Rwanda is a small land locked country located in the heart of East Africa and literally in the middle of African continent. Despite its minute size, Rwanda has all it takes to make your African holiday memorable. With a profusion of white sandy beaches, lavish accommodation facilities, varsity of wildlife, sprawling landscapes and extremely warm people, Rwanda is beyond just mountain gorillas.
Rwanda has the most hospitable people any traveler will ever meet. Despite the genocide tragedy they faced, the people have become positive and remained strong; a trait that you will see in the faces of these people on just sighting them. Even if Rwanda has majorly been sold as a gorilla safari destination and the land of a thousand hills, it has hidden treasures that have not been fully explored. From the Musanze caves, wildlife in Akagera national park and the sparkling Lake Kivu.
The fact that Rwanda has several water bodies like lakes and rivers, it has more to offer to those travelers looking for extremely relaxed holidays. These include Lake Ihema, Kivu, numerous crater lakes and quite a notable number of rivers that traverse all corners of the country.
The beauty of Lake Kivu has been denied maximum attention yet it is one of the African Great Lakes. It is located on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lake Kivu is Rwanda’s largest and the sixth largest lake in Africa but still brings in fewer tourists than expected, perhaps because no one has taken enough effort to explain its splendor.
A safari in Rwanda furnishes a unique opportunity to scout Lake Kivu’s irregular shores that form a number of peninsulas and countless waterfalls. Its location within the great Albertine rift, Lake Kivu is surrounded by various mountain peaks covered with lush vegetation, all making the scenery so beautiful to sight.
Lake Kivu is home to both the 10th biggest inland island, Idjwi and a small island of Tshegera lying on the boundaries of Virunga National park. Unlike other lakes that are fed by outside inlets, Lake Kivu is served by underground water.
The best moment of a safari to Lake Kivu is driving through the towns around the lake. The appealing meandering route between Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park where the road curves back and forth across the Congo-Nile trail, stretching from Gisenyi to Changugu boarder in Bukavu.
Each corner bumped into gives you another charming view. Wavings and smiles of the by stander making you feel like a royal at the end of your Rwanda safari to Lake Kivu. The children ceaselessly calling out “Abazungu!” a Kinyarwanda word referring to “white people” as you drive past them. The whole experience is unimaginable and humbling.
Along the lake shores, tourists have amazing and relaxing speed boat rides. Cool off from the stunning drive through the hills with a refreshing ride on Lake Kivu; Rwanda’s largest fresh water lake.
Visiting Lake Kivu can be a perfect complementary to a gorilla safari. Having trekked the endangered mountain gorillas in Volcanoes national park, experienced the Ib’yiwachu cultural village as well as the Musanze caves, now relax at the beautiful yet simple beaches of Lake Kivu.
One of the few places in Rwanda where you will breathe in fresher and fairly warm air unlike the one in the volcanoes.
Rwanda is indeed a beautiful country with lots of amazing things to sight and experience. And if anywhere close or within the country, Lake Kivu should definitely be on your bucket list.