Kayaking on Lake Kivu is one of the most distinctive and popular tourist activities in Rwanda. The water sport, which is done on Lake Kivu, the largest lake in Rwanda, is an exhilarating outdoor activity that takes visitors outside of Rwanda's National Parks to unwind, try something new, and discover Rwanda from a fresh angle. Kayaking is the act of moving a kayak across water and a kayak is a canoe-like, low-to-the-water craft in which the paddler faces front and pulls back and forth from one side to another in rotation.
In this article, we'll set out on a discovery journey to uncover the wonders of kayaking on Lake Kivu, where stunning natural scenery, an extensive historical background, and the exhilaration of paddling come together in perfect harmony.
All Of About Lake Kivu Rwanda You Probably Do Not Know
Lake Kivu Rwanda, Africa's sixth-largest lake, is a tapestry of wonder spanning over 2,700 square kilometers and reaching a staggering depth of 480 meters. It nestles amidst verdant hills and charming lakeside villages, a testament to the Earth's geological artistry.
A total of 28 different fish species can be found in Lake Kivu, with cichlids accounting for half of them. With more than 20,000 tons of fish produced each year and fish imports for animal protein being subsidized, it is Rwanda's largest domestic fish source.
The East African Rift System, a geological marvel that formed the Great Rift Valley, is intertwined with the history of Lake Kivu. Over eons, this geological ballet led to the emergence of Lake Kivu, now a kayaker's haven, where you can enjoy the unique feeling of clear blue water.
Lake Kivu Rwanda is Africa's sixth-largest lake
Experience Kayaking On Lake Kivu
Exploring Lake Kivu via kayaking provides an opportunity for visitors to absorb the lake's picturesque surroundings peacefully. The activity is completely safe as there are no crocodiles or hippos in the area. Your vacation experience will be enhanced by the top-notch kayaks available, known for their durability and ease of use. While fishermen tend to their nets along the shoreline during daylight hours, birds gracefully dart in and out of the nearby bushes. As the sun sets, the local fishermen harmoniously depart, their uplifting songs echoing across the lake, only to return the next morning with their bountiful catches.
Exploring Lake Kivu through kayaking tours in Gisenyi presents an excellent choice for both leisurely day outings and as a fitting finish to a Rwanda safari, particularly following gorilla or golden monkey trekking in the nearby Volcanoes National Park, which is just an hour away. Additionally, kayaking on Lake Kivu serves as a suitable option for vacationers seeking a weekend escape from their busy weekly routines.
Also, kayaking on Lake Kivu is the greatest choice if you have a short amount of time but still want to experience some sort of adventure in Rwanda.
You can enjoy kayaking on Lake Kivu every day, with options for short day cruises (minimum one-hour paddle), full-day kayaking adventures, overnight tours, and longer kayaking expeditions starting from Gisenyi. It's recommended to go kayaking during the early mornings or late afternoons to have the best and most beautiful experiences.
To ensure you have everything prepared, it's necessary to book your kayaking reservations in advance. You'll meet the crew in Gisenyi for this exceptional Lake Kivu kayaking journey. After a brief safety briefing and instruction demonstration, tourists will have the freedom to paddle at their own pace and fully immerse themselves in the Lake Kivu experience.
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Kayaking on Lake Kivu enables visitors to take in the beauty of the lake while paddling slowly and serenely
Other Information About Kayaking On Lake Kivu
Delight in the spectacle of unique traditional fishing boats while fishermen chant in rhythmic harmony as they set sail into the night for their fishing endeavors—an unforgettable experience. Revel in the breathtaking panoramas of lush hills, awe-inspiring landscapes, and majestic volcanic peaks, all framed against the backdrop of the Virunga mountains. Yet, when kayaking, you may observe a variety of numerous bird species flying in and out of the nearby bushes along the shorelines as well as numerous little islands inside the lake.
Lake Kivu kayaking doesn't require advanced skills or prior experience, although a reasonable level of fitness is preferred. You'll be under the guidance of a skilled instructor who will provide you with all the necessary instructions and assistance. Fortunately, this activity is suitable for both adults and children and offers a truly memorable way to discover this incredible safari destination and its tranquil shoreline.
In addition, modern BIC brand kayaks are used for Lake Kivu kayaking expeditions due to their agility and speed, ideal for various lake activities. These kayaks are equipped with stern grips, allowing you to hold on while swimming and still having easy access to the rest of the boat. They provide a comfortable, reclined seating area and come with waterproof pouches for securely storing your phone, camera, money, keys, and other personal belongings, making them perfect for exploring the coastline in style.
How Much is Kayaking on Lake Kivu?
Kayaking on Lake Kivu begins at a rate of USD 30 per individual, with a maximum capacity of one person per kayak. Many hotels in Lake Kivu located along the riverbanks offer water sports equipment and modern amenities to ensure all guests' needs are met.
When is the best time for Kayaking on Lake Kivu?
While kayaking on Lake Kivu is feasible year-round, the most favorable periods are from December to February and June to September when the lake experiences lower water levels. These dry seasons offer ideal conditions for enjoyable paddling and scenic views. However, it's essential to remain prepared for unexpected events such as sudden gusts of wind and brief showers during these times.
Kayaking excursions on Lake Kivu normally begin from Gisenyi
Crafting Your Kayaking Voyage
With inspiration kindled, here are practical steps to shape your Lake Kivu kayaking adventure:
First and foremost, ensure that all your travel documents, visas, and permits are in order. Travelers applying for a Rwanda Evisa via Rwanda Immigration Services can expedite their entry into the region. This e-visa simplifies the process and saves time.
Lake Kivu offers an array of accommodation options to suit various preferences and budgets. For those seeking an opulent lakeside experience, the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel stands out as a luxurious haven.
Nestled on the shores of Lake Kivu in Gisenyi, this renowned hotel blends elegant comfort with stunning natural surroundings. With its world-class amenities, including a spa, restaurant, and breathtaking lake views from your room, it's an ideal choice for a serene and pampered retreat. Booking in advance is recommended, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure your lakeside haven.
Dress in comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing suitable for water activities. Don't forget a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses for sun protection.
- Appropriate Attire: Dress in comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing suitable for water activities. Don't forget a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses for sun protection.
- Footwear: Water-resistant or quick-drying shoes are essential for kayaking. It's also a good idea to pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes for on-land explorations.
- Sunscreen and Insect Repellent: Protect your skin from the sun's rays and pesky insects with high-quality sunscreen and repellent.
- Water and Snacks: Stay hydrated by carrying an adequate supply of water. Energy-boosting snacks like granola bars can come in handy during breaks.
- Dry Bags: Keep your belongings dry with waterproof bags to store essentials like electronics, clothing, and valuables.
- First Aid Kit: Carry a basic first aid kit with items like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and any personal medications.
- Camera and Binoculars: Don't forget your camera or smartphone for capturing the stunning scenery, as well as binoculars for birdwatching.
- Travel Essentials: Pack your travel documents, including passports, permits, and insurance, in a secure, waterproof pouch.