Rwanda Travel Guide to Lake Kivu: Lake Kivu is a Great Lake in Africa. It is located in the Albertine Rift, the western arm of the East African Rift, on the boundary between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Lake Kivu discharges into the Ruzizi River, which flows south into Lake Tanganyika.
Rwanda is one of the world’s most misunderstood countries. The Land of a Thousand Hills is today calm and serene, in sharp contrast to the horrific accounts and horrifying photographs of the 1994 genocide.
It’s also rather attractive. Consider this side of Rwanda you’ve probably never seen: the tranquility of Lake Kivu, the country’s biggest body of water and one of Africa’s Great Lakes. It is part of the Great Rift Valley and borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda.
The breathtakingly gorgeous lake is located on the country’s western border with the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mid-range Lake Kivu Serena Hotel is located along the lake in Gisenyi town and consists of a collection of three-story houses constructed on a well-landscaped site.
More About Lake Kivu.
The lake is 1460 meters above sea level and, at 2700 square meters, is Africa’s sixth biggest lake. It is virtually equally divided between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (58%) and Rwanda (42%). Volcanic activity in the area is caused by the rift’s plates, which are progressively sliding apart. Although the lake is relatively free of harmful marine life, it is notorious for another sleeping beast beneath the surface: masses of methane gas created by indigenous bacteria and volcanic activity are trapped in the water 200m below the surface.
The gas presents little danger to swimmers or marine creatures near the lake’s surface. Scientists are concerned about a phenomenon known as lake overturn, which describes the release of stored gases into the air above the lake. Scientists are unsure what caused the Lake Kivu overturn, although the eruption of adjacent volcanoes in the Virunga’s is suspected. For the time being, the lake is visited by tourists and is surrounded by a population of around 2 million people in tiny, vibrant communities in both the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
The lake’s residents mostly sustain themselves by fishing and subsistence agriculture, however they also grow tea, coffee, and livestock and gather honey. It is possible to visit coffee processing factories in Cyimbili and Kinunu to view and taste fresh coffee from bean to cup if you so choose. Along the coast and on the islands, people brew beer. Chemical engineers, mechanics, and other workers are employed in the industrial extraction of the lake’s methane and hydropower generation. Finally, the tourism business, which includes hotels, markets, stores, and restaurants, generates additional revenue for the villages.
What to expect during your visit to Lake Kivu in Rwanda.
The lake is set in a basin surrounded by beautiful circular hills, each with a panoramic view of the lake, its islands, and the mountains. The lakefront is sandy in some areas and rocky in others, but in all areas, one may marvel at the purity of the lake floor and watch the countless fish swim near the surface. Enjoy a picnic by the beach amid waving palm trees, or jump off a pier into the clear, calm ocean.
Enjoy sea kayaking at Kibuye by paddling your boat across the calm seas to Bat Island, home to 5 million fruit bats, or Peace Island, a peaceful haven for reflection and relaxation. The pleasant residents of Nkomo and Bugarama Islands enjoy to converse with visitors to the lake and show them their houses, families, and culture. In the neighboring marshes, you may also see pelicans, kingfishers, and cormorants. Local delicacies such as sambaza, a tiny, fried fish dressed with lime and eaten whole, and akabenzi, a pork dish cooked with bananas, may be found at every restaurant.
On the Rwandan side of lake Kivu, there are three lakefront communities to choose from. Cyangugu, the furthest away from Kigali, with breathtaking vistas and a magnificent medieval mosque. From the tranquil lake resorts of Kibuye, you may enjoy views of and easy access to Bat Island and Peace Island, or you can party with the locals at the vast sand beaches of vibrant Gisenyi.
In summary; The lake is well-known for being a good site for families, honeymooners, or friends to relax before or after your Rwanda gorilla trekking safari to Volcanoes National Park.