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Lake Kivu & Western Region

RwandaLake Kivu & Western Region

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Lake Kivu & Western Region 

Kibuye is an idyllic lakeside town situated in the west of Rwanda and on the eastern shore of Lake Kivu. Here you will find hills planted with pine and eucalyptus trees. Families and visitors enjoy the small beaches and swimming in the lake surrounded by tranquility. Kibuye is also a major stop on the Congo-Nile Trail, which is a popular route for hiking or bicycling that extends from Gisenyi (on Lake Kivu) to Kamembe. 

Lake Burera or Bulera is situated in northwestern Rwanda at the border of Uganda. It is the country's second largest lake covering an area of 55 square kilometers. The closest major city is Musanze which is 25km west of the lake. Lake Burera is one of the twin lakes of the Gorilla Highlands region and a fabulous destination to get the feel of rural Rwanda. Highlights of the area would be a cultural walk into a mining village on the northern shore, authentic lunch with the local fisherman and a canoe or motorboat ride to view the spectacular volcanoes as well as the small surrounding islands. 

Lake Kivu is Africa’s eighth largest lake and covers a surface area of 2700 square kilometers. It sits upon a rift valley which is causing volcanic activity in the area. The Congo-Nile Trail is a famous passage that winds alongside the country’s most famous stretch of crystal fresh water of Lake Kivu. Hiking is one of the most impressive ways to experience Rwanda. It offers travellers views of dramatic vistas, thick vegetation and the rolling hills from which this East African country earns its affectionate nickname - The Land of a Thousand Hills. It is one of the most beautiful sites to visit in Rwanda. There is no better place to relax than the resort town of Rabavu on the northern tip of Lake Kivu. Here you will find a lively waterfront, sandy beaches and stunning resorts which will leave you well rested. 

Rwanda is home to one of Africa’s last remaining high altitude tropical rainforests, situated in Nyungwe Forest National Park. This is one of the most bio-diverse forests in the world, and is home to more than 1080 plant species as well as 250 Albertine Rift Endemic bird types, an attraction which brings in bird-watchers from all over the globe. Any trip here must include a high canopy walk, the only one of its kind in East Africa. Visitors can take to the treetops to view the forest in its full majesty 50 meters above the rain forest with the mountains in the distance. Tourists visit the rainforest to track chimpanzees which is much cheaper than gorilla trekking but it is by no means less memorable. 

One of the biggest draws for Rwandan travellers was the 1988 Hollywood hit Gorillas in the Mist. Of the 880 gorillas thought to be left in the wild, an estimated 300 reside in Volcanoes National Park in the Virunga Mountains, a stunning stretch of green oozing with dramatic scenery and lush, verdant vegetation. Visitors will need to purchase a permit to gain entrance into the park which can be quite expensive. It is worth it once you’ve witnessed the gentle giants living in their natural habitat. Gorilla trekking is the number one thing to do in Rwanda which lasts between four to 8 hours.

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