Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes lying on the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda .It’s situated in the Albertine rift-the western arm of the East African Rift. It pours its water into River Ruzizi which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika.
Lake Kivu is approximately 90 km long and 50 km wide with an irregular shape which makes measuring its precise surface area difficult.
It’s estimated to cover a total surface area of about 2700 sq km with the surface lake sitting at a height of about 1460 metres above sea level.
The lake has a maximum depth of 475m and a mean depth of 220m which makes it the world’s 18th deepest lake by maximum depth and the 9th deepest by mean depth.
Some of the main tourist activities carried out around this lake include;
• Swimming is a common activity which is carried on this lake since the lake allows the tourists to relax and chill out as they take a swim. There are no hippos, crocodiles no Bilharzia in this lake making it perfect for swimming. This is mainly because the temperatures of the water are favorable for the swimmers.
• Relaxation along the shores of Lake Kivu is the perfect thing to do especially after having a gorilla trek in the volcanoes national park or a volcano hike as well as chimpanzee trekking. Chilling out along the shores of Lake Kivu makes a memorable end of your safari in Rwanda. Many holiday makers relax while enjoying the tropical sun, reading books or viewing the beautiful scenery of the lake. The lake is also surrounded by fishing boats, beautiful breeze of the lake as well as mountains. The lake provides the best scenic views ever while relaxing along its shores.
• Water sports are so common along Lake Kivu since there are many water activities that can be engaged in by the holiday makers. Some of these include; water skiing, wind surfing, wind surfing, paddling and enjoying a motor boat on the lake. Fishing is also a common activity on Lake Kivu.
• Hiking and biking alongside the shores of Lake Kivu is perfect for many holiday makers. The hikes can be one to half day as well as nature walks. Tourists can be able to venture out the new developed Nile Congo trails, village visits and cultural interactions hence getting an enticing experience. Climbing and biking of hills around is the lake is also a common activity.
• There are many coffee plantations around the environs of lake Kivu and these can be enjoyed by the tourists by taking a boat cruise on the lake to Nyamirundi Island. You can be able to learn the whole process of coffee making starting from stage one to the last stage. You even get chance to test the last product. This experience is so good for those interested in agro- tourism.
• The Imbabazi Orphanage is so situated around Lake Kivu and it was started by Rosamond who lived in the Mugongo area. She started a flower garden which supplied flowers to the nearby hotels and guest houses. This orphanage was started in 1994 in Gisenyi and it mainly works with children. It attracts many tourists who visit Lake Kivu as well as Rwanda.
• Many holiday makers are attracted to the beautiful sandy beaches around Lake Kivu and these encourage relaxation due to the cool breeze and natural waves. The beaches are surrounded by mountains that make it an outstanding sight and a perfect place to relax. Many gorilla trekkers relax along these beaches to cool off.