About Lake Kivu / Gisenyi(Rubavu)

Shared between Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, lake Kivu is one of the fresh water bodies in east and central Africa.  This water body is a perfect place for swimming because its hippo and bilharzia free.

There is no better place to bring a safari to an end than at Lake Kivu where you can swim and lounge on sandy beaches and take a dip in the lake and enjoy a refreshing swim in Lake Kivu.

For most, it is simply a place to relax and chill out, while other take nature walks, go birding in a boat or on land, explore some of the islands, the nearby hot springs and more. Lake Kivu has three major towns of Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu. These are well-developed towns and are visited by many tourists.

Top Things to Do and See on and around Lake Kivu


1. Relax and Chill out at the shores of Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is the best place to relax and chill out in Rwanda after gorilla tracking once or twice, hiking up Volcanoes, Biking or Hiking the Congo Trail, Chimpanzee Tracking in Nyungwe National Park.

Relaxing and Chilling out along Lake Kivu is the best way to bring your Rwandan Safari to a memorable end.

Lake Kivu is the perfect place to just be instead of doing, the relax, read a book, enjoy the tropical sun, the splendid views of the Lake, the Islands, the Mountains, fishing boats, the smell of the water, the light breeze once again. Lake Kivu the best place to relax and chill out in Rwanda as you will enjoy your time along the shores of Rwanda’s most scenic Lake.

2. Swimming in Lake Kivu

There are many beautiful lakes in East and Central Africa but Lake Kivu is not only a lake where you can relax and chill out, but you can swim in the Lake.

Lake Kivu is a fresh water body that is crocodile free, hippo free and bilharzia free. The water in lake Kivu has a cool temperature and all those who would want to cool down especially on a hot day are free to jump in the lake and relax.

There are beautiful beaches along the lakeshores with fine sand where one can relax in the mild sun after having a great swim in the lake. Better swimming points can be got from the major towns of Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu.

3. A visit to the Imbabazi orphanage

The Imbabazi Orphanage is so common around Lake Kivu and it was started by Rosamond who lived in the Mugongo area. She started a flower garden which supplied flowers to the nearby hotels and guest houses. This orphanage was started in 1994 in Gisenyi and it mainly works with children. It attracts many tourists who visit Lake Kivu as well as Rwanda.

During the genocide, the orphanage had to be moved from one place to another due to insecurity reasons however after the genocide in 1994, it was permanently moved back to Gisenyi and at that time the orphanage was a home to over 400 orphans.

The orphanage was reconstructed and well built and today it has beautiful gardens, has a restaurant that prepares classic and standard food and also provides great views of the Virunga volcanoes in the background.

4. Hiking and biking along the shores of Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is the perfect location for 1/2 day – full day longer hikes – nature walks and bike rides.  This includes venturing out on the newly developed Nile-Congo Trail where you can hike or bike along for days – or just make it a one day experience.

A walk in Rwanda is always exciting and doing it on the beaches of lake Kivu can be the best decision one can ever make. Hiking is a good exercise that can be enjoyed by tourists after a safari or those on a honeymoon. With great views of the fresh water body, a walk at the shores of lake with cool breezes from the waves will give you a remarkable and unforgettable experience.

There are hills that you can climb around Lake Kivu and coast back down on your bike.  Just let us know what you are interested in for your time in Lake Kivu and we will arrange it for you.

5. Water sporting activities along Lake Kivu

Water sports is so common along Lake Kivu since there are many water activities that can be engaged in by the holiday makers. Some of these include; water skiing, wind surfing, wind surfing, paddling and enjoying a motor boat on the lake. Fishing is also a common activity on Lake Kivu.

This can be done on local dug out canoes or using engine boats. Cruising on this fresh water body enables one to discover more of the land of a thousand hills. Excursion boat rides can be made within a few meters of the lake even while having dinner while other longer trips can be made to the major islands in the lake especially the Napoleon and Amahoro island. Relaxing on cruises and water trips on the lake makes one somehow forget about their problems and feel home away from home.

Suggested Safari Trips to take in and around Lake Kivu

3 Days Rwanda Special Gorilla Safari

Tour Highlights: Gorilla Homes in Volcanoes, Gorilla Trekking Adventure, Kigali City Tour

3 Days Golden Monkeys & Gorillas Safari

Tour Highlights: Golden Monkey Tracking, Gorilla Trekking Adventure, Kigali City Tour

7 Days Rwanda Gorillas & Primates Safari

Tour Highlights: Gorilla Trekking Adventure, Golden Monkey Tracking, Nyungwe Forest Chimpanzee Tracking

5 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari

Tour Highlights: Gorilla Trekking, Beach Holiday Relaxation in Musanze, Kigali City Excursion Rwanda

6 Days Gorillas Monkeys & Bishoke Climb

Tour Highlights: Kigali beautiful African city, Gorilla Trekking, Mount Bishoke Climb, Golden Monkeys tracking

4 Days Rwanda Double Gorilla Safari

Tour Highlights: Kigali beautiful African city, Gorilla Trekking, Mount Bishoke Climb, Nature Walk Treks