Destination Kivu Belt

Author Archive

Birding at Cormoran Lodge

09/30/2021 10:55

Birding at Cormoran Lodge

Cormoran Lodge is located right on the shores of Lake Kivu in Kibuye. It has a beautiful garden comprising native and exotic flowering trees that attract Bronze Sunbirds, Speckled Mousebirds and many species of the Weaver family.

To date, 28 bird species have been recorded in our garden, including the fabulous Double-toothed Barbet, Woodland Kingfisher and the Grey-caped Warbler. On a motorboat or kayak (organised by the Lodge on request), you can cruise the Nyamunini Island, home to about 5,000 Fruit Bats and Intra-African Migrant birds, such as Common Sandpiper and Red-capped Robin-Chat. You can also spot beautiful fisher birds such as the Great Cormorant and the Pied Kingfisher.

Cormoran Lodge is an hour’s drive to the Gishwati-Mukura National Park, a recently restored national park and an important birding area comprising more than 100 bird species and home to the Albertine Rift endemics.

We have trained and experienced birdwatching guides who can also offer other guiding experiences. Should you be interested, please contact our reception for more information.

Our birdwatching checklist offers you a glimpse of the diverse species of birds you can find in our Lodge.

 

Bird List

African Common Stonechat
African Dusky Flycatcher
African Pied Wagtail
African Pygmy Kingfisher
African Thrush
Augur Buzzard
Black-headed (Village) Weaver
Brimstone Canary
Bronze Sunbird
Brown-throated Wattle-eye
Copper Sunbird
Dark-capped (Common) Bulbul
Double-toothed Barbet
Great Cormorant
Grey-caped Warbler
Hollub’s Golden Weaver
Little Bee Eater
Northern (Common) Fiscal
Red-cheecked Cordon Bleu
Red-eyed Dove
Ring-necked Dove
Rock Martin
Scarlet-chested Sunbird
Speckled Mousebird
Spectacled Weaver
Streacky Seedeater
Variable Sunbird
White-browed Robinchat
White-tailed blue Flycatcher
Woodland Kingfisher
Yellow-billed Waxbill

Discover

Birding in Africa
Birding in Lake Kivu

Rwanda’s Lake Kivu, one of the African great lakes is one of the best birding spots in Africa. The Albertine Rift Valley has 37 endemic birds

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Categories:Birder friendly accommodation, Cormoran Lodge

Birding at Bethany Hotel

09/30/2021 10:43

Birding at Bethany Hotel

The Bethany Hotel is perfectly located right on the shores of Lake Kivu, within 20 minutes walking distance from Karongi Town. The Hotel has a big lush garden that offers a quiet and calm place for birding and relaxing. The garden comprises exotic and native trees that provide refuge to spectacular bird species, including the Black-crowned Waxbill, Mountain Buzzard and the Palearctic migrant Willow Warbler.

You can take a boat to explore the numerous islands on the Lake, including Napoleon’s Island, where you can spot birds like the Common Sandpiper, Great Cormorant, Red-capped Robin-chat, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, a large number of Fruit Bats and other aquatic species.

The Resort is one hour away from the Gishwati-Mukura National Park, where more than 100 species, including 20 Albertine Rift endemics, can be spotted, along with other attractions such as Chimpanzees.

It is two hours from the Nyungwe National Park, home to more than 300 bird species, including 29 Albertine Rift endemics and the quasi-endemic Red-collared Mountain Babbler. The Park also offers other unique attractions, such as the Canopy walkway, waterfalls, hiking, Chimpanzee tracking.

We have trained and experienced birdwatching guides who can also offer other guiding experiences. Should you be interested, please contact our reception for more information. 

Our birdwatching checklist offers you a glimpse of the diverse species of birds you can find in our Resort.

Bird List

African Common Stonechat
African Dusky Flycatcher
African Palm Swift
African Pied Crow
Black-crowned Waxbill
Bronze Mannikin
Brown-throated Wattle-eye
Common Kestrel
Common Sandpiper
Dark-capped (Common) Bulbul
Familiar Chat
Grey-caped Warbler
Hadada Ibis
Hamerkop
Hollub’s Golden Weaver
Little Bee-eater
Mountain Buzzard
Northern Grey-headed Sparrow
Pied Kingfisher
Red-billed Firefinch
Red-eyed Dove
Red-ckecked Cordon Blue
Red-chested Sunbird
Scarlet-chested Sunbird
Tropical Boubou
Variable Sunbird
White-browed Robin-chat
White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher
White-tailed Blue-flycatcher
Willow Warbler
Yellow-billed Kite
Yellow-fronted Canary
Yellow-throated Greenbul

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Categories:Bethany Hotel, Birder friendly accommodation

