Details

Details of Lake Kivu

While Rwanda may not have the Kenya Coast or Zanzibar, it’s still possible to take a beach escape in the Land of 1,000 Hills. Beautiful Lake Kivu is one of Africa’s Great Lakes and the go-to destination for locals and tourists alike looking for some rest and relaxation.

Ideally located as a stopping point between the gorillas of Volcanoes National Park and the chimpanzees of Nyungwe Forest National Park, Lake Kivu is a great place to spend a few days just soaking in the serenity of one of Africa’s most beautiful regions. With kayaking, cultural tours, and boat tours on offer, you’ll have plenty to do when you’re not relaxing by the pool.

The shores of Lake Kivu are dotted with resorts, five-star hotels, backpackers, and family-friendly hotels for all budgets, so why not add a day or two for relaxation before you return to reality.

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It is the deepest fresh water lake in Africa, with average depth of 240m (787ft), maximum depth 480 m (1,575ft). Its maximum length is 89 km (55mi) and maximum width is 48 km (30 mi). Its surface area is 2,700 km squared (1,040 sq mi),  the water volume is 500 km³ (120 cu mi), surface elevation 1,460m (4,790 ft). 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. The lake bed sits upon a rift valley that is slowly being pulled apart, causing volcanic activity in the area, and making it particularly deep, its maximum depth of 480 m (1,575 ft) is ranked fifteenth in the world. The lake is surrounded by majestic mountains.

Lake Kivu is surrounded by beautiful beaches, peninsulars and beautiful islands like the  Idjwi, Goma (Congo), Bukavu (Congo) forming an archipelago. The world's tenth-largest inland island lies in Lake Kivu.

The Lake was first visited by German Count Adolf von Gotzen in 1894. Since then it has maintained a historical importance for been caught up in the conflict between Hutu and Tutsi people in Rwanda, and their allies in DR Congo, which led to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and the first and second Congo wars. Lake Kivu gained notoriety as a place where many of the victims of the genocide were dumped.

Methane extraction

Lake Kivu has recently been found to contain approximately 55 billion cubic metres (72 billion cubic yards) of dissolved methane gas at a depth of 300 metres (1,000 ft). Until 2004, extraction of the gas was done on a small scale, with the extracted gas being used to run boilers at a brewery, the Bralirwa in Gisenyi.

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Short Overview

Lake Kivu is among the Great lakes of Africa. It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, and is in the Albertine (western) Rift, a part of the Great Rift Valley. Lake Kivu empties into the Ruzizi River, which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika.


A day trip to Lake Kivu is a fantastic way to enjoy a little peace and quiet. Your trip may visit Gisyeni or Kibuye town.


In Kibuye, your visit can include a boat cruise to some of the lake’s islands to see the local fruit bat population and enjoy the quiet.


Visitors to Gisyeni can pay a visit to the local hot springs, enjoy a cultural visit to a traditional fishing village, or simply having lunch and relax on the shores of the lake.


 

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