Situated in the western side of Rwanda, is Karongi that lies on the Lake shores of Kivu. Lake Kivu is of the largest fresh water Lake in remarkable Rwanda, and covers an area of 1042 square miles/2699 square kilometers and is about 1460 meters above sea level high. However, that is still not the interesting news to share but actually, the Karongi Islands are what you cannot afford to miss visiting. Located at about 110 kilometers from Kigali Town, Karongi is made up of 16 breathtaking Islands and Peninsulas found on Lake Kivu in Gisenyi and are perfect for relaxation, chilling and romantic spots in seclusion. Of all the 16 wonderful Islands and Peninsulas, some of them are relatively smaller and less important/popular than others, but the most renowned ones include;
Nyakarwa is a very small Peninsula found within Lake Kivu and is a perfect destination for bird enthusiasts. This magnificent Peninsula is certainly the destination for tourists interested in bird watching especially in an authentic and secluded setting. Birding in this site starts from the offices at Bwishura sector in the western Province of Rwanda. There are clear and well maintained birding trails that will be followed and lead tourists through the Shores of Lake Kivu in a stunning and recreational nature walk.
Mpembe Island lies near Mpembe Peninsula Footpath and both of them are linked to each other by a bridge which you can access to enjoy the breathtaking views of Lake Kivu. Mpembe Island can also be reached by boat from Kibuye and this rewards tourists with the opportunity to relish the spectacular views of Lake Kivu and the other surrounding Islands.
Munini Island (Napoleon Island)
Munini Island is commonly known as Napoleon’s Island and derived its name from the fact that the shape of the Island is similar to Napoleon’s Hat-popularly known as “Bicorne”. What makes this Island even more popular and worth visiting are the bat colonies, numerous bird species and some monkeys. It is a perfect destination for a short holiday to unwind and escape from the noisy environments.
Amahoro Island is privately owned and is enclosed by several Islands. Presently, the Island is being developed into a wonderful tourist destination with camping grounds and facilities, bar and restaurant, boat trips for tourists interested in exploring the waters of Lake Kivu, fishing, kayaking, swimming and other adrenaline packed activities. Most interestingly, Amahoro Island is perfect for birding, which can be conducted on the Island hence making it a bird watcher’s paradise and place to be.
Mpembe Peninsula Footpath
This wonderful peninsular footpath presents a 4 kilometer exhilarating nature walk that allows tourists to explore some of the gifts of nature. The Peninsula is only accessible by boat from Kibuye. Much as it is a privately owned property, the destination is perfect for camping and bird watching.
In conclusion, after the tiring wildlife safaris in Rwanda you can visit one of the Karongi Islands and Peninsulas with Lake Kivu that will allow you to relax and unwind in authentically beautiful environments and reward you will wonderful views of the monkeys and bird species on the Islands.