Hemmed in by lofty hills and so large in size that it appears at first glance as more of an inland sea, Lake Kivu is the perfect peaceful pit stop between thrilling primate hikes in Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park. Relax on its sandy banks with the surrounding pine-covered peaks – almost alpine in their appearance – and gaze out towards the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo across the water.
Lake Kivu has high levels of methane, which probably explains the absence of hippos and crocodiles, making it safe for swimming in. The most popular way to enjoy the lake is via the many water sports on offer. Boat trips visit some of Kivu’s islands, including Napoleon (named because it’s in the shape of his hat) and Mbabara, where you can explore its coffee plantations. You can also go canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking along its calm waters – go paddling at dusk and you’ll cruise past the lake’s iconic singing fisherman as they haul in their daily catch.
Where to Stay in Lake Kivu
Best Time to Visit Lake Kivu
Meet the Lake Kivu Specialists
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