For many people, a holiday is only a real holiday when they can swim in the sea, and I am actually one of them. However, Lake Kivu is an adequate substitute.
Only an hour further west from Nyungwe National Park, a whole new world opens up: the dense rainforest disappears and Lake Kivu glistens in the light of the setting sun. Seen from one of the hills in Karongi Province, the lake looks like a fjord. There are many small islets with promising names like Monkey Island or Field Mouse Island.
You can wait and drink coffee
and drink plenty of coffee, which is grown here. If you want to learn more about the brown bean, which
is rather beige when unroasted, and about the working conditions, you can take a tour of one of the coffee plantations.
On a sunset boat tour
we chug along the green headlands towards the high mountains of the neighbouring country Congo. A glance back makes it clear why Rwanda is called the land of 1,000 hills: in the pastel light of the blue hour, the countless silhouettes of the hills and mountains stand out picturesquely against the pink sky. A full moon shines as the icing on the cake of the scenery.
Paddling around the many small islands in the golden light of the rising sun is an unforgettable experience.
The next morning Gratien - our paddling guide - is waiting for us on the shore with his kayaks before sunrise. Still a little sleepy, we paddle across the mirror-smooth lake along the shore. He shows us a hawk, which watches us with interest from a rock. I am wide awake at the latest when the sun rises over the hilltop and makes the lake shine.
Click on the first picture to start the photo gallery:
Moreover, one can see singing cows and swimming fishermen here, or was it the other way round?
The cowherds of the "floating cows" are also already in their wooden canoes. In fact, the land in Rwanda is so limited that the cowherds herd their herds from island to island by canoe through the water so that they can graze there. Of the beautifully sporting cows, not much more than their impressive horns can then be seen.
In general, sports are very important at the lake.
Whether hiking on the Congo Nile Trail, mountain biking, kayaking or swimming, there is much more to do here than just lazing on the beach ... which is of course also an option.
My tip: Stay here for a few days in one of the nice hotels directly on the lake
My favourite hotel was the Hotel Cleo right on Lake Kivu. Double room with rich breakfast on the terrace overlooking the lake from 150€. https://cleohotel.rw
The Rushel Kivu Lodge can only be reached by 4x4 car or by boat. But it has a really fantastic location directly on the lake with a beautiful sandy beach, volleyball field and restaurant with lake view. There are safari tents with integrated bathrooms.
Right next door - a 5-minute walk away - is Bonzea Coffee.
Kinunu, Rutsiro, Rwanda, Tel: +250786479478
Here you can visit the coffee plantation and factory.
And here the same in green: namely a tea factory.
Ruhengeri-Gisenyi Rd, Rubavu, Ruanda, Tel +250 786 098 239