There are many freshwater lakes in the valleys of Rwanda and Lake Kivu is the largest, forming part of the African Great Lakes. It is also one of the world's only 3 exploding lakes. The lake is set amid the dramatic mountains of the Rift Valley with the Virungas to the north, its irregular shores form numerous inlets and peninsulas and a myriad of forest-fringed waterfalls. Steep terraced hills lead down to the very picturesque lake shore and the towns of Cyangugu, Kibuye and Gisenyi, which are stopping points to relax, swim or take a boat excursion. They also form ideal transit points between the primate tracking destinations of Nyungwe Forest National Park, and the Volcanoes National Park.
On holidays to Lake Kivu cruise on the ultra-modern Umunezero luxury boat, kayak, hire a small boat and visit local fishing islands/villages, or simply lie on the beach. In the evenings, from Gisenyi visitors can gaze at the red glow atop the Nyiragongo volcano across the border in the DRC. It is still active! There are numerous other lakes around the country, notably Burera, Ruhondo, Muhazi and Mugesera, some with strangely erratic shapes in the contours of the steep mountains enclosing them.
Our favourite itineraries, showcasing the best of Lake Kivu
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