Book the Kivu Belt with a tour operator

09/29/2021 14:44

Book the Kivu Belt with a tour operator

Book the Kivu Belt with a tour operator

The easiest and most convenient way to visit the Kivu Belt is through a local tour operator. There are many operators in Rwanda who can organize various tours and packages along in the Kivu Belt. Packages range from Chimpanzee tracking in one of the national parks, bird watching or a complete multi day package visiting several locations and activites

Ames Tours

Ames Tours is based in Rubavu (Gisenyi)  Ames Tours specialize in boat and kayaking tours, but I will help to organize various hiking and biking packages in the Kivu Belt. Ames Tours also have several boats and organize various boat trips around Karongi and Rubavu. Asa a local company, they have some of the most experienced guides who know the Kivu Belt Region like the back of their hand. You can also book various shorter hiking, biking and boating excursions in Karongi and Rubavu if you wish.

https://amestours.com/

Green Hills Eco Tours

This tour operator has their office near the public beach in Rubavu and offer numerous tours around Rubavu as well as multi-day tours on the Congo Nile Trail by foot or by bike. The local owner has an extensive network and knowledge of the Kivu Belt Region and also offer cross border tours into Congo to Mt. Nyiragongo and Goma.

http://www.greenhillsecotours.com/

Kingfisher Journeys

Kingfisher journeys are operated from Rubavu and specialize in canoeing and kayaking. They have great guides and professional equipment. Kingfisher journeys can organize multi-day canoeing or kayaking tours on Lake Kivu. Kayaking Lake Kivu is a very comfortable way to experience the Kivu Belt and Lake Kivu and involves some islands and experience which cannot be reached on foot.

https://www.kingfisherjourneys.com/

Lava Bike Tours

Lava bike tours is one of the most renowned tour companies when it comes to biking in Rwanda. All guides of Lava Tours are professional biking enthusiasts. They have high quality bikes and all other equipment needed to bike the Congo Nile Trail or other parts of the Kivu Belt.

https://lavabiketours.com/

Go Gisenyi Tours

Go Gisenyi Tours are based in Rubavu (Gisenyi) and is run by a couple of local enthusiasts with extensive knowledge of The Kivu Belt and the Congo Nile Trail. Go Gisenyi Tours offers various premade and custom tours around the Kivu Belt, including multi-day hiking and biking tours on the Congo Nile Trail. All tours are guided by the owners of the company who also have extensive local knowledge and connections.

https://gogisenyi.wordpress.com/

Ask 4 Adventures

This company is specialized in helping visitors to experience genuine outdoor experiences in Rwanda of the beaten path. They specialize in hiking, biking and camping in various locations around Rwanda, including the Kivu Belt. Ask4Adventure also rent out bikes, camping equipment and organize transfers.

https://ask4adventure.com/

Beyond Kigali City Tours

A Kigali based tour operator who offer a mixture of city tours and other multiday tours. They can organize complete multi day packages in the Kivu Belt starting and ending in Kigali.

https://www.beyondkigalitours.com/

Beyond Gorillas Experience

This operator is based in Musanze and specializes in genuine experiences involving local communities off the beaten track in Rwanda. They offer many different tours in the Kivu Belt as well as multi day hiking tours.

https://www.beyondthegorillasexperience.com/

Country Side Tours Rwanda

This company organizes various tours from Kigali to the Kivu Belt and the Congo Nile Trail at affordable prices. 

https://www.countrysidetoursrwanda.com/

Rwanda Eco Company & Safaris

Rwanda Eco Company offer complete guided hiking packages in the Kivu Belt including the Congo Nile Trail with a guide, full board and accommodation. Activities range from Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest to boat rides on Lake Kivu.

https://rwandaecocompany.com/

Ikaze Rwanda Tours

Ikaze Rwanda Tours are based in Kigali and specialize in outdoor activities around Rwanda. They offer various packages in the Kivu Belt including boat tours and chimpanzee trekking. They offer various multiday hiking and biking tours on the Congo Nile Trail which are fully serviced including transfer to and from Kigali, guide, accommodation and full board.

https://ikazerwandatours.com/

New Dawn Associates

This Kigali-based tour operator can help you organize a multi-day biking tour of the Congo Nile Trail with a guide, as well as other packages of the Kivu Belt. 

http://www.newdawnassociates.com/

Rwandan Adventures

Rwandan adventures have several multi-day packages in the Kivu Belt including hiking and biking the Congo Nile Trail. The packages are customizable but generally include transfer to and from Kigali, a guide, accommodation and activities.

http://www.rwandan-adventures.com/

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Categories:Uncategorized

Sunset boat trip on Lake Kivu from Rusizi

09/15/2021 15:52

Sunset boat trip on Lake Kivu from Rusizi

Activity Description

A visit to Lake Kivu is not complete without the classic sunset boat trip with drinks. A sunset boat trip on Lake Kivu is an unforgettable experience accompanied by wonderful music and amazing scenery.  The boat departs in the late afternoon from Tam Tam Beach and heads out on the lake. From the boat you have a great view of the surrounding Rift Valley and the volcanoes in Congo, As the sun sets and you are enjoying your drink, singing fishermen pass by in dugout canoes as they head out on Lake Kivu for a night of fishing. Drinks, life vest and a guide is included in the Lake Kivu Sunset Boat Trip.

