Lake Kivu is located in the western part of Rwanda on the border of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. The lake is one of the African Great Lakes in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of East African Rift Valley. Lake Kivu purges into the Ruzizi River, which streams southwards into Lake Tanganyika. The name originates from Kivu which implies “lake” in Bantu dialect, just the same as the word Tanganyika or Nyanza.
The Lake Kivu spreads a total surface area of in the range of 2,700 square kilometers and stands at a height of 1,460 meters above ocean level. About 58% of the lake’s waters lie in Democratic Republic of Congo Borders. The lake bunk sits upon a rift valley that is gradually being pulled separated, bringing about volcanic activity in the region, and making it deep: its maximum profundity of 480m ranked eighteenth on the earth.
The world’s 10th biggest inland island, Idjwi, located in Lake Kivu, as does the small island of Tshegera, which likewise lies inside the boundaries of Virunga National Park; while settlements on its shore incorporate Bukavu, Kabare, Kalehe, Sake, and Goma in Congo and Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu in Rwanda.
Native fish found in Lake Kivu incorporate species of Barbus, Clarias, and Haplochromis, and in addition Nile Tilapia. Limnothrissa miodon, one of two species regarded as the Tanganyika sardine, was introduced in the lake in 1959 and framed the foundation of new pelagic zone fishery. In the early 1990s, the number of fishers on the lake was 6,563, of which 3,027 were connected with the pelagic fishery and 3,536 with the traditional fishery.
The fish fauna in Lake Kivu is generally poor (28 species). There are some endemic species of Haplochromis (cichlids) and a small clupeid, Limnothrissa miodon. Its exploitable stock was evaluated at 2000 – 4000 tons for every year. The sardine Limnothrissa miodon was introduced with Lake Kivu in the late 1950s by a Belgian Engineer A. Collart. At present, Lake Kivu is the sole natural lake in which Limnothrissa miodon, an endemic sardine initially from Lake Tanganyika, has been introduced at first with fill an empty niche. For sure, before the introduction, no planktivorous fish was available in the pelagic waters of Lake Kivu.
Attractions around Lake Kivu
Gisenyi, in the north of the lake there is a colonial beach resort of note. Its waterfront region is lined with blurring old mansions and a number of old hotels in addition to the world class Lake Kivu Serena Hotel. All overlooking a beautiful sandy beach complete with a laid back beach bar.
Further south, Kibuye is most likely the prettiest of the towns; provided that you’re visiting in August, you might get many kites here on their yearly migration. The Bethanie Guesthouse and the Moriah Hill Resort both have perfect locations on overlooking the lake. From here you can take a boat cruise on Lake Kivu to adjacent islands: Napoleon’ Island with its colony fruit bats and Amahoro Island (suitably regarded as one bar island as all it has on it is one bar). There is likewise a genocide memorial church on a knoll above Kibuye a spot for serene contemplation
At the southern end of the Lake Kivu, Cyangugu (proclaimed ‘Shangugu’) is an old border town whose fading façades tell of past as a fundamental trading entryway. Here the Hotel du Lac is a delightfully old, reliable-but-slightly-shady institution, with a bar/restaurant where you’re ensured to discover some strange characters. A more savory alternative is the Peace Guesthouse.
The true joy of this region is driving between the towns. The unpaved road delicately curves back and there and then here again as it weaves through slopes and mountains by the side of the lake from Gisenyi to Cyangugu. Eucalyptus trees line the road, while each corner of the hills is terraced with bananas. Villagers grin and wave; you’ll wind up with hands tired from waving, and feel like sovereignty at the closure of the trip!