An enchanting Boat Cruise on the Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu
Lake KivuLake KivuLake KivuLake KivuLake Kivu

Lake Kivu

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.

Lake Kivu

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.

Lake Kivu

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!

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.

Lake Kivu

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.

Lake Kivu

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.

Lake Kivu

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.

Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu

A couple of small boats raced along in the distance, probably speeding along to reach their homes before it got dark.

Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu

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.

Lake Kivu

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.

Lake Kivu

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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Lake Kivu Lake Kivu Lake Kivu
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71 thoughts on “An enchanting Boat Cruise on the Lake Kivu

  1. robin rue Reply

    There is just something magical about going out on a boat cruise. This one sounds absolutely amazing!!

  2. Danik Reply

    Wow! Lake Kivu looks totally amazing. I cant wait to get to Rwanda one day and if I do, I want to see this place. Look so enchanting 🙂

  3. Terri Beavers Reply

    That blue water is absolutely amazing. I’ve always wanted to visit Africa and if I ever do, I’m going to have to take a boat cruise on this lake.

  4. Sarah Bailey Reply

    Wow what a beautiful lake to cruise around, the scenery is just stunning and it seems like it would be a very calming place to spend time.

  5. Doria Reply

    How beautiful! We always find being around water to be the most peaceful experience and this lake looks amazing 🙂

  6. lisa Reply

    What a breathtaking lake! I love water and boat rides. I would love to go and see this beautiful lake!

  7. Betty Reply

    Wow what a beautiful lake Lake Kiva is! I love the clear view of the water and the clouds. What a relaxing boat trip!

  8. Chloe Reply

    Wow, what a breathtaking place! I seriously felt so calm just looking at these photos, it must feel surreal to be there in real life!

  9. Tracie Howe Reply

    I can imagine what a serene experience this was for you, based on your photos and writing. It sounds like a place I would really enjoy!

  10. Claudia Krusch Reply

    These photos are so beautiful. I would love to go and see this in person.

  11. Jen Temcio Reply

    Oh my goodness! Your description of the scenery and the sky were intoxicating! You are a great writer. I can imagine how beautiful it was from your story and your pics. How fun!

  12. Elizabeth O. Reply

    This is enchanting! The view is just so stunning and you can’t help but take in everything as you go around the lake. It’s definitely worth seeing in person!

  13. valmg @ Mom Knows It All Reply

    I’ve always wanted to see Africa. It looks like you were able to catch a really beautiful scenery on the lake, I find sunrises and sunsets to be some of the most beautiful moments.

  14. Jona Reply

    Wow, such a very relaxing place to visit. I love how calm the water is. Now I am dreaming to be there.

  15. Ambuj Saxena Reply

    Lake Kivu is an amazing place for a boat ride. Your pics are simple amazing. The sight of water cools down the nerves a bit!

  16. LaiAriel R. Samangka (Thelittlelai: Beyond limits) Reply

    What a beautiful boat cruise experience while seeing the panoramic view of a mountain range. The water is so calm that transmit serenity as well. The dramatic color of the sky was also stunning, I find it really amazing and that something makes you boat cruise experience rock. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  17. Fiona# Reply

    It really looks like a peaceful boat ride. I have never been to Africa and also have very rarely read about African lakes, so I really enjoy reading about your experience 🙂 Looking at your photos I can also feel the fresh air blowing while standing on that deck of the boat. Must be amazing!

  18. Rebecca Swenor Reply

    It sounds like like you had an amazing time relaxing on the Lake Kivu boat cruise. I would love to do this some day. It is so peaceful and really makes you appreciate our world. Thanks for shairng the gorgeous photos and video.

  19. kelly reci Reply

    I love the views! They are all relaxing! WOuld like to visit the place someday!

  20. Travel Blogger Reply

    This sounds like such a moving and beautiful trip! I would love to travel here and see the African Great Lake. It looks like such an enchanting place!

  21. E H Reply

    This looks like an exceptional place to visit! Definitely going on my bucket list when I am able to travel to Africa!

  22. Chrishelle Ebner Reply

    When I think of Africa, desserts, heat, and searing sun comes to mind. Lake Kivu is absolutely beautiful. I would love to take a lake cruise on this African Great Lake one day.

  23. Emily Reply

    Wow, this is stunning! What an amazing adventure to go on! I have heard that Africa is beautiful and this proves it!

  24. Anosa Reply

    Wow, this is such a romantic place. Perfect for unwinding and relaxing. I guess having a meditation will definitely work in the place like this. I hope I can soon visit this.

  25. Jitaditya Narzary Reply

    Very serene and beautiful. Unfortunately, I heard of Rwanda for the first time during the turbulent incidents of the 90s. So, this provides a completely different feel and I guess they have recovered well from those times.

  26. Kavey Favelle Reply

    Oh how beautiful, and what lovely photographs! I can see that Lake Kivu and Rwanda as a whole, really stole your heart and I can see why!

  27. Natasha Reply

    I have never been here before. Looks like lake Kivu is a wonderful place to do a boat tour. Beautiful pictures, got me wanderlusting

  28. Divyakshi Gupta Reply

    Your narration is poetic. Words lilting just like the waters of the lake. I felt I was there, soaking in the sights of nature, listening to the waters, seeing the sun set, watching the cloud play. I was following your Rwanda journey on FB. Like those updates, reading this too was worth the read!

  29. Anne Reply

    Looks like you had an incredible trip to Uganda. I’m planning a trip to Tanzania and think I might hop over the border and check a few of these things out. Looks stunning

  30. Harsh Gupta Reply

    Wow, you have given me wanderlust goals for now! I just immersed into the cruise totally and imagined myself to be exploring Rwanda. I am super sure I am going to fall for it too the moment I land. 🙂

  31. Carol Colborn Reply

    Rwanda must be all that you say…the history, the beauty, and probably the people, too!

