Lake Kivu is one of a string of huge freshwater lakes which lie along Africa’s Great Rift Valley. Dominating the border between Rwanda and the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo);It is Rwanda’s largest lake, and the sixth largest lake in Africa.
The real joy of this area is driving between the towns, and it’s a lovely option for a slower route between Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park. The road gently curves back and forth as it weaves through hills and mountains beside the lake from Gisenyi all the way to Cyangugu, with Kibuye almost at its centre point. Every corner produces another gorgeous view. Eucalyptus trees line the road, while every inch of the hills seems to be terraced with bananas. Villagers smile and wave, and children constantly call out “Abuzungu!” as you drive past (the Kinyarwanda term for white people, like “Muzungu” in Swahili). You’ll end up with hands tired from waving, and feel like royalty at the end of the trip!
Lake Kivu’s three main towns are roughly 3-4 hours apart from each other. However, on our last visit, extensive road construction works were making the journeys longer.
Activities on Lake Kivu
Swimming is a common activity which is carried on this lake since the lake allows the tourists to relax and chill out as they take a swim. There are no hippos, crocodiles no Bilharzia in this lake making it perfect for swimming. This is mainly because the temperatures of the water are favorable for the swimmers.
Relaxation and chilling out
Relaxation along the shores of Lake Kivu is the perfect thing to do especially after having a gorilla trek in the volcanoes national park or a volcano hike as well as chimpanzee trekking. Chilling out along the shores of Lake Kivu makes a memorable end of your safari in Rwanda. Many holiday makers relax as they enjoy the tropical sun, read a book or view the beautiful scenery of the lake. The lake is also surrounded by fishing boats, beautiful breeze of the lake as well as mountains. The lake provides the best scenic views ever while relaxing along its shores.
Water sports along Lake Kivu
Water sports is so common along Lake Kivu since there are many water activities that can be engaged in by the holiday makers. Some of these include; water skiing, wind surfing, wind surfing, paddling and enjoying a motor boat on the lake. Fishing is also a common activity on Lake Kivu.
Hiking and Biking around Lake Kivu
Hiking and biking alongside the shores of Lake Kivu is perfect for many holiday makers. The hikes can be one to half day as well as nature walks. Tourists can be able to venture out the new developed Nile Congo trails, village visits and cultural interactions hence getting an enticing experience. Climbing and biking of hills around is the lake is also a common activity.
Coffee tours around Lake Kivu
Rwanda has many coffee plantations and these can be enjoyed by the tourists one coffee tours by taking a boat cruise on the lake to Nyamirundi Island. You can be able to learn the whole process of coffee making starting from stage one to the last stage. You even get chance to test the last product. This experience is so good for those interested in agro- tourism.
Orphanage visit –Gisenyi
The Imbabazi Orphanage is so common around Lake Kivu and it was started by Rosamond who lived in the Mugongo area. She started a flower garden which supplied flowers to the nearby hotels and guest houses. This orphanage was started in 1994 in Gisenyi and it mainly works with children. It attracts many tourists who visit Lake Kivu as well as Rwanda.
Many holiday makers have been attracted to the beautiful sandy beaches around Lake Kivu and these encourage relaxation due to the cool breeze and natural waves. The beaches are surrounded by mountains that make it an outstanding sight and a perfect place to relax. Many gorilla trekkers relax along these beaches to cool off.