Lake Kivu is the largest water body in Rwanda. Lake Kivu has the most attractive scenary with fascenating shores. Lake Kivu takes up about half of Rwanda’s western border. There are three main towns along the lakeshore – Cyangugu in the south, Kibuye in the middle and Gisenyi further north.
There are three towns on the shore like Gisenyi, in the north, was a colonial beach resort of note. Its waterfront area is lined with fading old mansions and a few old hotels plus the international standard Lake Kivu Serena Hotel. All overlooking a lovely sandy beach complete with a laid-back beach bar.
In the south, there are Kibuye is yet another probably the prettiest of the towns. If you’re visiting in August, you may catch thousands of kites here on their annual migration. The Bethanie Guesthouse and the Moriah Hill Resort both have beautifully locations on overlooking the lake. From here you can take boat trips on Lake Kivu to nearby islands: Napoleon’ Island with its’ colony of fruit bats and Amahoro Island (aptly known as one bar island as all it has on it is one bar.
At the southern end of the lake, Cyangugu (pronounced ‘Shangugu’) is an old border town whose fading façades tell of its past as a vital trading gateway. Here the Hotel du Lac is a delightfully old, reliable-but-slightly-shady institution, with a bar/restaurant where you’re guaranteed to find some offbeat characters. A more savory option is the Peace Guesthouse.
The real joy of this area is driving between the towns. The unpaved road gently curves back and forth as it weaves through hills and mountains beside the lake from Gisenyi to Cyangugu. Eucalyptus trees line the road, while every corner of the hills is terraced with bananas. Villagers smile and wave; you’ll end up with hands tired from waving, and feel like royalty at the end of the trip! Because of that, a wide variety of Rwanda holiday packages include at least one night in Gisenyi on the shores of Lake Kivu to experience the beauty of the place.