Lake Kivu is listed among the great lakes of Africa found in two countries i.e. Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It acts as the border feature between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Lake is located within the Albertine rift valley also known as the great western rift valley of Africa. The magnificent lake, kivu, is shared between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In fact, it is the biggest lake found in the republic of Rwanda.

Lake Kivu

The fact that this Lake is shared between the democratic republic of congo and Rwanda, about 58% of lake kivu is found in the democratic republic of congo about 1370 square kilometers and the rest in Rwanda. Lake kivu also features the world’s tenth-largest island called Idjwi island. Some islands are found in the Lake Kivu side which is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo such as Bukavu island, Bubare island, Kabehe island, Sake island and Goma island. However, the other islands of Lake Kivu are found in the Rwandan side such as Gisenyi Island, Kibuye Island and Cyangugu Island. To note: Lake Kivu is Rwanda’s largest lake and also the sixth largest lake on the African continent.

Lake kivu stretches over a distance of about 90km long astride a width of 50km. The Lake’s form is much irregular which makes the calculation of its surface area such a challenge. However, it is estimated to cover up an area of about 2700 square kilometers and it sits on an altitude of about 1460 meters above sea level. Lake kivu is a relatively deep lake and it ranks the eighteenth (18th) in Africa by maximum depth, and the ninth deep lake by the mean depth. Lake kivu as a maximum depth which is estimated to be about 475 meters and a mean depth of about 220 meters.

Towns centers near and around Lake Kivu

Rubavu is one of the developed towns on Lake Kivu in Rwanda, it is also known as Gisenyi. Rubavu is one of the large towns along the shoreline of Lake Kivu. It is located on the northern edge of the lake just a one hour drive from the famous Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Rubavu town has a colonial history of being once a beach for the colonial masters in Rwanda many years ago. Therefore, the rustic architecture of the building along the beach at Gisenyi or Rubavu can be such a drawback to the colonial times. Rubavu can be such a resting point after the terrific mountain gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park.

Karonji is another famous town along the shoreline of the Lake; it famous for the popular beaches in Rwanda with the flash of the hillsides which makes the view such a striking one for the visitors.  The hills are covered with forests of white eucalyptus and terraced banana plantations. The hills and the water frontline of Karongi beach resort make a back drop to the sparkling water of the lake. The dawns are such relaxing and the dusk is full of rhythms made by the wavy waters and the songs of the fishermen as they peddle together in unison.

Rusizi is another town found along the shores of Kivu in Rwanda. It is located south of the lake. The road from Kigali city to Rusizi is magnificent as it meanders around while dodging the hills. The terraced hills provide such a wonderful view of nature.

Lake Kivu
Lake Kivu – Rwanda

Activities are done along the Lake 

The main economic activities don in the towns near and around Lake Kivu include fishing since the lake has over 28 recorded fish species. The beaches along the Lake are free and safe for swimming and the water is free of crocodiles, hippo free and also bilharzia free. Therefore, you can swim in the Lake and enjoy the African safari life to the fullest.

The Lake is also a good and favorable place for hiking, biking along the shores plus boat trips along the lake. The boat trips are the real deal opportunity for you to enjoy the spectacular views of the land of a thousand hills and a lot of water birds along the shoreline. The boat cruise to Nyamirundi Island gives you an opportunity to visit the coffee plantation and also go through all the coffee processing procedures. Gisenyi is where you can find the imbabazi orphanage which was established years ago to help the orphans of the tragedy that befell on Rwanda in 1994, the genocide. Visiting the imbabazi orphanage and donate a little thing for the children, will give your trip to Africa a much better meaning.

“Lake Kivu is among the biggest attractions in both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and gives a point of relaxation from the different tour activities done.”

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