Kayaking on Lake Kivu Rwanda

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Kayaking on Lake Kivu Rwanda

Exploring the coastline of Lake Kivu by kayak is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the scenery, gazing up at the mountainous backdrop from the tranquility of the water.

Birds dart in and out of the bushes whilst fisherman mends their nets on the shore in the daytime. At sunset, the local fishermen paddle out in unison, their rousing song carrying across the water, to return the next morning with their catch.

The clear, clean lake has an irregular shoreline, with plenty of sandy beaches, as well as little islands to investigate. There are no hippos or crocodiles, making for safe paddling.

Various waterside hotels have water sports equipment, including Cormoran Lodge and Mariah Hills, both in Karongi, as well as Serena Hotel in Rubavu.

Where to Kayak from in Lake Kivu Rwanda

Lake Kivu is a Lake shared between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and on the Rwandan side the lake covers three, major towns of Gisenyi, Karongi, and Rusizi which offer relaxing beaches resorts, and water sport for travelers.


Gisenyi is a town on the north shore of Lake Kivu, in north-western Rwanda’s Rubavu district. Beach resorts line the lake’s sandy waterfront, and kayaks ply its clear waters. From Gisenyi, the long-distance, lakeside Congo Nile Trail winds through hilly terrain, passing villages, waterfalls, and tea and coffee plantations. East of town, Gishwati-Mukura National Park’s rainforests are home to chimpanzees and monkeys.


Karongi is a district in Western Province, Rwanda. Its capital is Rubengera, but the district also contains Kibuye, Rwanda, the provincial capital and a major Rwandan lakeside resort


Rusizi is a district in Western Province, Rwanda. Its capital is Cyangugu, the major city of the Rwandan south-west and the district contains large parts of the former Cyangugu Province.

Best time to visit Lake Kivu Rwanda

Lake Kivu is a year-round destination, however, the best time to visit is during the long dry season from June to September and the short dry season from mid-December to mid-February. During these months the weather is perfect for sunbathing on the sandy beaches, swimming in the lake, or enjoying water-based activities including kayaking and boat excursions. The dry months also offer ideal conditions for hiking and mountain biking in the lush hills.

The long rains occur from March to May, with April being particularly wet, and the short rains occur from October until the beginning of December. If you visit Lake Kivu during the wet seasons you can expect short heavy showers interspersed with sunshine, rather than continuous rain throughout the day. The rains bring a burst of new vegetation to the region and the landscape surrounding Lake Kivu becomes lush and beautiful.

Where to stay in Lake Kivu

Different areas provide different accommodation location here are our 3 picks from the 3 beach zones along the Lake Kivu belt.

Gisenyi beach area

Lake Kivu Serena hotel

Lake Kivu Serena Hotel celebrates the shores of this African Great Lake as a destination of astonishing beauty, where pristine beaches and the sparkling waters of Africa’s sixth largest lake come together in breath-taking fashion. Your arrival is greeted by a bright, open-plan lobby giving way to a private stretch of beach reserved exclusively for hotel guests. We welcome you to experience unparalleled warmth, hospitality, and relaxation at our tropically inspired hotel in Gisenyi, Rwanda.

Karongi beach area

Cormoran Hotel

A newly luxury Lodge built right at the shores of Lake Kivu, the beautiful lake of turquoise blue, among the most prestigious destinations of Africa.

This Lodge has five cabins and a restaurant built entirely of wood.
You will enjoy a breathtaking view of the lake and the surrounding islands from any of our 7 rooms.
From the VIP cabin, you can see the fiery crater of the Nyiragongo volcano in Congo.

Our team will be delighted to welcome you and ensure you a pleasant stay.

Rusizi beach area

Emeraude Kivu Resort 

One of the few accommodation options, and the most comfortable option in the southern region around Kamembe, Emeraude Kivu Resort serves up panoramic vistas of the lesser-visited southern waters of Lake Kivu, scattered with small forested islands against a backdrop of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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