About the Organizer

Ames Boat Tours is a local tour company based in the Kivu Belt with an office in Gisenyi. They offer a range of different tours in the Kivu Belt, most of which are by boat but also kayaking, hiking and biking tours. 

Before you Go

  • It can get a bit chilly after sunset, bring a sweater or jacket
  • The boat has a roof in case of rain
  • You might be able to be picked up and dropped at your hotel, contact Ames Boat Tours
  • This tour requires that you can climb in and out of a tour boat

Meeting Point

Contact Ames Boat Tours by phone or Whatsapp to find the exact start of the tour.  You might be able to be picked and dropped at your hotel if you contact Ames Boat tours

From 30,000 RWF

Highlights

  • Relax with a drink on a boat
  • Watch the sun set over the volcanic mountains in Congo
  • See the traditional fishermen singing as they pass by your boat

Includes

More information

Contact the organizer

Map


Categories:Boat Tours, Tours and Activities

Lake Kivu Sunset Boat Trip from Karongi

09/15/2021 15:40

Lake Kivu Sunset Boat Trip from Karongi

Activity Description

A visit to Lake Kivu is not complete without the classic sunset boat trip with drinks. A sunset boat trip on Lake Kivu is an unforgettable experience accompanied by wonderful music and amazing scenery.  The boat departs in the late afternoon from Tam Tam Beach and heads out on the lake. From the boat you have a great view of the surrounding Rift Valley and the volcanoes in Congo, As the sun sets and you are enjoying your drink, singing fishermen pass by in dugout canoes as they head out on Lake Kivu for a night of fishing. Drinks, life vest and a guide is included in the Lake Kivu Sunset Boat Trip. 

About the Organizer

Ames Boat Tours is a local tour company based in the Kivu Belt with an office in Gisenyi. They offer a range of different tours in the Kivu Belt, most of which are by boat but also kayaking, hiking and biking tours. 

Before you Go

  • It can get a bit chilly after sunset, bring a sweater or jacket
  • The boat has a roof
  • You might be able to be picked up and dropped at your hotel, contact Ames Boat Tours
  • This tour requires that you can climb in and out of a tour boat

Meeting Point

The tour starts at the Inn on the Lake, just outside Kibuye. You might be able to be picked and dropped at a different location if you contact Ames Boat tours

From 30,000 RWF

Highlights

  • Relax with a drink on a boat
  • Watch the sun set over the volcanic mountains in Congo
  • See the traditional fishermen singing as they pass by your boat

Includes

More information

Contact the organizer

Map


Categories:Boat Tours, Tours and Activities

Lake Kivu Sunset Boat Trip from Rubavu

09/15/2021 10:09

Lake Kivu Sunset Boat Trip from Rubavu

Activity Description

A visit to Lake Kivu is not complete without the classi sunset boat trip with drinks. A sunset boat trip on Lake Kivu is an unforgettable experience accompanied by wonderful music and amazing scenery.  The boat departs in the late afternoon from Tam Tam Beach and heads out on the lake. From the boat you have a great view of the surrounding Rift Valley and the volcanoes in Congo, As the sun sets and you are enjoying your drink, singing fishermen pass by in dugout canoes as they head out on Lake Kivu for a night of fishing. Drinks, life vest and a guide is included in the Lake Kivu Sunset Boat Trip. 

About the Organizer

Ames Boat Tours is a local tour company based in the Kivu Belt with an office in Gisenyi. They offer a range of different tours in the Kivu Belt, most of which are by boat but also kayaking, hiking and biking tours. 

Before you Go

  • It can get a bit chilly after sunset, bring a sweater or jacket
  • The boat has a roof in case of rain
  • You might be able to be picked up and dropped at your hotel, contact Ames Boat Tours
  • This tour requires that you can climb in and out of a tour boat

Meeting Point

The tour normally starts at Tam Tam Beach in Gisenyi.  You might be able to be picked and dropped at your hotel if you contact Ames Boat tours

From 30,000 RWF

Highlights

  • Relax with a drink on a boat
  • Watch the sun set over the volcanic mountains in Congo
  • See the traditional fishermen singing as they pass by your boat

