Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu of West Rwanda is one of the great lakes in Africa. It is a freshwater lake, surrounded by magnificent mountains with deep emerald green waters covering a surface area of 2,700 km2. 


Lake Kivu is Rwanda’s largest lake and the sixth largest in Africa. 



Lake Kivu is located between the Republic of Congo and Rwanda. It is in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. 




Lake Kivu is approximately 90 km long, the total surface area is around 2,700 square kilometer making it the 8th biggest lake in Africa. The lake is 1,460 meters above sea level with a maximum depth of 220 meter.

Methane Extraction


The lake water also has approximately 60 km3 of methane and 300 km3 of carbon dioxide. The extraordinarily high concentrations of these gases is a huge risk to the riparian population in the event of uncontrolled degassing. However, the dissolved methane is of economic interest since it is worth more than 20 billion dollars.


In 2004 there was an extraction of gas that was done in the lake and the extracted gas has been used to run boilers at the bralirwa brewery which is located in Gisenyi.


Geologists have found evidence of local extinctions around the lake about every thousand years, where volcanic activity is suspected.


The chemical gaseous composition of exploding is unique from one lake to another, Lake Kivu includes methane and carbon dioxide, as a result of the water interaction with a volcano.

Fish Fauna


Lake Kivu is home to 28 species of fish and it also includes four species of freshwater crabs. Some of the species that Lake Kivu is home for is freshwater crab, including Potamonautes Iirrangensis, Potamonautes mutandensis, P.bourgault e and P. idjwiensis.


The biodiversity of Lake Kivu is highly threatened by the deforestation of the lake`s bank. There are human activities that harm the lake as well, in particular urban waste, soil erosion, improper use of agrochemicals, finishing, household waste and insufficient sewage water treatment.

Things to Do in Lake Kivu 




Lake Kivu is crocodile free, hippo free and bilharzia free. The water in lake Kivu has a cool temperature so it is perfect for those who want to jump and relax in the lake to cool down.  


The lake is dotted with beaches along the lakeshores with fine sands and mild sun to enjoy after having a great swim in the lake.


Walking Tour & Hiking


Going on a walk tour in Rwanda is a must and doing it on the beaches of lake Kivu is the best choice. A walk at the shores of the lake with the cool breeze from the waves is an unforgettable experience.


Hiking is a good option to enjoy by tourists after a long safari as well. 


Nyakarundi Island


A visit to the island will give visitors the chance to learn about the whole coffee growing process and get to taste the locally processed made coffee. 


There are other crops that grow on the island like bananas and more. The island offers beautiful views of the terraced gently sloping islands covered with coffee and banana plantations.

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