Located in the western part of Rwanda, Karongi lies on the shores of the Lake Kivu.
Lake Kivu is surrounded by magnificent mountains and has deep emerald green waters. The lake covers a total surface area of 2,700 km and stands at a height of 1,460 meters above sea level.
About 110km from Kigali, the road to Karongi is paved and in good condition.
Karongi is one of the most relaxing and romantic places in Rwanda, and is an ideal place to enjoy lakeside recreation. A picturesque lakeside resort town, there are ample beaches with crystal clear water. Along with modern water sport facilities, traditional boats can be used for exciting nature discovery tours and authentic experiences within local Rwandan daily life. Visitors can take boat rides from many of the local hotels visiting Napoleon’s Island (home to a colony of fruit bats) and dine at the Amahoro Island restaurants and even go night fishing with locals
Adventure awaits at Karongi with opportunities to hike and bike the Congo Nile Trail, visit the Congo Nile Divide watershed, have a taste of the ‘crop to cup’ coffee and tea experiences within the local community, or visit the moving Bisesero Genocide Memorial with breathtaking views of the lake.
Being the Rwanda’s largest lake and the sixth in Africa, Lake Kivu dominates the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Karongi (also known as Kibuye) lies on the middle part of Lake Kivu’s shores and is accessible from both the northern edge of the lake (Gisenyi) and the southern edge (Cyangugu), but a drive from Kigali, passing through Kamonyi, Muhanga, and Ngororero, has itself a unique experience to offer. Going there, you ought to drive with windows rolled down to eyewitness the ‘behind the scenes’ of Rwanda’s nickname “The Land of Thousand Hills”.
Lake Kivu is stunningly beautiful lake and an incredible place to visit. With no hippos or crocodiles and crystal clear, clean water, it is also one of the safest lakes in Africa. So come and explore, discover and journey along its interesting coastline. Watch unique fishing boats plying the water and find interesting villages as well as amazing birdlife set amongst true peace and tranquillity.
Near to Rubavu (Gisenyi), coffee enthusiasts can see how coffee is grown and made in to a delicious cup of famous Rwandan coffee. And not far from Karongi (Kibuye) is Rwanda’s own ‘Bay of Islands’ where many uninhabited islands are covered with natural woodland and even a remarkable colony of bats. However, it is making the journey silently and quietly along the coast that is the really special part of ‘sea’ kayaking on the lake.
Using their own modern and very stable sea kayaks that are designed for touring, Kingfisher Journeys operates one and two-day small group, guided tours from both Rubavu (Gisenyi) and Karongi (Kibuye) as well as four-day journeys between these lakeshore towns.
Reaching depths of 500 metres in parts and some 60 miles in length, making it Rwanda’s largest lake. Lake Kivu runs along the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda and is a fabulous tourist destination. Its bed is situated on Rift Valley, flowing into River Ruzizi which in turn flows into Lake Tanganyika.
Lake Kivu is close to Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park which are other adventurous destinations around this area.
The Rwandan shore of the lake is the place to head, with elegant resorts and villas, as well as lively towns like Gisenyi or Kibuye dotting its shores. Take a road trip to Lake Kivu and see the gorgeous environment hills and mountains. It’s the kind of destination where you can fish, rent boats, swim or sunbathe on idyllic beaches, and it’s Rwanda’s premier place to choose for sun-soaked, relaxing holidays.