Includes

More information

Contact the organizer

Map


Categories:Boat Tours, Tours and Activities

Shema

09/8/2021 14:43

Humans of the Kivu Belt

My name is Shema Amedee I am the managing director of Ames Boat Tours. I was born in 1991 in Kigali but since 2000 I live in Rubavu.  I used to be a teacher of mathematics in the secondary from 2014 to 2018. Lake Kivu is a lake which has about 2700 square kilometers. It touches only on two countries; Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the biggest lake in Rwanda. I got the idea from my home boy. He told me that his father used the canoes, but if you may have an opportunity to buy an engine that could be a good idea. I thought about it, I discussed it with my father, ok you can try. I have gone to the bank and I have gotten a loan and that is how I found myself in tourism. At this time we use the engine that give the gas. But I prefer that in the future I can see myself having the boat with the solar energy to protect the environment and even to see that the communities are getting something from my company

Kinyarwanda

Nitwa Shema Amedee Ndi umuyobozi wa Ames Boat Tours. Navutse mu 1991 i Kigali ariko kuva 2000 ntuye Rubavu. Nigeze kuba umwarimu w imibare mumashuri yisumbuye kuva 2014 kugeza 2018. Ikiyaga cya Kivu ni ikiyaga gifite kilometero kare 2700. Ikora ku bihugu bibiri gusa; U Rwanda na Repubulika Iharanira Demokarasi ya Kongo. Nicyo kiyaga kinini mu Rwanda. Igitekerezo nabikuye kumuhungu wanjye murugo. Yambwiye ko se yakoresheje ubwato, ariko niba ushobora kuba ufite amahirwe yo kugura moteri ishobora kuba igitekerezo cyiza. Nabitekerejeho, Nabiganiriyeho na data, ok urashobora kugerageza. Nagiye muri banki nabonye inguzanyo kandi niko nasanze mubukerarugendo. Muri iki gihe dukoresha moteri itanga gaze. Ariko mpitamo ko mugihe kizaza nshobora kwibona mfite ubwato bufite ingufu zizuba kugirango ndinde ibidukikije ndetse nkanabona ko abaturage hari icyo babona muri sosiyete yanjye.

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Categories:Humans of the Kivu Belt

Martin

09/8/2021 14:28

Humans of the Kivu Belt

My name is Martin, I work as a bar tender here at Ishara Beach. I am proud of my job, the guests who come here enjoy and appreciate the good services offered to them. They come and have their meals and drinks here and return to their places satisfied.

People come here for relaxing, they swim in the Lake and play Beach Volleyball, everyone coming here go back happy and satisfied by the offered services. Allow me to tell everyone from any place like Kigali or Rusizi and other places to come here, I know they can enjoy the stay.

Many people are attracted by the lake Kivu as many do not live near any lake, so if they come here, you can see that they are impressed by seeing and being at a big lake like Kivu. They get pleased to see nice things found here and the offered services.

You are also welcome and other people are, as well welcome at Ishara Beach, we have many nice things and meals for you like isambaza fish, other local fishes, chicken; all well prepared for you.  

You are most welcome at Ishara Beach

Kinyarwanda

Nitwa Martin, nkora ku Ishara Beach ndi bar tender hano kuri beach nshimishwa n’akazi nkora n’abakiriya batugana bishimira serivise nziza dutanga. Baraza tukabaha ibyo kurya n’ibyo kunywa bagataha banyuzwe.

Abantu baza kuruhuka, bakoga mu Kivu bakanakina Beach Volleyball, buri wese ataha yishimye kandi anyuzwe na serivise yahawe. Ndashishikariza n’abandi batuye hirya no hino nka Kigali cyangwa Rusizi n’ahandi ko baza uko bahishimira cyane.

Abantu benshi iyo bageze hano bashimishwa no kubona amazi y’Ikivu uko abenshi usanga batuye kure yayo, rero iyo bageze hano ubona bashimye cyane bakanyurwa no kubona bakanaba hafi y’amazi magari, ibyiza bahasanze na serivise bahawe.

Namwe tubahaye karibu n’abandi bazaza barakaza neza ku Ishara Beach tubafitiye byinshi byiza bitandukanye, isambaza, amafi, inkoko byose bitetse neza.

Murakaza neza murisanga ku Ishara Beach.

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Categories:Humans of the Kivu Belt

Félicien

09/8/2021 12:14

Humans of the Kivu Belt

My name is Félicien, I’m an employee in this cooperative of Pfunda. One of the responsibilities that was given to me by the cooperative is to measure the weight of the tea leaves harvested and inform the tea farmers and harvesters the kilograms that they have farmed or harvested for them to get the monthly payment depending on the work they have done in the month. Another responsibility is to be a tour guide to/for tourists who needs to visit the tea plantation.

I was born in Rubavu district, Kanama sector, in Mahoko cell, my family is from this district as well. The reason why tourists like to come and visit the Pfunda tea plantation and factory is that, this is the attractive area to visit and they also experience the process of tea manufacturing from tea leaves to the drinking tea I am sure that after leaving the place they share the good adventure and experience got when visiting the Pfunda Tea Plantation with others and Factory that’s why we get more and more tourists.