  32. Reshma Reply

    Lake Kivu looks fabulous! Honestly, I had not given Rwanda a serious thought until now, but your posts make me want to consider it! Looks too beautiful.

  33. Michael Cotton Reply

    Lake Kivi looks so tranquil and relaxing. Rwanda has come a long way from the bad days when genocide was the only word used when describing the country.

  34. Siddhartha Joshi Reply

    Enchanting indeed and your pictures do full justice to the lake! Though I loved the town, I was actually almost robbed on the way here and was rescued by a really nice police officer…still love the place 🙂

  35. Megan Jerrard Reply

    I would love to visit Rwanda, I’m so glad to hear that you’re having a fabulous time! The cruise on Lake Kivu sounds incredible, and definitely a great way to enjoy stunning panoramic views while relaxing and rejuvenating before your big trek the next day. Will definitely include a cruise on our itinerary should we be fortunate enough to plan a trip soon!

  36. Vicki Louise Reply

    There is just something magical about boat cruises in Africa. Whether on a lake, or river, the atmosphere is incredible – and Rwanda looks absolutely beautiful!

  37. neha Reply

    Just back from Switzerland. And I can say with confidence that lake kivu is a close competitor of the beautiful lakes that I saw back there. Not only is it massive, it is so crystal clear, beautiful and serene. Would love to visit here one day

  38. melody pittman Reply

    Definitely a cool way to spend 4 hours with that fabulous scenery! I love houseboats. So much fun. I would never be able to make it through the Genocide Memorial. That is one of the saddest things I have ever heard of. Thank you for showing us a different picture of Rwanda.

  39. Ami Reply

    Lake Kivu does seem like a soothing balm to the overheated senses that you get when you visit a new place. Loved the myriad colors that the lake reflects at different times of the day. It sure makes it even more enchanting and lovely.

  40. Neni Reply

    I always try to book a boat tour and see everything on water. I love that and 4 hours sounds like heaven. Especially when the sun sets.

  41. Alyson Reply

    How fantastic! I DREAM of places like this, we reallymust get to more of Africa and Rwanda looks a good place to start.

  42. Christina Reply

    Wow, what an adventure. I didn’t realise Rwanda has such a beautiful lake. Looks more like somewhere in Europe! Was Rwanda safe to travel around?

  43. Cathy Reply

    Lakes are one of the nicest things to cruise on to. It clears off your mind and soul. Spending hours here is so fun and calming to do! xx

  44. Ryazan Reply

    Amazing view! Would love to visit this place soon.

    Seems like its a very nice place to relax and catch up with my books.

  45. Nathan Reply

    This is gorgeous and not what I think of when I think of Rwanda. I would love to visit here. Your photos are beautiful.

  46. Nancy Reply

    Lake Kivu looks like a beautiful destination. I didn’t realize that there was such a massive lake in Rwanda – it is so cool that you that you can cruise around on a houseboat!

  47. Nina Zara Reply

    This brings back memories to Rwanda. I loved Kivu lake and was amazed how big it is. I didnt go for a cruise but spent some time on the shores chilling and hanging out with locals.

  48. Karie Reply

    I’m surprised I’ve never heard of Lake Kivu before. The views are absolutely breathtaking and reminds me of my boat cruise in the backwaters of Kerala.

  49. Suruchi Reply

    WOW! It is massive, beautiful and serene. I loved your post and felt that I was actually watching sunsets while sailing in the boat. Loved your pictures and how beautifully the color changes in them. I really need to take Rwanda seriously and add it to my list. I too enjoyed your Vlog.

  50. The Traveling Child Reply

    This looks amazing and so relaxing. I need to take a relaxing vacation, my latest trips I’ve been ripping and running trying to see everything in the short amount of time we have. Maybe I just need more vacation days lol.

  51. RM Reply

    I love your beautiful photos! This cruise looks amazing and fun! I’d love to get to do this one day 🙂

  52. Jane Martinito Reply

    This could be a place that we should look forward to traveling. I am amazed by the beautiful scenery of the place.

  53. Barb Reply

    This must have been a really beautiful relaxing experience. I would love to visit Africa one day and explore Rwanda. It must have been really peaceful.

  54. Heather Johnson Reply

    I must admit that I am not a water person. My kiddos would love to go on this boat though. Your photos of your experience, too, are absolutely amazing!

  55. Brandy Reply

    That looks like such a wonderful time! What beautiful photos and vlog. I haven’t ever taken any cruise, but this is one that I would enjoy due to the nature and scenery!

  56. sophie Reply

    This is pretty awesome. the place looks magical. Would love to go there soon! Your VLOG is awesome,too 🙂

  57. Rosey Reply

    Natural beauty is the best beauty. I love to be outside and these pictures are amazing.

  58. Ambuj Saxena Reply

    The boat ride on the Lake Kivu must have been a stress buster , the perfect way to unwind isn’t it? I remember heading off to the Dal Lake and the ride was amazing and so soothing! I have read so much about the Volcano National park. Thanks for covering it too!

  59. Elisa Reply

    What a beautiful idea for a relaxing day! This part of Africa is full of unexpected surprises and I am happy that you can show us the beauties of Rwanda. This little country is high, high on my wish list

  60. Storyteller Reply

    That was a great article, I had a good time. This is needed, just relax, away from everyday hustles and cruise. I will surely go there some day, it’s next on my bucket list. Thank you for the article. I visited Cape Town last month and I had the opportunity of going to the Robin Island, had a good time.

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