Lake Kivu 

Lake Kivu is an Albertian rift valley lake with an elevation of 1463 meters above sea level located in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The lake is one of the great lakes with fresh waters covering a total area of 2730 square kilometers. The lake contains geological gases that is to say methane and carbon dioxide which in the past affected the lives of the community near the shores. Lake Kivu stretches from the north of the Virunga mountains to the Nyungwe forest making it the largest lake in Rwanda. 

Lake Kivu was formed by tectonic forces within the rift valley and the depression within the valley. This depression was later filled with water which led to the formation of the lake. Lake Kivu is surrounded by beautiful hills and a lot of green lush islands. The lake is the main fishing point in Rwanda since it hosts multiple aquatic life like tilapia fish, catfish, and many others. This lake has the major beaches and resorts of Rwanda with one of the top facilities located in the areas of Cyangugu, Kibuye, and Gisenyi. Travelers on their Rwanda safari visit the lake usually for relaxation activities after gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, and many others.

What to do in Lake Kivu?

While in Lake Kivu, there are a variety of activities that one can do on their Rwanda safari.

Bird watching

Lake Kivu is one of the destinations that travelers who love birds would love to visit since it is home to over 400 bird species. The bird species in this region can be seen in the green islands of the lake and the surrounding hills. Some of the bird species that one can see include the African fishing eagle, shoe bill, pied kingfisher, and osprey. The area is home to other 10 endemic species which makes it a birding paradise for travelers on their Rwanda safari.

Hot springs and Geothermal bath

Lake Kivu has a lot of geothermal activities taking place around it. This geothermal energy leads to the formation of hot springs. Travelers to Rwanda will visit these hot springs to take a bath and have a local massage from natives of the area. These hot springs are also considered to be the natural saunas in Rwanda. The natives consider these hot springs to be curing many diseases since they have some minerals within the hot waters.

Hiking tours

The lake has many surrounding hills and these features offer an opportunity for travelers on their Rwanda safari to go hiking. While doing this hiking, you will have the chance to have aerial views of this amazing lake. During the hike, the travelers will be able to see some small primates in the forests on the hill like the vervet monkeys, white colobus monkeys, and many others. The other view that one gets during the hike is the community on the other side of the lake.

Aquatic adventures

While on the Rwanda safari, this lake offers several aquatic adventures since the water in the lake is so calm for these activities. The major activities on this lake include jet skiing, kayaking, speed boat rides, boat cruises, and many others. While enjoying the aquatic adventures on Lake Kivu, you will be able to see some bird species around the green islands. This activity offers an adrenaline rush and offering a memorable experience on their Rwanda safari.

Where to Stay on a safari to Lake Kivu?

Lake Kivu

The accommodation facilities in Lake Kivu are positioned in a way that they offer amazing scenic views of the lake. The facilities on the lake offer one of the best comforts for travelers in Rwanda. These facilities range in luxury, midrange, and standard or budget accommodation. Most of the lodges are overlooking the lake.

Luxury accommodation facilities offer high-end services that are desirable services for travelers on their Rwanda safari. These facilities include; the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, Gorillas Lake Kivu Hotel, and many more.

Midrange accommodation facilities are the facilities that offer budget and not-too-expensive services to travelers on their safaris. Usually, these facilities create value for money for the services offered. They include; Paradise Malahide, Palm Beach Resort, and many others.

Budget accommodation facilities are sometimes considered as low-end facilities that usually offer services to travelers on a tight budget during their Rwanda safari. These facilities include; Planet Hotel, Beach Gardens, Macheco Resort, and many others.

What is the best time to visit Lake Kivu?

The lake is open for travelers on their Rwanda safari throughout the year. The best time to visit Lake Kivu is in the dry months of the year. That is to say June to September and December to February. During this period, the area has the best t scenic views, with dry vegetation and clear skies.  Additionally, in the wet season, there are usually high water levels and thick vegetation which affects the exploration.  On the other hand, the wet season is also available for the visit to Lake Kivu. During this period, there is less traffic, travelers get a more personalized experience since it is usually a low season.  Accommodation facilities lower their prices in low seasons making it the best time to visit Lake Kivu for budget travelers.

How to get there?

Lake Kivu can be accessed by either air or road transport in Rwanda from Kigali city. Using the road, you have a drive through the tarmacked roads of Rwanda where you will spend 3 hours while traveling to Lake Kivu. The lake can be accessed in the areas of Gisenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangugu. On the other hand, the lake can be accessed by air transport where travelers on their Rwanda safari are required to book a chartered domestic flight from Kigali airport to the Gisenyi airstrip. On arrival at the Gisenyi airstrip, you will be transferred to Lake Kivu for exploration by road.

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