Pfunda cooperative has been developed since, so I see its future will be more better because of the added tourism sector within it due to the tourists who provide more income generation for the cooperative thus create more jobs as tea is day after day given an added value on the market, thus benefits the community as there will be the creation of employment.

My hobby is having some trips, in my free time I post some updates about Pfunda tea cooperative on Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Kivu belt destination touches on many attractive areas including Rubavu district with its activities, it is known around the country that Rubavu is the most visited area in Rwanda. There are hotels and guest houses (with nice views) enough to accommodate as many guests as possible and particularly the tea plantation area is good to see while relaxing or de-stressing. I can say even say that many tourists spend more than the planned/ expected time while visiting the Pfunda tea plantation.

Kinyarwanda

Nitwa Félicien, ndi umukozi muri cooperative ya Pfunda. Akazi nkora ni ugupima icyayi cyahinzwe, ngapimira abasoromyi icyayi kugira ngo abahinzi n’abasoromyi babashe kumenya umusaruro wabo bityo nyuma y’ukwezi buri wese abashe guhembwa amafaranga hakurikijwe umusaruro we. Ku nshingano zanjye hiyongeraho no gutembereza ba mukerarugendo basura aho cooperative ihinga icyayi.

Navukiye mu karere ka Rubavu, umurenge wa Kanama, akagari ka Mahoko umudugudu wa Kami n’umuryango wanjye niho uturuka. Impamvu ba mukerarugendo bakunda kuza gusura aho icyayi giteye n’uruganda rugitunganya muri Pfunda, nuko ari ahantu heza habereye gusura bakanareba uburyo icyo cyayi kiva mu murima ari amababi kigahindurwamo icyo kunywebwa mu ruganda. Ni ibintu (experience) byiza byo kumenya. Umuntu wese wahasuye agenda yishimye nzi neza ko iyo atashye agenda abwira abo asanze ibyiza yabonye muri Pfunda bikaba ari nabyo bituma dukomeza kubona ba mukererugendo biyongera.

Koperative ya Pfunda yateye imbere turebye aho yatangiriye. Kuko icyayi kigenda kigira agaciro ku isoko, mbona ahazaza ha koperative ari heza bitewe noneho na segiteri y’ubukerarugendo yiyongereyemo. Koperative izaba ifite ingufu zisumbuye ho kubera ko ba mukerarugendo basiga amadovize bityo koperative n’uruganda bikabyungukiramo ndetse bitange n’akazi ku bakozi bashya ni nako igihugu cyunguka kinakatera imbere.

Iyo ntari mu kazi nkunda gutembera ubundi ngashyira amashusho mashya ku mbuga nkoranyambaga namamaza ibikorwa bya koperative.   

Kivu belt ikora ku duce nyaburanga harimo n’akarere ka Rubavu, birazwi ko aka karere gasurwa kurusha utundi cyane kuko hari amahoteli menshi afite ubushobozi bwo kwakira abaza muri aka karere. Akarusho ku mu cyayi nuko ari ahantu abantu batemberera mu rwego rwo gusura bakanaruhuka mu mutwe, akenshi ba mukerarugendo bahaza bahamara igihe kinini kirenze icyateganyijwe.   

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Categories:Humans of the Kivu Belt

The Swimming Cows Experience

09/7/2021 15:11

The Swimming Cows Experience

Activity Description

The farmers around Karongi use the islands as grazing pasture for their cattle. They do not transport the cows there by boat but rather let the cows swim there. In this experience you will join the cattle and their herdsmen as they herd their swimming cows from one island to another in a dugout canoe.

Those who have visited Rwanda’s Royal Palace in Nyanza will know of Rwanda’s history and special bond with cows. The swimming cows experience is a very unique experience which you are unlikely to encounter elsewhere but is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.

You will start the day by being picked up in one of the cooperatives tour boats and head out into the archipelago outside Karongi. The landscape is breathtaking and the many green islands outside Karongi give the area a very beautiful and tropical feeling. Once you reach the island where the cows are kept at the moment, the herdsmen will start to usher the cows into the water. From the comfort of the boat you watch as the herdsmen herd the swimming cows in their dugout canoes towards another island. The tour ends once the cows have safely reached the destined island.

About the Organizer

COTRALAKI is a Transport Cooperative on Lake Kivu located in Karongi. The cooperative is made up of individual members  who have brought their boats together to provide tours and activities to visitors to Karongi and the surrounding areas. The cooperative offer a range of different boat tours including guided boat tours to various islands such as Napoleon Island and with a visit to the fruit bat colony and a hike to the top. The cooperative also organizes the famous night fishing experience and some unique tours such as the ‘swimming cows’ where visitors can accompany the farmers as they move cows from one island to another. The cooperative is very well organized and have a booking office in Karongi close to the Museum of Environment.

