Away from the main resorts, Rwanda’s lakes offer visitors rewarding glimpse into ancient African lifestyles. Here, fishermen ply the water in dugout canoes unchanged in design for centuries, while colourfully dressed ladies smoke traditional wooden pipes and troubadours strum sweetly on stringed iningire (traditional ‘guitars’). And, the birdlife is fantastic : flotillas of pelicans sail ponderously across the open water, majestic crowned cranes preen their
golden crests in the surrounding swamps, while jewel-like malachite kingfishers hawk silently above the shore.
Lake Kivu is the largest of numerous freshwater bodies that shimmer in the valleys of Rwanda. The lake is a favorite get-away for Rwanda’s residents— relaxing days on the beach, water sports including kayaking, canoeing and windsurfing, and beach volleyball are among the activities that families and friends enjoy. Take a leisurely ride along the western shoreline of the country on the “Munezero” tourist boat from Gisenyi to Kibuye to Cyangugu, a trip you surely will never forget.
Burera and Ruhondo Lake
Lakes Burera and Ruhondo, close to the gorilla-tracking centre of Ruhengeri, are oft-neglected gems, deep blue waters ringed by steep hills and tall waterfalls, with the nearby Virunga Volcanoes providing a spectacular backdrop.
Lake Muhazi, a mere hour and a half away from Kigali, is one of the country’s scenic treasures. This tranquil cove in the eastern province of Rwanda is ideal for a day trip away from the bustle of the city where you can eat fresh fish while watching the sun set over the small boats dotting the lake.
Akagera National Park has ten lakes, some watering holes for the animals and others havens for birdwatchers—the rare shoebill stork calls Akagera’s lakes home.