Lake Kivu, a volcanic lake, lies on the border between Rwandan (east) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (West). The city of Gisenyi lies just on the border and from there you can get fantastic view Rwanda’s famous volcanoes and the DRC on the other side of the lake. This is also a great area for those who like water sports as you can rent small boats to go on the lake. For bird lovers, Lake Kivu is a treasure: you will see a very large variety of birds, including multicoloured humming birds, macaws, African Grey Crowned Cranes and the magnificent Rockefeller’s Sunbird. For the more adventures ones, go across the border into Goma (DRC) for a day. It is a very different sight - imagine UN peacekeepers, Red Cross trucks and ruins - compared to the peaceful atmosphere of Gisenyi but it is an inspiring experience nonetheless. Or you can just lie on the small beach and enjoy the sun.
One tip, if you want a fantastic view of the lake take a car, motorbike or small taxi-bus to Rubona, home of Bralirwa breweries and the main harbour to Gisenyi (it lies of a six kilometres away from Gisenyi town centre). First enjoy the scenic route then stop at the Brewery and walk around towards the water. This little bay area is much more peaceful then Gisenyi. You are away from the fancy hotels and gated houses around the lake (they sometimes make it difficult to go next to the water). Look at the small fishing pirogues, enjoy an African tea and caramelized pineapple at one of the few small hotel/cafes there (such as Paradis Malahide, B.P 535, Rubona, Gisenyi) and just contemplate the lake, the fauna and flora for a couple of hours. There are supposed to be hot springs in the area as well. Some tourists have managed to find them, others not. Locals had no idea what we were talking about.
three and half hours from Kigali by bus.
Google map: tinyurl.com/32nwbqj
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