Before you go

  • It might be a bit chilly in the morning, bring a light jacket or a sweater
  • The tour boat has a roof in case of rain
  • Your guide will meet you with the boat at any location on the water front around Karongi. Be sure to communicate this at booking

From 30,000 RWF

Highlights

  • Join the herdsmen as they move their cattle from one island to another
  • Watch a herd of cows swim in Lake Kivu

Includes

More information

Contact the organizer

Map


Categories:Boat Tours, Community Tours, Tours and Activities

Lake Kivu Night Fishing Experience in Karongi

09/7/2021 11:38

Lake Kivu Night Fishing Experience in Karongi

Activity Description

Join the singing Fishermen of Lake Kivu on night on the lake as they fish for sambaza, the famous small fish of Lake Kivu. This tour is as real as it gets. You will join a real fishing crew during their normal fishing activity so be prepared to get your hands dirty. The tour starts on board one of the cooperatives comfortable tour boats and your guide will accompany you out to join one of the fishing boats
as they paddle out for a night of fishing on the lake. The cooperative will be able to pick you up and drop you off at any location on the lake front close to Karongi town.

Once you have reached the fishing boat, you will accompany the crew as they paddle, sing and whistle their way out on the lake in the sunset. The song sung by the fishermen is a traditional song in an old language which has been passed down through generations of fishermen. Well out by the fishing location, you will help the crew to get the nets ready by lowering them under the boat. As darkness
descends on the lake, paraffin lights are lit to attract the sambaza fish. From here you will need to wait until enough fish is attracted. The crew usually rests for a while until the captain decides that enough fish has been attracted below the boat. Together with the crew you will pull the nets up into the boat which is a tough and laborious activity. One catch usually yields anything from 3 to 30 kgs of fish depending on the location and the current conditions. The nets are lowered and pulled several times by the crew until they return at dusk. You are
welcome to stay and wait for another catch, but most people are fairly tired at this point and board the tour boat to return to land. 

About the Organizer

COTRALAKI is a transport cooperative on Lake Kivu located in Karongi. The cooperative is made up of individual members  who have brought their boats together to provide tours and activities to visitors to Karongi and the surrounding areas. The cooperative offer a range of different boat tours including guided boat tours to various islands such as Napoleon Island and with a visit to the fruit bat colony and a hike to the top. The cooperative also organizes the famous night fishing experience and some unique tours such as the ‘swimming cows’ where visitors can accompany the farmers as they move cows from one island to another. The cooperative is very well organized and have a booking office in Karongi close to the Museum of Environment.

Before you go

  • The boat floor is usually wet. Wear flip flops or waterproof boots
  • It might get cold, bring a light jacket or a sweater
  • The tour boat has a roof in case of rain

From 30,000 RWF

Highlights

  • Join a fishing crew night fishing on Lake Kivu
  • Paddle with the crew to the fishing location
  • Experience a genuine traditional African trade far off the beaten path

Includes

More information

Contact the organizer

Map


Categories:Boat Tours, Community Tours, Tours and Activities

Birding at Kivu Rushel Lodge

08/27/2021 14:29

Birding at Kivu Rushel Lodge

Curious about bird watching? Discover more than 55 species in our  garden.

Rushel Kivu Lodge is located on the shores of the calm and pristine Lake Kivu and in the heart of Rwanda’s coffee paradise, Kinunu.

With its vast lush garden and variety of trees, Rushel Kivu Lodge attracts a diverse birdlife. To date, 55 bird species have been recorded in our garden.

You will likely spot beautiful local bird species on our guided birding tour, such as the Red-faced Crombec, Cardinal Woodpecker, and the Fawn-breasted Waxbill. Lake Kivu is a migratory destination for shorebirds like Grey-headed Gull (a Palearctic migrant), making the Lodge ideal for birders.

While here, you can also experience the Rwandan culture and support the local communities by participating in community-based tourism activities, such as traditional farming, cooking local food, traditional dances.

The Lodge is close to the Gishwati National Park, where more than 100 species, including 20 Albertine Rift endemics, can be easily spotted, along with other attractions such as Chimpanzee tracking.

In three hours, you can visit the Nyungwe National Park, which hosts more than 300 bird species, including 29 Albertine Rift endemics and the quasi-endemic Red-collared Mountain Babbler. The Park also offers other unique attractions, such as the Canopy walkway, waterfalls, hiking, Chimpanzee tracking.

We have trained and experienced birdwatching guides who can also offer other guiding experiences. Should you be interested, please contact our reception for more information. 

