Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is among the popular lakes in Rwanda and the largest of all.  Lake kivu is one of the major highlights of a Rwanda safari.

Lake Kivu is found in Rwanda valleys, positioned in the Western Albertine rift of the Great Rift Valley. This lake is at the altitude of 1461m (4.790 ft), making it Africa’s highest lake, in north shore of it is prone to eruptions from the close-by Mountain Nyiragongo. Lake Kivu bed sits upon a rift valley, gradually being separated apart, bringing volcanic eruptions in the area as evidenced by volcanic eruptions of Mountain Nyiragongo in the past year.  The 2002 eruption in Democratic Republic of Congo cost the lives of a thousand people and properties.

Staying at the sand beaches of Lake Kivu is awesome! Family vacations, Honeymoon trips and so on take place on Lake Kivu beached. Tour operators are advised to include Lake kivu safaris in all their safari packages.

Lake Kivu has white sand suitable for relaxation and sun bathing.  These make the lake an paramount destination for a Rwanda holiday enjoyment. With Lake Kivu’s serene fineness and soothing wave sounds, roaring upon the white sand and shady giant trees, all add a different vacation beach experience. With numerous hotels and lodges positioned along its shorelines, Lake Kivu is a place to have delightful meals and drinks during relaxation at water edges.

Lake Kivu offers one of the most enjoyable boat safaris in East and central Africa! You can board a speed boat to visit different islands on this lake or you can use a canoe boat depending on your budget.

During the amazing boat ride, one can track progress across the stunning lake using Google Maps on your smart phone. When having a boat ride, you will have scenery passing by you consisting of green hills, covered with homes and coffee plantations. While on the boat, you can visit the hot spring sites, Napoleon Islands and so on. After few hours, you will return to the shore for chilling while taking a drink- meals will also be waiting for you. Usually Lake Kivu tour is a supplementary activity after gorilla trekking, Dian Fossey Hike or Golden Monkey tracking in the Volcanoes National Park. It may also be visited after a wonderful tour of Nyungwe Forest National Park in the southern parts of Rwanda.

While at Lake Kivu shores, you can stay at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, Pardise Malahide Hotel, Comooran Hotel and so on. There are luxury, deluxe and Budget accommodation basing on your budget and interest.

Developing Lake Kivu as a Tourism Destination

On the heels of the regional tripartite single tourism visa system, stakeholders in the sector have embarked on a striving plan to repair the potential of Lake Kivu to boost sector revenue. The officials said that the improving tourism infrastructure around Lake Kivu, in Western Province, will boost the tourism industry in the country thus increasing revenues from the sector.

Lake Kivu is arguably one of the most beautiful water bodies in the region, offering wonderful sceneries exemplified in the radiant panorama the lake affords a viewer checking out the surrounding lush and hills. For all water lovers as in those take-up by the water related activities, Lake Kivu takes to the coffee island where you will witness the beautiful sights and sounds of the hot springs.

In addition, though the tourism industry in Rwanda is promising, tourism around Lake Kivu is still not fully exploited and still needs to be revamped, according to officials. Relating to the head of tourism at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Rica Rwigamba who said that domestic tourism in the areas surrounding Lake Kivu is quite developed, although there is need to bring in more tourists. That will require diversifying products available alongside the lake and improving infrastructure, mainly the hospitality industry.

The apparent need to revamp tourism in the area and boost its revenue is what pushed the government to commission a study on which activities could stimulate the flow of local and international tourists to the western part of the country.

The study, commissioned by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and RDB, took over a year to complete and was conducted by German experts. He said that The Kivu-belt tourism sub-master plan, as the study is known, was developed in order to transform the region around Kivu into one of the most competitive tourist destinations in the region. If other countries adopt the same policy too, then tourism will be praised worldwide for its great dids as it supports all kinds of people involved from the local community.

Furthermore, the Kivu belt adds to the existing Congo-Nile trail, about two hundred thirty kilometer stretch from Rubavu to Rusizi districts via Karongi and Nyamasheke districts in Western Province. The 10 days hiking trail offers many delights for a tourist, such as coffee and tea routes and natural beaches along the shores of Lake Kivu, among others. It also adds to Nyungwe National Park, in the south-western part of the country, which offers tracking chimpanzees and bird watching, and canopy walk, among others.

Rwigamba said the Kivu belt is a good addition to the existing tourism products because people will be able to do different tourism activities in this region such as bird watching, sightseeing mention but a few.