Enquire or Call

UK: 01473 890499
US: 1-800-608-4651
You are here: HomeRwandaPlaces to GoLake Kivu
Rwanda holiday ideas experiences accommodation places to go when to visit Rwanda map reviews

Lake Kivu

Rwanda's largest freshwater lake, Kivu is a hive of activity for the local people, although the ports are not as busy as in colonial times. There are gorgeous views and scenery and it's a great place to relax during your sightseeing in Rwanda.

The lake with is many islands and surrounding hilly bays covers 7000m2. It lies in the heart of the Albertine Rift Valley and covers most of Rwanda's western border with DR Congo. It is the sixth largest lake in Africa and is 89 km long by 48 km wide. It is 480m deep at the deepest point, making it the 15th deepest in the world.

Lake Kivu, due to it's location on a volcanic fault, is actually a methane lake, so there is no wildlife in it, apart from a few small fish species in the bays and near the shore. Gas is extracted from the lake bed and provides about 4% of Rwanda's energy at present. The border with the Congo is down the middle of the water and the Rwandan army regularly patrol the waters to ensure there is no cross border traffic!

Just an hours drive from the gorilla tracking base of Ruhengeri by road, Gisenyi is the most northerly port on the lake and an interesting small town. It is split into the upper and lower town, the first being a set of busy rounds around a central market and the latter more spaced out with collections of banks, old colonial houses and hotels. Several hotels and guest houses border the lake shore. The waterfront with the sandy beaches are a lovely mix of palm lined roads and old architectural styles. With looks similar to a West African backwater town, it is not as humid as it sits at 1500m altitude making it a comfortable climate. There are interesting birds along the lake shore and a short walk away Rubona port has great views and you can explore in a dugout canoe traditional style if you prefer. Near Gisenyi is also the home of the Rosalind Carr orphanage which was started in 1994 to shelter orphans of the genocide, which is a fantastic project and one which has a great success story.

To the south of Lake Kivu is Kibuye, another sleepy town which was the site of several terrible incidents in the genocide but is now coming back to live with some lively street front cafes and a good business infrastructure. There are a couple of lake shore lodges here and an hours drive away is the hiking trail for the Source of the Nile. There is a view point near Kibuye where you can see the meeting points of the Nile and Congo Basins.

Read More

Lake Kivu accommodation

customer rating

5/5 from 10 reviews

our travel expert

TALK TO AMANDA
AMANDA
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Rwanda. Tell us what you want, and we will tailor make your perfect trip.
Call: 01473 890499
PLAN MY TRIP
Mini map of rwanda

facts and information

Time: GMT +2hrs

Flight time:

Various airlines fly to Kigali including Kenya Airways via Nairobi.

Language: Main language is Kinyarwanda but English is widely spoken. Many people also speak French or Swahili.

Visas:

Entry visas are issued on arrival, entry fee is $30, to British passport holders.

Health:

Rwanda is a malarial country but the risk is low as most of the country is at high altitude. The following vaccinations are recommended: Hepatitis A & B, Polio, Tetanus & Typhoid. Yellow fever vaccinations is compulsory. Seek advise from your GP.

OUR SPECIALIST WEBSITES
Cruise the Galapagos
Costa Rica Specialists
Botswana Specialists
Go 2 Tanzania
Kili Climbs
Tribes Tailormade Travel

Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499

Help me plan my trip

* required fields

Please enter your address

Trip details

Yes No
Yes No

Other information

Yes No

All information supplied is confidential and will never be shared with anyone else (see our privacy policy)

Brochure Request

Our “Book of Unmissable Travel Experiences - Book Two” includes some inspiring ideas which could be the holiday experience you’re looking for. You will find an online version of our brochure which you can flip through at your leisure.

* required fields

Please enter your address

Other information

Yes No

All information supplied is confidential and will never be shared with anyone else (see our privacy policy)

Keep up to date with all of our offers, receive our monthly newsletter, and be the first to hear of upcoming sales and events.

* required fields
All information supplied is confidential and will never be shared with anyone else (see our privacy policy )