilla tracking center of Ruhengeri, are often overlooked treasures, with deep blue lakes bordered by steep slopes and big waterfalls, with the adjacent Virunga Volcanoes providing a stunning backdrop.

Aside from being a tourist attraction, Lake Kivu has been revealed to contain around 55 billion cubic meters of liquid methane gas at a depth of 300 meters (about 1,000 ft into deep). Until 2004, the gas was extracted on a modest scale, with the distilled gas used to power boilers at the Bralirwa brewery in Gisenyi. The Rwandan government is in talks with a few parties on large-scale use of this resource to manufacture methane from the lake.

Combining Lake Kivu and Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park.

Given the close proximity from Gisenyi to Volcanoes National Park in Musanze, a visitor can easily combine a visit to Lake Kivu with gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park. Gisenyi town is only an hour’s drive from Volcanoes national park and hence visitors can track gorillas in the park and then drive to Lake Kivu in Gisenyi town where you can enjoy an afternoon boat cruise on the lake. Lake Kivu offers visitors marvellous scenic views of the surround islands and it also has a large variety of bird species, which makes it a great place for bird watching tours. Other activities offered around Lake Kivu include guided nature walks, cycling, coffee and tea tours. Don’t forget to explore some of the beaches at the lake as you relax and unwind while sipping a cold cocktail drink.

Combining Lake Kivu with Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Lake Kivu in Rwanda can also be explored from Kibuye town which is close to Nyungwe Forest National Park. This makes it easy for any visitor to combine a visit to a Lake Kivu with chimpanzee trekking tour to Nyungwe national park. Once you have tracked chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest or Cyamudongo Forest, you can proceed and drive to Lake Kivu in Kibuye which is about a 2½ hour drive. Enjoy exploring the beautiful islands on Lake Kivu and visit some of the tea plantations within the area. Other activities that you can do in Nyungwe forest national park include; canopy walk, hiking and nature walks, and birding among others.

Lake Kivu - A Must Visit Destination in Rwanda
Nyungwe Chimps

Towns to visit near and around Lake Kivu


Gisenyi, formerly Kisenyi, is a city in Rwanda’s Western Province’s Rubavu region. Gisenyi has a border with Goma, a city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On the banks of Lake Kivu, the city has a resort with multiple hotels and three sandy beaches. Water activities are also popular in the region. The northern coast of the lake, where Goma and Gisenyi are located, is a flat plain with lava deposits from Mount Nyiragongo eruptions, Lake Kivu – A Must Visit Destination in Rwanda

Gisenyi is located in the northeast corner of the lake, near the foothills, and low-density growth is occurring in the hills, which are predicted to be protected from future eruptions. Gisenyi is also home to Bralirwa, which produces a variety of local beers, including Primus, Mützig, Amstel, and Guinness, as well as Coca-Cola-branded soft beverages. Gisenyi is a tiny town in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, although it is rapidly rising. A new multi-storey shopping complex was built over an old bus station in 2011. As of 2011, the town’s main roads were paved, and sidewalks were approaching completion on the majority of them.

Kibuye Town

Kibuye is a town in western Rwanda on the shores of Lake Kivu. Its surroundings provide spectacular views of Lake Kivu, with a notable stopover point being the Congo Nile Trail, a popular hiking or bike trail that runs from Gisenyi to Kamembe. You can also pay a visit to Ndaba Falls which are situated near the town.

Karongi Town

Karongi is possibly Rwanda’s most popular beach vacation for families living elsewhere in the nation. With its breathtaking panoramas, serene environment, and easy access from Kigali, it’s simple to understand why, Lake Kivu – A Must Visit Destination in Rwanda

The gorgeous lake is framed by hillsides covered with pines and eucalyptus, and there is lodging to suit most budgets. The sound of local fishermen singing drifts over the sea at dawn and sunset as they paddle in tandem.

This is a spot where busy minds may unwind, occasionally looking up from a good book to watch the birds or the shifting colors of the lake as the sun sets over the other side.

Kayaks are available for rent at several hotels for individuals who want to keep active. Boats transport small parties to Napoleon’s Island, which is home to a fruit bat colony, or to one of Amahoro Island’s restaurants. Go night fishing with the villagers or kayak out with them after twilight for a real taste of Rwandan daily life.

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