Explore Lake Kivu in Rwanda: Explore Lake Kivu in Rwanda and take in the natural beauty of the lake and its environs. Exploring Lake Kivu on a Rwanda safari will also allow you to meet with local fisherman and hear intriguing folk tales from the locals.
Lake Kivu is located on the boundary between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is Rwanda’s largest fresh water lake and the African continent’s sixth largest fresh water lake.
Lake Kivu is located in the Albertine Rift, which is connected to the western arm of the East African Rift Valley. The lake’s waters drain into the Rusizi River, which flows south into Tanzania’s Lake Tanganyika. Lake Kivu is roughly 90 kilometers long and 50 kilometers broad. It has an uneven surface form, making estimating its true surface area challenging.
Lake Kivu is Africa’s eighth biggest lake, with a total surface area of around 2,700 square kilometers. The lake is 1,460 meters above sea level and 475 meters deep, ranking it as the world’s fourteenth deepest lake.
Lake Kivu is thought to have formed as a result of volcanic activity, hence a limnic eruption is expected to occur in the lake every 1000 years. Limnic eruptions on lakes are caused by excess methane and carbon dioxide gases in the lake, which can kill plant, marine, and human life inside and surrounding the afflicted lakes.
Lake Kivu is home to the world’s tenth biggest island, known as ‘Idjwi.’ This island is located inside the limits of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Virunga National Park. Lake Kivu has a few communities along its shores, including Gisenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangugu in Rwanda, as well as Bukavu, Kalehe, Sake, and Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Marine Life found in Lake Kivu in Rwanda.
Ripon Barb, East African red- finned barb, Red- spot barb, and Pellegrin’s barb are among the four barb species found in Lake Kivu.
Amphilius Catfish and Clarias Catfish are the two kinds of catfish found in Lake Kivu. The lake also contains tilapia fish species such as the Nile tilapia, Red breast tilapia, Long fin tilapia, Blue-spotted tilapia, and the Lake Tanganyika sardine, which was formerly exclusively found in Lake Tanganyika and has just recently been introduced into Lake Kivu.
In the early 1990s, Lake Kivu had 6,563 fisheries, 3,027 of which were affiliated with the pelagic fishing and 3,536 with the traditional fishery. However, the number of these fisheries has significantly decreased owing to a variety of factors, one of which being the low amount of fish in the lake.
In addition, the wide-spread warfare that occurred in the region in the mid-1990s (including the Rwanda Genocide) resulted in a decline in the number of fisheries on Lake Kivu. Lake Kivu also features four kinds of fresh water crabs, making it one of the Rift Valley Lakes with fresh water crabs, along with Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania and Lake Victoria in Uganda and Kenya.
Lake Kivu is a natural wonder that travelers may enjoy when on safari between Nyungwe Forest and Volcanoes National Parks. Enjoy the wonderful scenery of the undulating hills and tropical mountains that beautify the lake from Gisenyi all the way to Cyangugu town, with Kibuye town at its center.
As previously stated, Lake Kivu features three major towns: Gisenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangugu. These towns are roughly a three- to four-hour journey apart.
What to do when Exploring Lake Kivu in Rwanda.
Explore towns like Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangungu.
Gisenyi is a town on Lake Kivu’s northern shore. It is currently known as Rubavu town. The town is spread out over a lot of hills, making it a wonderful sight for visitors to the region.
Gisenyi town is endowed with lovely lake shoreline that has a good beach where both visitors and residents may participate in water sports such as swimming and wind surfing.
Tourists could visit the Imbabazi Orphanage when visiting Lake Kivu from Gisenyi town. Rosamund Hasley Carr, an American humanitarian who returned to Rwanda after the genocide conflict, built the orphanage.
Kibuye Town, presently called as Karongi Town, is located about 100 kilometers south of Gisenyi Town. It’s a tropical getaway surrounded by hills and densely forested with eucalyptus and pine trees.
Tourists can indulge in birding activities while in Kibuye town since the town is a home for several bird species such as the yellow-billed kites, which are famed for their yearly migration in August.
If you need to stay somewhere while on your vacation to Kibuye, there are several hotels and lodges to choose from, including Bethanie Guesthouse, Moriah Hill Resort, Rwiza Village Guesthouse, Rebero Kivu Resort, and Macheo Eco Lodge Camping.
Cyangugu, now known as Rusizi town, is located in the southern section of Lake Kivu. It is the nearest town to Nyungwe Forest National Park, which is around an hour’s drive away.
Tourists may visit the Congolese city of Bukavu from Cyangugu Town, which is located on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. You will also get the opportunity to explore Lake Kivu and have a boat trip on the lake.
While at Cyangugu, take a visit to Nyungwe Forest National Park and enjoy the park’s many activities, including nature hikes, birding, and the best, the forest canopy walk. There are several options for lodging, including the Motel Gloria, Munini Hill Hotel, and Rubavu Motel.
Take a Boat Ride on Lake Kivu
Lake Kivu offers wonderful landscape to its visitors, and boat tours may be organized for people who want to explore the lake and its surrounds. Enjoy the lakeside coastlines of Lake Kivu, as well as its undulating hills and lush, green highlands, while on your boat tour. Boat trips through the towns of Gisenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangugu can be organized for travelers who want to experience all three towns.
Lake Kivu is home to approximately 780 bird species, including egrets, yellow-throated Greenbuls, Speckled Pigeons, Chin- spot Batis, Cardinal Woodpecker, Bronzed Sunbird, African Pied Wagtail, Common Waxbill, and Tropical Boubou.
Relax at the Beach.
Lake Kivu contains a variety of beaches, the best of which are in Gisenyi Town. Take a walk along the lakeshore, especially in the evenings, to appreciate the scenic views of the hills and the sunset, Explore Lake Kivu in Rwanda.
Hike the Congo Nile Divide.
The Congo Nile Divide is a 257-kilometer trail that travels along the coasts of Lake Kivu from Rubavu [Gisenyi] town through Kibuye and on to Congo. The track is ideal for mountain biking and trekking.
Visit Hot springs
Lake Kivu contains a couple of hot springs that visitors may visit, including Bugarama hot springs, which are located 60 kilometers from Cyangugu town, Kinigi hot springs, Gisenyi hot springs, and Nyamyumba hot springs, all of which are located in Gisenyi/Rubavu Town, Explore Lake Kivu in Rwanda.
Travelling to Lake Kivu.
Lake Kivu is accessible by road and air from Kigali. Lake Kivu is roughly a three-hour trip from Kigali by car. Lake Kivu may also be reached via Gisenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangugu. Tourists on a single safari can also take a bus from Kigali City to any of these cities, which run every day. Lake Kivu may be reached by air, with charter flights departing from Kigali International Airport and landing at Gisenyi Airport.