Lake Kivu is Rwanda’s largest freshwater lake and the sixth last in Africa bounded in the western side of the country. The lake lies along Africa’s Rift Valley forming a border between Rwanda and DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo).
This lake is surrounded by beautiful towns’ 2-3hours from each other that makes it very interesting when driving between them, this also creates a slower option between Volcanoes and Nyungwe national parks. The route to this lake gently curves back and forth through terraced hills and mountains that appear gorgeous with green trees along the road.
Main Towns Surrounding Lake Kivu
Gisenyi (Rubavu): This is among the largest towns around Lake Kivu covered by terraced hills on the Northern end of the Lake Kivu. The town is enriched with various accommodation facilities including the fading old mansions, descent hotels/lodges, trending bars of both budget and luxury standards on the lake shores with a number of them facing the sunset.
What to do in Gisenyi (Rubavu): In the Northern of Gisenyi there is Imbabazi Orphanage organization that was initiated by an American lady called Rosamund Halsey. This lady left a remarkable legacy who later after the Rwanda genocide returned to Rwanda and turned her own ransacked house into an orphanage to take care of over 400 survivors of the genocide. The Imbabazi is planning to develop a cultural Centre in Carr’s which will run a lot of projects to support the local people and continue to support the orphans which is another area tourists can visit and interact with the Orphans and give support where necessary.
Cyangugu (Ruzizi): Ruzizi is a town situated in the southern end of Lake Kivu. This town makes a convenient base to combine Lake Kivu and Nyungwe national park which is just 45 minutes’ drive away though there is a limited hotels.
Kibuye (Karongi): Karongi town is located 100km south of Gisenyi town. This town is the prettiest of Lake Kivu’s towns with a verdant, tropical spot surrounded hills and covered in Pine and Eucalyptus. However it’s more interesting in August especially for bird lovers where there are thousands of yellow billed kites fly over and around the Lake.
Consider Lake Kivu on your trip to explore the memorable experience and as a combination to Nyungwe Forest National Park which is just 45 minutes’ drive away.