Lakes and rivers in Rwanda

Lake Kivu

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Rwanda is situated in the region of Great Lakes and has many beautiful and serene lakes bordering it.

Tourists from all over the world come to have a view of these serene Rwanda lakes. There are five volcanic lakes which lie on the border of Congo and Rwanda and have their own attractions. The major Rwandan lakes include Lake Kivu, Lake Ruhondo, Lake Mugesera, Lake Burera, Lake Muhazi and Lake Ihema.

Lake Kivu is the biggest of the numerous freshwater bodies that are there in Rwanda. It is an outstanding beautiful inland body of water which is enclosed by vertical, green terraced hills along the border of Congo. Set amid the dramatic mountains and sceneries of the rift valley and the volcanic Virungas to the north, the irregular shores of Lake Kivu form numerous inlets and peninsulas and myriad forest-fringed waterfalls. The lake is a 2650 square kilometre freshwater expanse and the largest of all the lakes that fill the valleys of Rwanda. There are three resort towns namely Gisenyi, Cyangugu and Kibuye on lake Kivu. The best beach is in Gisenyi with Serena luxury hotel right on the beach. In Kibuye however, being at Bethanie guesthouse overlooking kivu waves hitting the nearby island is a wonderful feeling.


Twin Lakes Burera & Ruhondo

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Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo are the two most neglected lakes of Rwanda. These are beautiful lakes located at the base of volcano Muhabura and close to the border with Uganda. They are surrounded by steep hills and large waterfalls with a backdrop of the Virunga volcanic mountains. These twin lakes are great spots to be visited after watching the gorillas in the Rwandan mountains. Lakes Burera and Ruhondo are close to the gorilla-tracking centre of Ruhengeri and used to be  refered to as neglected gems but things have changed and Burera and Ruhondo are popular with tourists. Their deep blue waters ringed by steep hills and tall waterfalls with the outlines of the nearby Virunga Volcanoes provide a spectacular backdrop, particular as seen from the comfortable Foyer de Charité guesthouse on lake Ruhondo.

Burera and Ruhondo are separated by a 1km wide strip of land (thought to be an ancient lava flow from Sabyinyo).

Scenery is breathtaking here as the shores of the lakes are heavily  terraced and cultivated with crops and volcanoes loom ominously in the distance.