With more than 150 km of jagged, winding coastline on it’s Rwandan side alone, Lake Kivu is far and away the largest body of water in the country, and its many dozens of coves, cliffs, islands, islets, and beaches provide ample habitat for a wide variety of waterbirds. To see many of them, you won’t even have to leave the grounds of your hotel. Bring a pair of binoculars to any of the numerous lakeside lodges, and you’re likely to see any number of fish eagles, cormorants, pelicans, or kingfishers on the hunt, along with lovely examples of Double-toothed barbet, Pin-tailed whydah, Malachite kingfisher, and the iconic Crested crane, all without ever leaving the comfort of your balcony, though we still of course recommend that you do!
RUBAVU (Lake Kivu)
If you’re surprised that Rwanda has a beach – you’re not alone. Rubavu (also known as Gisenyi) is a waterfront town located on the shores of Lake Kivu, one Africa’s great bodies of water. At only an hour away from Volcanoes National Park, Rubavu is a great way to unwind after trekking adventures.
Rubavu marks the beginning of the Congo Nile Trail, which extends 227 km to Rusizi, and has plenty of biking and hiking trails to fulfill those who crave the some more adventure. Rubavu is also known for its agrotourism experiences, with many tea and coffee plantations nearby.
KARONGI (Lake Kivu)
Lake Kivu is surrounded by magnificent mountains and has deep emerald green waters. The lake covers a total surface area of 2,700 km and stands at a height of 1,460 meters above sea level.
About 110km from Kigali, the road to Karongi is paved and in good condition.
Karongi is one of the most relaxing and romantic places in Rwanda, and is an ideal place to enjoy lakeside recreation. A picturesque lakeside resort town, there are ample beaches with crystal clear water. Along with modern water sport facilities, traditional boats can be used for exciting nature discovery tours and authentic experiences within local Rwandan daily life. Visitors can take boat rides from many of the local hotels visiting Napoleon’s Island (home to a colony of fruit bats) and dine at the Amahoro Island restaurants and even go night fishing with locals
Adventure awaits at Karongi with opportunities to hike and bike the Congo Nile Trail, visit the Congo Nile Divide watershed, have a taste of the ‘crop to cup’ coffee and tea experiences within the local community, or visit the moving Bisesero Genocide Memorial with breathtaking views of the lake.