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Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes. It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, and is in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. Lake Kivu empties into the Ruzizi River, which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika.
The lake covers a total surface area of some 2,700 km2 (1,040 sq. mi) and stands at a height of 1,460 metres (4,790 ft) above sea level. Some 1 370 km2 or 58 percent of the lake’s waters lie within DRC borders. The lake bed sits upon a rift valley that is slowly being pulled apart, causing volcanic activity in the area, and making it particularly deep: its maximum depth of 480 m (1,575 ft) is ranked eighteenth in the world.

The lake bed sits upon a rift valley that is slowly being pulled apart, causing volcanic activity in the area, and making it particularly deep: its maximum depth of 480 m (1,575 ft) is ranked eighteenth in the world.

The world’s tenth-largest inland island, Idjwi, lies in Lake Kivu, as does the tiny island of Tchegera, which also lies within the boundaries of Virunga National Park; while settlements on its shore include Bukavu, Kabare, Kalehe, Sake, and Goma in Congo, and Gisenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangugu in Rwanda.

TO DO AND SEE AT LAKE KIVU

Lake Kivu is a perfect holiday spot for those who love fishing and boatrides as well as adventurers. You cannot possibly run out of things to do while at the lake.

Fishing at Lake Kivu

Fishing at Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu fishermen use a special method to fish for small fish called isambaza. With three vessels tied together, and using petrol lights at night, they attract the fish and then catch them in nets suspended below their boats. During September and October each year all fishing is banned to allow the stocks to rejuvenate, and during the full moon, fishing is not possible because the fish are not attracted to the light.

Swimming-at-Lake-Kivu

Swimming at Lake Kivu

With its crystal clear clean water, Lake Kivu is one of the safest lakes in Africa, and one of only a very few where swimming is possible because there are:

  • No crocodiles
  • No hippopotamus
  • Almost no Schistosomiasis (bilharzia)
  • No localized (or large-scale) gas outbursts. All the methane and carbon dioxide in Lake Kivu is trapped below
coffeef

Coffee Experience

See the full life cycle of coffee. At Cyimbili and Kinunu you can watch the entire process of making a perfect cup of coffee – from seeing coffee beans growing on the bush to a delicious cup of locally grown and made coffee. The Congo-Nile Trail Cycling, hiking or driving along the Congo-Nile Trail. This 227 km long trail runs from Gisenyi to Kamembe along the scenic shores of Lake Kivu.

  • Hire or buy bicycles in Gisenyi and Kibuye
  • Cycle with bicycle guides and porters along the Congo-Nile trail
  • Create a sea kayaking / cycling combination tour
Rural-Life-Experience-to-Gisenyi

Other Activities to do

Gorillas

  • Track Mountain Gorillas either from Ruhengeri in Rwanda or in DRC
  • Track Lowland Gorillas near Bukavu

Montane Rain Forests

  • Hike in Nyungwe Forest and experience its new canopy walk
  • Hike in the Giswati Forest, a new conservation area
  • Track the chimpanzees