Bird List

African Dusky Flycatcher
African Harrier-hawk
African Paradise Flycatcher
African Pied Wagtail
African Thrush
Arrow-marked Babbler
Barn Swallow
Black Saw-wing
Baglafecht Weaver
Black-headed (Village) Weaver
Black-headed Heron
Blue-spotted Wood Dove
Bronze Mannikin
Cardinal Woodpecker
Common Sandpiper
Common Waxbill
Dark-capped (Common) Bulbul
Fawn-breasted Waxbill
Great Cormorant
Grey-headed Gull
Hadada Ibis
Hamerkop
Holub’s golden Weaver
Intermediate Egret
Little Egret
Little Swift
Northern Grey-headed Sparrow
Northern (Common) Fiscal
Palm-nut Vulture
Pied Crow
Pied Kingfisher
Pin-tailed Whydah
Red-billed Firefinch
Red-chested Cuckoo
Red-chested Sunbird
Red-eyed Dove
Red-faced Crombec
Semi-collared Flycatcher
Red-nacked Flancolin
Red-rumped Swallow
Red-throated Wryneck
Ring-necked Dove 
Scarlet-chested Sunbird
Speckled Mousebird
Speckled Pigeon
Spectacled Weaver
Spot-flanked Barbet
Spur-winged Lapwing 
Tambourine Dove
Thick-billed Seed-eater
Trilling Cisticola
Tropical Boubou
Vieillot’s Black Weaver
White-browed Coucal
White-browed Robin-chat
Woodland Kingfisher
Yellow-billed Kite
Yellow-throated Greenbul

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Categories:Birder friendly accommodation, Rushel Kivu Lodge

Biking Map of the Congo Nile Trail

06/9/2021 15:41

Biking Map of the Congo Nile Trail

Biking Map of the Congo Nile Trail

Biking the Congo Nile Trail can be done in 5 to 8 days depending on your physical level and the amount of time you spend on the road each day vs how much time you spend doing other activities. This map will help you locate all the service, centers and other things you might need as your are biking the Congo Nile Trail. If  you are looking for the full description of all the biking stages of the Congo Nile Trail you will find it here. If you are looking for the complete guide on the Congo Nile Trail you will find it here

Visit Rwanda’s Interactive map for the Congo Nile Trail can be found using This Link

Use the drop down filter to select the category you are looking for. 

Biking The Congo Nile Trail
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Categories:The Congo Nile Trail

Rwanda Coffee Tour with Tasting of Traditionally Prepared Coffee

06/3/2021 10:50

Rwanda Coffee Tour with Tasting of Traditionally Prepared Coffee

Activity description

Experience the entire coffee making process from seed to the finished product. This tours starts in the nursery and ends with a cup of Rwandan coffee ground and roasted in the traditional way.

The COOPROCAKI Coffee Cooperative have welcomed visitors for many years. The best way to learn more about how Rwanda coffee is being grown, processed, roasted and drunk is to join one of the coffee tours offered by the cooperative.

The coffee tour at the COOPROCAKI Coffee Cooperative starts in one of the coffee plantations with spectacular views of Lake Kivu. Here you will first be introduced to the coffee plant, its life cycle and how Rwanda coffee is grown. Depending on the time of year, you will be able to pick the coffee beans from the tree or at least see how the coffee beans are growing. 

After visiting the coffee plantation, the tour continues at the nursery. Rwanda coffee plants are raised locally from local beans. At the nursery you will see how the coffee trees are raised from beans to young seedlings and eventually brought out and planted at the plantations.

From the nursery you will be taken through the coffee plantation to the washing station. Your guide will explain how the coffee is fermented, sorted and washed. This process removes the outer skin of the coffee bean in a way which develops the right tastes and aromas of the beans inside. The coffee is then sorted into different grades depending on the hardness and weight of each individual bean.  

Throughout your visit to the coffee cooperative you will notice that a certain scent present. The waste water from the fermentation and washing of the coffee is toxic but is recycled as fertilizer on the coffee plantations.

After seeing the complex process which the coffee bean passes through, the guide will take you to the place where the coffee beans are being dried. Rwanda coffee is usually produced from a coffee type called Arabica Bourbon which is a small-yield but high-quality type of coffee which requires special care.

Throughout your tour you will notice that the entire process is done by hand and that very little machinery or mechanical assistants are being used. This is also true when it comes to the end of the tour.

At the end of the tour, you will be treated to a cup of locally grown coffee from the cooperative. Before you are able to drink the coffee you have to prepare the beans by hand in a traditional way. First you will manually roast the coffee over hot coals. The beans must then be pounded by hand, using a traditional wooden mortar. After the coffee beans are roasted and pounded, you can now heat water it over a fire and mix your own fresh cup of Rwandan coffee. 

