Lake Kivu is one of Africa’s Great Lakes, located on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is situated in the Albertine Rift, and covers a total area of 2730 square kilometres. The lake’s maximum depth of 485m is the 19th deepest in the world. Lake Kivu features beautiful vistas of rugged shorelines, terraced escarpments, and volcano outlines. Volcanic activity is prevalent in the region, and there are large amounts of accumulated methane and carbon dioxide in the lake, with high potential for limnic eruptions. However, these gases are trapped deep in the lake and far from the shores, meaning that the lake is very safe for swimmers and visitors, as there are also no crocodiles or hippos. Picturesque resort towns dot shores of Kivu, from which visitors can swim, enjoy boat cruises, and take part in various water sport activities. Its islands and shores are home to a variety of wildlife species, including many bats and birds.

Why we like it

Unique volcanic lake; Striking, scenic landscapes; Water activities

Facts & Figures

Park / Reserve Size: 2730 sq km
Reserve Type: Lake
Big 5: No
Specialist Specie: Fruit Bats
Malaria Area: Yes
Nearest Town: Gisenyi

Tours and Activities in Lake Kivu


Lookout for

L'Hoests Monkey
Blue Monkey
Colobus Monkey
Vervet Monkey
Spotted-necked Otter

Key Species

Spotted-necked Otter
Straw-coloured Fruit Bat

Pied Kingfisher
Double-toothed Barbet
Grey backed Camaroptera
Brown-throated Wattle-eye

Water Monitor

Giant Tree Fern


Wildlife Ratings

Big 5: 1
Mammals: 2
Birds: 7
Reptiles: 4
Trees: 5