Idjwi Island Rwanda

Idjwi Island Rwanda : Ijwi Island popularly known as Idjwi Island is the second largest lake island in Africa and the tenth largest in the world. The island is located in Lake Kivu and forms part of South Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The island is approximately 70 kilometers in length and covers an area of 340 square kilometers. The island is home to a community of Bantu people who live a traditional way of life, farming, and fishing. Visitors to Idjwi Island can get an opportunity to engage in different activities at Idjwi Island such as visiting the plantation from locals including one of the big plantations of pineapple, village walk, interaction with locals about their day to life, birds watching, visiting the local fishermen and swimming in Lake Kivu among others.

Idjwi is a wonderful island to escape from the modern world and enjoy nature with island rich with culture. Speed boat connects the island to Goma and Bukavu town on the side of Congo and Rusizi, Karongi and Rubavu town on the side of Rwanda

Things to do when visiting Idjwi Island

 Explore the Island

Idjwi Island is a nice-looking and calm place to explore. Tourists can take a leisurely walk around the island stopping to take in the attractive views of Lake Kivu and the surrounding mountains. The island is also home to a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, birds and other mammals

Bird watching

Idjwi Island is home to a variety of bird species, including the white-throated bee-eater, the yellow-billed stork, and the African fish eagle. Traveler can take a bird watching tours and sight some of the island’s feathered inhabitants

Relax on the Beach

Idjwi Island is home to a number of attractive beaches, where visitors can relax and take in the astonishing views of Lake Kivu. Travelers can also so swimming or take a boat trip around the

Art and pottery activities with pygmies

This activity will give you the opportunity to interact with the first inhabitant of sub-Saharan Africa before the Bantu migrate down from the North. The pygmies are the minority on the Island and they live primarily from clay art making.

Visit the Local Villages

Idjwi Island is home to a number of small villages. Visitors can explore the villages and get a hint into the daily life of the island’s inhabitants. Many of the villages are located on the island’s hillsides, offering astonishing views of the lake and mountains.

Hike to the Island’s Highest Point

Idjwi Island’s highest point is Mount Idjwi, located at an elevation of 1,845 meters. Visitors can hike to the top of the mountain and take in the astonishing views of the lake and its surrounding environment

Hiking as you visit the pineapple plantations.

Idjwi is made of lots of hills with great views of freshwater bodies and mountains on the other edge of the Lake, hiking can be combined with a visit of pineapple plantations. Idjwi produces some of the World’s best pineapples.

Boat cruise

One of the best ways to explore Idjwi Island is by boat. Visitors can take a boat tour around the island, stopping to explore the villages and take in the astonishing views of the lake and mountains around.

Idjwi Island Rwanda
Idjwi Island Rwanda

Visit the Local Schools

Idjwi Island is home to a number of schools, including the Idjwi Island Elementary School and the Idjwi Island High School. Tourists can take a tour to different schools and learn about the islands educational system or calendar


Idjwi Island is home to a variety of fish, including tilapia, carp, and catfish. Tourists can rent a boat and spend the day fishing in Lake Kivu

Visit the Local Markets

Idjwi Island is home to a number of local markets, where visitors can purchase a variety of items, including fruit, vegetables, and fish.

Visit the Local Churches

Idjwi Island is home to a number of churches, including the Idjwi Island Church of Christ. Visitors can explore the churches and learn about the history of the islands background

How to access Idjwi Island

Giving the fact that the Island is landlocked, if you are planning to be visiting Idjwi Island, you will have to be using the waterway.

Using a speedboat; The Island is connected by a speed boat to the cities of Goma and Bukavu. Ihusi Ltd runs 3 speed boats which operates from Bukavu to Goma daily. Leaving Goma to Bukavu every day from 7:00 am to 10 am. On demand you can be dropped to Bugarula Port which is halfway to Bukavu at 9:30 am. The same thing applies if you are coming from Bukavu, the speedboats leave every day from 7:00 am to reach Goma 3 hours later. The trip cost 50 USD, you will need 100 USD for a roundtrip ticket

Using a ship; Goma is known for its mesmerizing and beautiful ships made in Goma by local engineers. The recent one being EMMANUEL 4 which is compared to a 5 stars hotel floating above the water and operating the Goma to Bukavu route daily on majestic Lake Kivu.

Safari Accommodation facilities at Idjwi island

The island does not offer a wide range of accommodations, our best pick remains Hope Land Guest House. Located at a walkable distance from Bugarula Port, Hope Land is a 3-stars accommodation with 14 rooms costing 60 USD each. Hope Land offers quality service with well-trained staff. The food served is made of local dishes very well made by experienced chef.

Visiting the Idjwi Island can be combined with other Rwanda safaris in the country. Different options including mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Congo, visiting Nyungwe national park which is a rainforest in Rwanda that houses chimpanzees, colobus monkeys and other primates. The island has numerous beaches that offer relaxation with fresh air.