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About Lake Kivu

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Lake Kivu is one of Africa’s Great Lakes. It is situated on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda and in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift valley. Lake Kivu empties into the Ruzizi River, which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania.
The lake covers a surface area of 2,700 km2 (1,040 sq. mi) and has a height of 1,460 meters (4,790 ft) above sea level. About 1 370 km2 or 58 percent of the lake’s waters are within DRC borders. The lake bed is on a rift valley that is slowly being pulled apart, causing volcanic activity in the area, and making it particularly deep: its maximum depth of 480 m (1,575 ft) is ranked eighteenth in the whole world.
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Where is Lake Kivu Located?

Lake Kivu is located in Rwanda. It is one of the deepest lakes in the world. It is ranked the eighteenth in the whole world.

The lies in Lake Kivu has both the world’s tenth-largest inland island, Idjwi and the tiny island of Tchegera, which also lies within the boundaries of Virunga National Park; Settlements on its shore include both Rwanda and Congo i.e Bukavu, Kabare, Kalehe, Sake, and Goma in Congo, and Gisenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangugu in Rwanda.

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Lake Kivu is a perfect holiday spot for those who love fishing and boatrides as well as adventurers. You cannot possibly run out of things to do while at the lake.

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Fishing at Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu fishermen use different methods of fishing, like for small fish, the method is called isambaza. They use three vessels tied together, and petrol lights at night, to attract the fish and then catch them in the nets suspended below their boats. During September and October each year, all fishing is banned to allow the fish to grow and be many, and during the full moon, fishing is not possible because the fish are not attracted to the light.[/cz_title]

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Swimming at Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu has crystal clear clean water and is one of the safest lakes in Africa and one where swimming is possible because of a few factors:

  • No crocodiles
  • No hippopotamus
  • Almost no Schistosomiasis (bilharzia)
  • No localized (or large-scale) gas outbursts. All the methane and carbon dioxide in Lake Kivu is trapped below
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Coffee Experience

Rwanda’s big export is coffee. At Cyimbili and Kinunu you can watch the entire process and life cycle of making a perfect cup of coffee – from seeing coffee beans growing on the bush to a delicious cup of locally grown coffee. Cycling on Congo-Nile Trail, hiking or driving along the Congo-Nile Trail. This long trail runs from Gisenyi to Kamembe along the scenic shores of Lake Kivu in Congo.

  • Hire or buy bicycles in Gisenyi and Kibuye
  • Cycle with bicycle guides and along the Congo-Nile trail
  • Create a sea kayaking/cycling combination tour
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Other Activities to do


  • Track Mountain Gorillas either from Ruhengeri in Rwanda or in DRC its an adventurous activity
  • Track Lowland Gorillas near Bukavu in Congo

Montane Rain Forests

  • Hike in Nyungwe Forest and experience its canopy walk and bird watching.
  • Hike in the Giswati Forest, a new conservation area for wildlife.
  • Track the chimpanzees in Nyungwe.
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Activities in Pictures ~ Lake Kivu

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Lake Kivu Serena Hotel

This hotel is at the beach shores of Lake Kivu this hotel is within (2 km) of Gisenyi Beach and Rwanda Tourism University College. Kigali Independent University is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) away from the hotel.

Lake Kivu Serena hotel offers the ideal excellent and luxurious holiday destination in Rwanda or weekend escape. The hotel is situated on the shores of Lake Kivu, just outside the small town of Gisenyi, which is 160km from Kigali (20 minute’s flight from Kigali International Airport).[/cz_title]

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Cormoran Lodge

The new Cormoran Lodge in Kibuye has a small number of wooden cabins, each affording beautiful scenic views over the lake.

The seven rooms at Cormoran Lodge are, identical. (The ‘honeymoon’ suite has a slightly bigger bathroom and a bath, but is currently the same price). The rooms are accessed along very steep pathways and steps lead straight up to the doors.

Cormoran Lodge is for those who are physically fit on their feet. The rooms are simple and rustic: with wooden floors, ceilings, and walls, they give you a feel of log cabins! There’s a large wooden double bed, a small writing desk, and in one corner a few chairs and a flat-screen TV. The hotel also has a minibar, safe, umbrella, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and mosquito nets.[/cz_title]

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Peace Guest House 

Peace Guesthouse is situated in the far south-west corner of Rwanda, on the shores of Lake Kivu near the port of Cyangugu. None of the Expert Africa team has visited this hotel yet, however here is what we know about it so far.

The guesthouse is in a quiet location just outside Cyangugu, and offers a comfortable base from where you can explore the local areas of interest. Apparently the staffs are very friendly and offer a warm welcome.

Peace Guesthouse has 22 fairly simple but clean rooms; some have en-suite facilities whilst others have to share bathrooms. There are 16 terraced wall side rooms and lakeside rooms and five individual rondavels which have two twin rooms, en suite bathroom and a sitting room. These would be ideal for families.[/cz_title]

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Paradise Malahide Hotel 

Paradise Malahide is located in a small village called Ruboni, about 7km south from the Centre of the Gisenyi. It has a beautiful location on the shores of Lake Kivu, affording lovely views across to some islands – it is a great sun-downer spot if you’re lucky enough to have a clear evening.[/cz_title]

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