Lake Kivu


Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes. It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, and is in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. Lake Kivu empties into the Ruzizi River, which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika.

Lake Kivu is a fresh water lake and one of three known exploding lakes,The lake covers a total surface area of some 2,700 km2 (1,040 sq mi) and stands at a height of 1,460 metres (4,790 ft) above sea level. Some 1 370 km2 or 58% of the lake’s waters lie within DRC borders.


The lake bed sits upon a rift valley that is slowly being pulled apThe world’s tenth-largest inland island, Idjwi, lies in Lake Kivu, as does the tiny island of Tshegera, which also lies within the boundaries of Virunga National Park; while settlements on its shore include Bukavu, Kabare, Kalehe, Sake and Goma in Congo and Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu in, causing volcanic activity in the area,

The risk posed by Lake Kivu began to be understood during the analysis of more recent events at Lake Nyos. Lake Kivu’s methane was originally thought to be merely a cheap natural resource for export, and for the generation of cheap power.


You can visit lake Kivu as part of your Rwanda safari itinerary or for a weekend if you work and live in Rwanda. It is an extraordinarily beautiful inland sea enclosed by steep, green terraced hills and Islands. It is easily accessible from Kigali and all the national parks i.e. Volcanoes national park (Rwanda gorilla safaris, golden monkey trekking, birding & hiking), Nyungwe forest national park (chimpanzee tracking, colobus monkeys, canopy walk and birding), and Akagera national park (game drives, boat trips & birding). It is located on the tourism circuit making it an ideal stopover while you explore Rwanda.