Exploring the coastline of Lake Kivu by kayak is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the scenery, gazing up at the mountainous backdrop from the tranquility of the water.

Birds dart in and out of the bushes whilst fisherman mend their nets on the shore in the daytime. At sunset, the local fishermen paddle out in unison, their rousing song carrying across the water, to return the next morning with their catch.

The clear, clean lake has an irregular shoreline, with plenty of sandy beaches, as well as little islands to investigate. There are no hippos or crocodiles, making for safe paddling.

Various waterside hotels have watersports equipment, including Cormoran Lodge and Moriah Hills, both in Karongi, as well as Serena Hotel in Rubavu.

Kingfisher Journeys organises dedicated excursions, ranging from a couple of hours to two to three days. Highlights include a sunset kayak with the singing fishermen and exploring the coffee islands, with an overnight stay on a plantation.

Kingfisher Journeys also offers stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Kivu and canoeing along the Mukungwa River in the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes, an area abundant with birds.

No experience is needed and whilst there are trips running almost every day, it’s a good idea to book in advance.

Good to know

Lake Kivu

The water temperature ranges from 23 to 27 °C throughout the year (73 to 81°F)

What to Wear

Clothes you don't mind getting wet, a hat, sunglasses and suncream

You may also be interested in...

Sports & Adventure


Sports & Adventure


Sports & Adventure

Canopy Walkway