Location: Albertine Rift, West of Rwanda

Area: 2,700 km2


Lake Kivu formed as a result of volcanic activity about a 1-5million years ago as part of Africa’s Great Rift Valley in the west of Rwanda surrounded by magnificent mountains and deep emerald green waters covering an area of 2,700km2.  Lake Kivu is Rwanda’s largest lake and the sixth largest in Africa approx. 90km (56mi) long and 50km (31mi) at its widest, one of the African Great Lakes.

Bordering between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, and is in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. Lake Kivu empties into the Ruzizi River, which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika. The surface of the lake sits at a height of 1,460meters (4,790 ft) above sea level.

The Lake has a chance of suffering a limnic eruption every 1000years a maximum depth of 475m      (1,558 ft) and a mean depth of 220 m (722 ft), making it the world’s eighteenth deepest lake by maximum depth, and the ninth deepest by mean depth. The world’s tenth- largest Island in a Lake, Idjwi, lies in Lake Kivu, within the boundaries of Virunga National Park.

The lake bed sits upon a rift valley that is slowly being pulled apart, causing volcanic activity in the area.  Previously known as Gisenyi – Rubavu is a large town on the northern edge of Lake Kivu, an hour’s drive from Volcanoes National Park and the perfect place to relax after gorilla trekking. This was once a colonial beach resort with a waterfront lined with fading old mansions, hotels, and trendy bars on the lakeshore, ideal for sundowner cocktails.

Karongi is a popular beach resort with hillsides covered in pines and eucalyptus serving as a backdrop to the sparkling lake, the sound of local fishermen singing carries across the water as they paddle in unison at dawn and dusk.  From Rubavu in the north, the Congo Nile Trail extends 277kms of breathtaking landscapes all the way to Rusizi in the south of Lake Kivu.

The Uniqueness of this Park

  • Lake Kivu sits on a rift valley that keeps pulling apart, which causes volcanic activity in the area.
  • Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes.

Accommodation Options

  • Cleo Lake Kivu Hotel (14 air-conditioned Luxury suites with en-suite bathrooms and a Private Villa that has 4 Luxury suites).
  • Cormoran Lodge (seven cozy rooms that are essentially wooden cabins).
  • Lake Kivu Serena Hotel (66-room).
  • Gorillas Lake Kivu Hotel (twelve spacious and elegant rooms built-in with stone and modern comfort).

Activities at the Destination

Kayaking on Lake Kivu, Boat tour on Lake Kivu, Mountain biking, Hiking, Bird Watching, beach, beach volleyball, beach soccer, visiting tours to Gisenyis Imbabazi orphanage, Sports Fishing, Visiting plantation farms, and the singing fishermen.

Bird Watching

Chimpanzee Trekking

Cultural Tour

Game Drive

Golden Monkey Tracking

Gorilla trekking

Guided Walking Safaris

Photographic Safaris