Safari Overview

Located in western Rwanda, is the country’s largest lake and sixth largest in Africa. The surrounding highlands and the neighboring old town of Rubavu (formally Gisenyi), contributes to the uniqueness and vibrant nature of the place.

Our 3 day/2 nights Kivu trip is an ideal escape or add-on before or after a long trip to the rest Rwanda’s National Parks. If you are booked for conference, scheduled Wildlife trip or any business travel to Rwanda, it’s highly recommended that you plan for 3 extra days and visit Lake Kivu.

The Kivu escape holiday is also a perfect relaxation fit for residents who wish to spend some time out Kigali.

Other than simply relaxing by the only sand beach in the region, Adventure Consults will make arrangements for other interesting activities which among others incude Boat cruises, Kayaking, community tours, spot Fishing and cycling. Take a walk in the old town of Rubavu, visit the markets, orphanages, nightlife and enjoy the sunsets.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1: Kiagli – Drive to Lake Kivu – Sunset cocktails.
Day 2: Lake Kivu Exploration – Boat Cruise and afternoon Village/Community walk.
Day 3: Depart Lake Kivu – cave walk enroute – return to Kigali City.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Kigali City Tour- Drive to Lake Kivu.

Adventure Consults safari guide will meet you at your residence or hotel. Have a briefing and start your trip to Rwanda’s only resort town of Rubavu surrounded by Lake Kivu.

The drive will take about 5 to 6 hours, while driving through the rolling hills and the far-flung Virunga Volcanoes.

With stops at places of interest, proceed to the shores of Lake Kivu, arriing in tine time for lunch.

Located on the border of Rwanda & Democratic Republic of Congo, the 2370-square-kilometer Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes and the largest Lake in Rwanda. The Lake was formed by Volcanic activity about 1-5 million years ago and boasts a shoreline of 860 kilometers with beautiful Resorts and beaches. The Lake and its basin have about 6 mammal species, 6 reptile species, and 5 Amphibian species. Also, over 300 bird species have been recorded around the area. Lake Kivu’s Islands, the surrounding vegetation and pockets of green gardens gives this place a very spectacular and unique look. Besides being the best place to unwind, it’s where you will enjoy the freshest local fish while in Rwanda.

This afternoon, you have an option to go Kayaking and get to explore the pristine coastline while immersing yourself in the breathtaking scenery, gazing up at the magnificent mountainous backdrop and the calm waters.

After a road drive, you may opt for a guided tour of Rubavu town (formerly known as Gisenyi) and visit the Nyamyumba Hot springs (a place people from different corners of Rwanda go for natural healing from ailments). The town walk will take you towards the open-air central market with fresh fruits, interact with the local communities, have a drink in the local bars and restaurants, get a feel of how people in this area spend their evening hours.

After an afternoon of water adventure or town walk, return to the lakeside and relax by the shores of Kivu. This is the best spot for magnificent golden hour as the sun dips in the highlands of Congo and far East of Rwanda’s forests.

Meals and Overnight accommodation included at the Lodge.

Standard inclusions: All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner).

Standard exclusions: All drinks.

Day 2: Lake Kivu boat Cruise – Afternoon fishing adventure.

Have a relaxed start of the day and later transfer to the pier for a midmorning boat cruise on Lake Kivu. The private cruise is by small intimate motor-boats providing opportunities for accessing the lake shores. These are also the best boats for people and nature photography.

The boat cruise takes a smooth ride towards stunning Islands and the fishing villages. The most popular islands on Lake Kivu are Napoleon and Nyamirundi.

If you love Birds, Lake Kivu is the right place! Over 300 bird species have been recorded here!  Look out for African fish eagles, Grey-crowned Cranes, African Openbill, Saddle-billed stork, Great white and pink-backed pelicans, Spur-winged Goose, White-backed Duck, Great cormorants, Water thick-knees among others.

Lunch will be at the lodge or can opt to have local dishes in one of the restaurants in Rubavu town.

In the afternoon, you have an option of visiting the Imbabazi Orphanage. This center was founded in 1994 by Carr Rosamond (a great friend and confidant of Dian Fossey).  Rosa established the orphanage on her Flower plantation on the foothills of Virunga Mountains and was named “Imbabazi” because it was meant to provide Love and Care a mother can give. The orphanage took care of children who lost their parents during the Rwanda Genocide.

The Site is now dedicated to continuing Roz Carr’s legacy of nurturing and empowering children as well as the local community through skills training, education and income generation.

Later in the afternoon, you may relax at the lodge or go for a sunset cruise and watch the fishermen cast their nets. Alternatively, you may participate in the traditional fishing activity. This will depend on the season. Local fishing involve casting of nets as fishermen row in unison while singing and whistling songs of courage. Gas lanterns are normally used to attract fish to the nets.

Meals and Overnight accommodation included at the Lodge.
Standard inclusions: All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner).
Standard exclusions: All drinks.

Day 3: Lake Kivu – Kigali

After breakfast, trace your footsteps back to Kigali.

Depending on your day’s schedule, you may have a tour of Musanze Caves. The 2-kilometer-long Cave is one of the 52 Caves within the Northern Province of Rwanda. Musanze Cave has over 31 entrances, some being roof collapses but the main Cave has a huge entrance, about the size of a Cathedral. It might look like an ordinary Cave to the ordinary person, but holds a significant history. The cave was used as shelter during wartime for several Centuries and was also a massacre site during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

The Musanze Cave tour lasts anywhere between one and a half hours.

Have a cup of coffee or an early lunch in Musanze, and proceed to Kigali. Drop at your residence or hotel.

If you have an early afternoon connecting flight out of Kigali today, a tour of the caves may not possible. Overall, ensure your flight is scheduled to depart not earlier than 1400 hours, bearing in mind that check-in time for international flights is 3 hours in advance.

Accommodation options in and around Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu has got a variety of accommodation options. These range from high-end luxury resorts, Midrange to budget. Most of the facilities have got views of Lake Kivu, the beautiful Islands or views of the vibrant Rubavu town.

It’s your vacation to Lake Kivu, so Adventure Consults’ team will discuss with you all accommodation options and you pick out what suites your interest and budget! Here are a few options, and happy to discuss others.

  • Lake Kivu Serena Hotel.
  • Palm Garden Resort.
  • Galaxy Kivu Hotel.
  • Nirvana Heights and Resort Paradise.
  • Paradise Malahide.