Lake Kivu Tourist Attractions

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Shared between Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, lake Kivu is one of the fresh water bodies in east and central Africa. It’s the largest water body in Rwanda covering an area of 2,700-kilometer squares. This water body is a perfect place for swimming because its hippo and bilharzia free. Lake Kivu is the 6th largest lake on the African continent and has three major towns of Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu. These are well-developed towns and are visited by many tourists. On visit to lake Kivu, a tourist can engage in various activities that include the following.

Swimming
Lake Kivu is a fresh water body that is crocodile free, hippo free and bilharzia free. The water in lake Kivu has a cool temperature and all those who would want to cool down especially on a hot day are free to jump in the lake and relax.
There are beautiful beaches along the lakeshores with fine sand where one can relax in the mild sun after having a great swim in the lake.
Better swimming points can be got from the major towns of Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu.

Hiking and biking along the shores
A walk in Rwanda is always exciting and doing it on the beaches of lake Kivu can be the best decision one can ever make. Hiking is a good exercise that can be enjoyed by tourists after a safari or those on a honeymoon. With great views of the fresh water body, a walk at the shores of lake with cool breezes from the waves will give you a remarkable and unforgettable experience.

Water trips and cruising
This can be done on local dug out canoes or using engine boats. Cruising on this fresh water body enables one to discover more of the land of a thousand hills. Excursion boat rides can be made within a few meters of the lake even while having dinner while other longer trips can be made to the major islands in the lake especially the Napoleon and Amahoro island. Relaxing on cruises and water trips on the lake makes one somehow forget about their problems and feel home away from home.

A visit to Nyamirundi Island
This island is near Gisenyi and a lot of coffee growing and processing is done around the area. A visit to the island enables one to learn about the whole coffee growing process and get a chance to taste the locally processed and made coffee. There are also other crops grown on the island like bananas and other major food crops. The island provides beautiful views of the terraced gently sloping islands covered with coffee and banana plantations.

A visit to the Imbabazi orphanage
The orphanage was set up by the late Rosamond Carr to take care of the children who were left orphans by the terrible Rwandese genocide. Carr had lived in Rwanda for some time and was a close friend to Dian Fossey a mountain gorilla conservationist.
During the genocide, the orphanage had to be moved from one place to another due to insecurity reasons however after the genocide in 1994, it was permanently moved back to Gisenyi and at that time the orphanage was a home to over 400 orphans.
The orphanage was reconstructed and well built and today it has beautiful gardens, has a restaurant that prepares classic and standard food and also provides great views of the Virunga volcanoes in the background.

Wind surfing and other water sports
The waters of lake Kivu have waves that support water sports activities like windsurfing, kayaking, speed boat rides and sport fishing. Wind surfing and kayaking equipment can be hired from around Gisenyi.

In conclusion, Lake Kivu is a fantastic tourists attraction, which one should not miss out while in the country. If you’re visiting for gorilla safari, this is a relaxing destination to top your adventure in Rwanda rewarding with a relaxing experience in the land of a thousand hills