Gisenyi (Rubavu), RwandaBeaches, Picnics, Nightlife Vacations
Gisenyi (Rubavu), Rwanda Hot Spot
TOP THINGS TO DO GESENYI
Gisenyi (also referred to by its new name Rubavu) is a large town spread over several hills on the northern edge of Lake Kivu. Once a colonial beach resort of note, Gisenyi’s waterfront is lined with fading old mansions, some decent hotels including some of international standard, and trendy bars on the lakeshore, ideal for a sundowner cocktail. Nearby Rubona is also home to some pretty lakeside hotels.
Relax and refresh along Rwanda's coastline.
If you're surprised that Rwanda has a beach - you're not alone. Rubavu (also known as Gisenyi) is a waterfront town located on the shores of Lake Kivu, one Africa's great bodies of water. At only an hour away from Volcanoes National Park, Rubavu is a great way to unwind after a gorilla trekking safari adventure.
Rubavu marks the beginning of the Congo Nile Trail, which extends 227 km to Rusizi, and has plenty of biking and hiking trails to fulfill those who crave the some more adventure. Rubavu is also known for its agrotourism experiences, with many tea and coffee plantations nearby.
What to do in Gisenyi (Rubavu)
There is a pleasant public beach on Gisenyi’s lakeshore but it can get quite busy, particularly at weekends. Some hotels have private beaches and water sport options.
Journey along the verdant shores
Lake Kivu is stunningly beautiful lake and an incredible place to visit. With no hippos or crocodiles and crystal clear, clean water, it is also one of the safest lakes in Africa. So come and explore, discover and journey along its interesting coastline. Watch unique fishing boats plying the water and find interesting villages as well as amazing birdlife set amongst true peace and tranquillity.
Near to Rubavu (Gisenyi), coffee enthusiasts can see how coffee is grown and made in to a delicious cup of famous Rwandan coffee. And not far from Karongi (Kibuye) is Rwanda’s own ‘Bay of Islands’ where many uninhabited islands are covered with natural woodland and even a remarkable colony of bats. However, it is making the journey silently and quietly along the coast that is the really special part of ‘sea’ kayaking on the lake.
Using their own modern and very stable sea kayaks that are designed for touring, Kingfisher Journeys operates one and two-day small group, guided tours from both Rubavu (Gisenyi) and Karongi (Kibuye) as well as four-day journeys between these lakeshore towns.
In our Rwanda Tours we also include ‘sea’ kayaking on Lake Kivu with other activities for a full Rwandan Safari itinerary.
Driving north from Gisenyi (Rubavu), the Imbabazi Orphanage founded by American Rosamund Halsey Carr, is a beautiful memorial to a remarkable lady. On returning to Rwanda after the genocide at the age of 82, she transformed her ransacked house into an orphanage for survivors and over 400 orphans have since called this place home. Sitting among colourful gardens, the house looks like an English country cottage, complete with an aging Labrador. Imbabazi is planning to develop a cultural centre in Carr’s memory and runs a variety of projects for local people, continuing to support its former orphans. Your driver/guide will need to contact the orphanage beforehand should you like to visit.
Best time to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Visiting Rwanda for gorilla tracking can be done all year round. The best time to travel to Rwanda is during the drier seasons, periods between December to early March and June to September. December to March is a long dry season for Rwanda, with temperatures going up to 29 degrees Celsius for some days while the months of March – Mid May, July to September, on the other hand, are regarded as the rainy in the country.