It’s Rwanda Week here at Ker & Downey. We’re taking an in-depth look at the ins and outs of traveling to Rwanda and the incredible country that has become one of Africa’s greatest success stories. Today we are taking a look at Lake Kivu, one of Rwanda’s best kept secrets.
Lake Kivu is one of the African great lakes and one of Rwanda’s best kept secrets. It’s part of a string of freshwater lakes in Africa’s Great Rift Valley. Shifting rifts in the volcanic area contribute to the significant depth of Lake Kivu, which is the world’s 18th deepest lake.
The lake creates Rwanda’s western border and is surrounded by mountains, outcrops of rocks, and beautiful green terraced tea plantations, which create some truly stunning scenery. It’s split by the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is very close – just south of lake. It’s easy to make a stop, and well-worth your time, to sample Sambaza or enjoy a Primus beer (Rwanda’s locally brewed national beer) on the shores overlooking the lake before continuing onto Nyungwe Forest Lodge. Cyangugu, at the southern end of Lake Kivu, is just 45 minutes away from the park.
Head to some of the small towns on the shores of the freshwater lake like Gesenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangugu to feel the sand beneath your toes or to dip your feet in the turquoise waters while watching fishermen bring in their daily catch of Tanganyika sardines, Nile tilapia, catfish, and barbel. In Gesenyi, you’ll get the freshest Sambaza, a local delicacy of fried sardines. There aren’t any hippos or crocs in the lake, so you can safely swim or take a boat out for a different view of the beautiful country of Rwanda.