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Lake Kivu lies on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Albertine Rift. The water from lake Kivu empties into the Ruzizi River which flows south into Lake Tanganyika. Lake Kivu is Africa's 8th largest lake as well as the 8th deepest lake in the world.

Lake Kivu has become one of the main attractions in Rwanda because of its emerald waters and the scenic mountains that surround the lake. This has made it a great area to retreat for relaxing as well as adventurous activities.

If you are planning a visit to Rwanda, Lake Kivu should be on your list - or at least highly considered. We believe it is among the 6 best places you can visit in Rwanda.


While visiting Lake Kivu in Rwanda, you can take part in any of the following activities

  • Relaxing on the beach
  • Fishing
  • Bird watching
  • Go on the Congo-Nile Trail
  • Visit Hot Springs
  • Coffee Tour
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Hiking
  • Photography
  • Cultural experiences

When To Visit

Lake Kivu can be visited at any time of the year but the best time is during the dry seasons of June to August and December to February.

The dry seasons are great for exploring the hilly landscape, relaxing on the beach as well as swimming in the lake. 

Related article: Best time to visit Rwanda

Getting There

Lake Kivu is located 100 kilometres from Kigali and the two places are connected by a good surfaced highway. It takes about 1.5 hours to drive from Kigali to any of the big towns on the shores of Lake Kivu.

There is also an option of using public transport by bus, and buses are leaving almost every hour and are much cheaper than car hire. Buses do make some brief stops along the way but wouldn't extend your time by long.

Where To Stay

There are many options for accommodation around Lake Kivu ranging from budget stays and camping to 5-star luxury in the big international hotel brands. Whether you want to camp out under the sky, or you prefer the luxury of a big-name hotel brand, you will have your choices to pick from.