Lake Kivu is a rift valley fresh water lake located west o Rwanda on the border with DRC a few kilometers from the active Mount Nyiragongo volcano in eastern DRC.
The lakes ecosystems harbor several species of fish such as cichlids, birds, otters and beautiful white sandy beaches while its shores have developed including towns with luxury resort hotels, camps and lodges including Gisenyi, Bukavu, Kibuye and Cyangugu.
While at lake kivu, when you don’t simply admire the views of islands Idjwi and Tshegera islands, terraced rolling hills, visitors can spend days exploring the local communities
Local people are very welcoming and will treat visitors as special people in their unique rural life including coffee farming, harvesting and making using machines. Other towns include Karongi which is located on hills overlooking the lake giving perfect sunsets while Ruzizi town is a busy town full of traders but it has a connecting route to Nyungwe forest national park a home to chimpanzees.
Kayaking is one of the amazing activities to explore the shores and islands of the lake. There are world class sea kayaks operating day and multiday kayaking trips between resort towns of kibuye and Gisenyi. Kayaks are great ways to spot birds also give you an advantage to stay on the waters for long hours connecting the town of Gisenyi and kibuye. You can also enjoy magical sunsets on the sea when waters are calm witness local fishermen fishing with their traditional fishing canoes while you can stop at one of the coffee washing stations to warm yourself up.
Bird watching should be done in morning or evening and canoes are recommended since they produce no noise to scare away birds. The lake has over 60 species of birds including water birds. The lake’s tropical forested islands provide home to water birds including bats, snakes that rely on fish as their food. Among the commonly sighted birds include king fisher, African fish eagle, cattle egrets, species of herons, hammer korp, weaver birds and cormorants.
Swimming safaris are also carried out on the waters of Lake Kivu because the lake is crocodile and hippo free making it one of the safest swimming zones in Africa. Swimming is usually launched from most of the shoreline hotels that also provide kayaks, and Jet Ski services. For instance Gisenyi hotel offers boat trips to the beautiful uninhabited islands. Paradise Malahide is another hotel situated on the islands good for relaxation.
Sport fishing is carried out during day and night; tourists can join expert local fishermen and learn their fishing techniques of catching small fish called Isambaza and tilapia. At night fishermen use lights which attract fish to the surface of the waters as they cast they nets and vessels in the water.
Boat rides are also carried out using speed boats which provide quick transport linking the towns of Gisenyi and Kibuye. This is usually done when tourists want to visit some of the coffee stations to see how coffee is made.
Accommodations around Lake Kivu
Lake Kivu Serena hotel is located on the shores of Lake Kivu about 6 km from the city of Goma. Visitors will enjoy free Wi-Fi connection, TV with satellite channels, free coffee and breakfast. There is access to the beaches for sunbathing and relaxation. It has swimming pool and health club.
Paradise Malahide guest house is about 7 km from the city of Goma, located on the shores of Lake Kivu; it has bungalows with 12 rooms built with wood. There are single, double and triple rooms. You will enjoy the whispers of the lake as you dine either in their restaurant or outside full of local and international dishes.
Cormron lodge is located on a hill overlooking Lake Kivu in kibuye town. The lodge has single, double and VIP rooms equipped with TV, Wi-Fi connection, mini fridge, bath and showers. There is a bar and restaurant, they have a playroom for internet game lovers. You can also launch water spot activities from the lodge.
Peace guest house is located near the port of Cyangugu with a capacity of accommodating 52 people meaning it’s suitable for family and group tourists. Rooms are very comfortable with en suit bathrooms, TV and internet connection. It has a conference hall for functions such as weddings and meetings.