About the organizer

Most of Rwanda coffee is produced on small scale farms found throughout the country. The largest producing region of Rwanda coffee is the Kivu Belt, which is the western part of Rwanda along the shores of Lake Kivu. Rwanda Coffee farms are small and usually organized into coffee cooperatives. The purpose of the coffee cooperatives is to coordinate and cooperate around certain important parts of the coffee preparation process such as the washing, fermentation and drying process. Coffee production is a complex process and the coffee passes through many steps before it can be roasted, packed and later brewed into a cup of consumable Rwanda coffee.

COOPROCAKI is a cooperative of coffee farmers located in the Kivumu Sector in Rutsiro District. The cooperative offers an amazing agro-tourism package based on two locally grown crops, coffee and banana. You will have the opportunity to learn hands on about coffee growing processes from the farmers and engage in activities such as mulching, pruning, harvesting coffee beans to sorting, peeling and roasting, amongst others. Join us for this marvelous journey through our estate and the homes of our members. Additionally, the spectacular view of the Lake Kivu will make your tour more memorable.

At the COOPROCAKI Coffee Cooperative on the shores of Lake Kivu in Rwanda, the washing station is made up of 50 farmers who grown coffee on parts of their farms. Together as members of the COOPROCAKI Coffee Cooperative, they share a common drying and washing station which is used for the lengthy process of fermenting, peeling, washing and drying the coffee. Like most Rwanda coffee farmers, the members of the COOPROCAKI Coffee Cooperative also grow other crops on parts of their land. These crops are mainly used for self-consumption. Even though some of the coffee is traditionally roasted and consumed by the members, most of the coffee produced at the COOPROCAKI Coffee Cooperative is shipped away and sold.

Before You Go

  • A bit of walking over uneven ground, wear comfortable outdoor shoes
  • You will spend some time in the sun, wear a hat and sunscreen
  • Bring an umbrella or rain coat in case of rain
  • Bikers and hikers on the Congo Nile Trail can access the start of the tour directly on the trail. The road to the start of the tour is rough and requires a 4×4 in case you arrive by car.

From 10,000 RWF

Highlights

  • Visit a Rwanda coffee plantation
  • Learn how Rwanda coffee is produced from seed to a cup
  • Taste a cup of locally made Rwanda coffee produced entirely by hand
  • Experience how coffee production improves the livelihood of communities in Rwanda

Includes

More information

Contact the organizer

Map


Categories:Community Tours, Tours and Activities

Traditional Rwandan Basket Weaving Workshop

06/3/2021 8:53

Traditional Rwandan Basket Weaving Workshop

Activity description

Learn this the traditional art of weaving famous Rwandan baskets in this traditional Rwandan basket weaving workshop . During the workshop you will learn the entire process of dying, knitting and weaving the baskets. Most of the raw materials used are locally produced and using traditional Rwandan customs. There is also a shop where you can have the opportunity to buy traditional crafts if you don’t have the time to take part in the full workshop.  

The workshop starts with dying of the traditional materials used for basket weaving. The traditional colors used are white, blue, red, yellow and green, but sometimes other colors are used as well. The dye is heated over an open fire and the fibers are stirred around in the hot dye using a wooden stick.

After dying, you will try traditional Rwandan weaving. Traditional Rwandan baskets are made from weaving strands of grass and sisal fibers. Weaving in Rwanda is done using a large size needle rather than a large knitting needle.

Weaving is an old tradition in Rwanda and is most commonly used to make the famous traditional storage baskets with imigongo pattern. The traditional baskets in Rwanda are made over a frame of dried papyrus. Thick grass and banana fibres are then woven tight onto the frame.

After the workshop and learning the various techniques of knitting, dying and weaving, you can visit the cooperative shop before saying goodbye. 

About the organizer

The Weaving Cooperative of Kivumu (COOVAKARU) comprises of 25 women passionate about weaving and who practiced it as a hobby to generate income for their families. They then turned their passion into a community based tourism experience for visitors along the Kivu Belt Road and the Congo Nile Trail.

COOVAKARU offers you an authentic weaving experience and an opportunity to enhance your knowledge on the different weaving craft forms of Rwanda, identify various types of materials used in weaving, and the processes required for the preparation of some plants. You will enjoy your interaction with the cooperative members and the local community, while you become creative and an expert in weaving and knitting.

Before You Go

  • This activity does not include walking
  • This activity is mostly inside
  • You might spend some time in the sun, wear a hat and sunscreen

Meeting Point

Your guide will meet you in front of the cooperative building in Kivumu, Yellow sign showing Coovakaru can be seen from the Kivu Belt Road

From 10,000 RWF

Highlights

  • Learn traditional dying, weaving and knitting techniques
  • Create your own traditional basket with imigongo pattern
  • Get the chance to buy a genuine traditional Rwandan craft straight from production

Includes

More information

Contact the organizer

Map

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Categories:Community Tours, Tours and Activities

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