Boat Cruise on the Lake Kivu
The turquoise waters of Lake Kivu shimmered as the boat cut through it gently, as if afraid it may disturb the serenity of the moment. I was on the upper deck of a small houseboat, soaking in the panoramic view that was all around us as we moved gently. The boat cruise on the Lake Kivu which would last for about 4 hours gave me a chance for retrospection of the events of the past few day since we had landed in Rwanda.
It was love at first sight! As the cool early morning air caressed my face and I peered into the semi-darkness to take a look at this country that I had just landed in, I was engulfed by strange waves of excitement and felt a familiar tingling in my heart. I realised that I had fallen head over heels in love with this country called Rwanda in the twinkling of an eye. I had a premonition that the days I would spend in this lovely part of Africa would enrich me with varied experience and simulate a kaleidoscope of emotions.
The events that unfolded proved my premonition to be right as Rwanda proved to be a roller coaster ride of emotions as it nudged me to cry, smile, and laugh. The sights and experiences ranged from the blissful and sublime to ones of pure thrill and awe. If the visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial had me in tears, the Gorilla trek to meet the Ntambara family of Gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park left me awed and elated at the same time.
I discovered that Rwanda has a pleasant surprise waiting to serenade you around every bend in the road.
So was the case with Lake Kivu!
The drive to Kibuye which is a city in the Karongi district of Rwanda was in itself a great experience as we drove across verdant hills. As we drove, the Lake Kivu seemed to be playing hide and seek with us, teasing us with its tantalisingly seductive beauty as the bus curved around bends in the road. Kibuye situated on the banks of the Lake Kivu is renowned as a beach resort and is about 135 kilometres from the capital city Kigali, this is where we boarded a little and absolutely cute houseboat, ideal for a group of 20.
We all clambered onto the upper deck and sank into comfortable deck chairs as the boat set sail.
The boat cruised along smoothly, oblivious of the mesmerising beauty that surrounded it, focused only on reaching its destination, Rubavu also know by its old name Gisenyi. The cruise itself was a soothing experience, a great opportunity to relax for all of us after our whirlwind tour of Rwanda which included Kigali, Akagera National Park and the Nyungwe National Park. The cruise on Lake Kivu was also an opportunity for us to rejuvenate and recharge our energies in anticipation of the challenging Gorilla trek that awaited us at the Volcanoes National Park on the next day.
As the boat steadily charged ahead, drinks flowed on the upper deck, music set the tone for some energetic dancing ranging from Rwandan dance moves to hypnotic Bhangra numbers.
But I was intoxicated by the natural beauty surrounding me and my mind danced with rapture. The blue waters seemed to merge with the clear blue skies in the horizon. Green hills, framed the lake on either side while spotless white clouds broke the monotony of blue in the sky. The ethereal beauty all around seemed to transcend the boundaries of my own imagination and the scene before me seemed to have jumped straight out of the canvas of the famous French impressionist painter Claude Monet.
Slowly the bright blue hues turned into grey as twilight emerged on the waters, the evening light bathed the water and the hills in the distance with a luminous and ethereal glow.
A couple of small boats raced along in the distance, probably speeding along to reach their homes before it got dark.
The opera of nature now seemed to be reaching its climax as the sun receded behind the clouds and for a few magical moments of twilight, time seemed to stand still, as I watched in sublime awe. And then darkness took over, what were beautiful, green hills bathed in a golden glow a few moments earlier were now dark grey, ominous looking shapes in the distance.
The music and dancing had stopped, we could see the glittering lights of Rubavu in the distance, we had reached our destination and we disembarked filled with anticipation of yet another adventure.
The cruise on the Lake Kivu is a beautiful and sublime experience that one must include in their Rwanda experience. It has something for everyone, one can either choose to just relax with a drink and drink in the sheer beauty of the lake and its environs or choose to party on deck, either ways it is an indulgence for the senses that can never be forgotten.
Some Facts about Lake Kivu
- Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes
- It stretches approximately 90 kilometres in length and about 50 kilometres in width
- It covers an approximate surface area of 2700 square kilometres
- Idjwi which is the tenth largest island on a lake is situated in Lake Kivu
Lake Kivu is an enchanting water body in Rwanda. It is one of the African Great Lakes and is also an exploding lake owing to its Limnic eruptions. A cruise on this lovely lake is a sublime experience as the boat glides across picturesque vistas that are straight out of a fairytale.
If you want to have a more immersive experience of the an enchanting Boat Cruise on the Lake Kivu, do watch our vlog here:
Would you like to drown in the sublime beauty of Lake Kivu? Then do head over to Rwanda and get aboard one of these beautiful houseboats.
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