Destination Kivu Belt

Boat Tour to Gihaya Island

Full activity description

Join a guided boat tour from Rusizi to Gihaya Island where the locals will welcome you with song, dance and canoe racing. On the way you will see more of the islands found outside Rusizi. You will also get a chance to see the mouth of the Rusizi River and the pass by the border between Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

Start the day by boarding a tour boat from central Rusizi and head out into archipelago outside the town. Pass by the many islands, boats and fishermen on Lake Kivu as you head for Gihaya Island. Gihaya Island is one of the largest islands outside Rusizi and is home to a vibrant community. The community on Gihaya Island has a unique culture and language. Having been separated from both DRC and Rwanda for many centuries they have developed their own culture, customs and language.

Once you arrive on the island, members of the community will great you with their unique songs, music and way of dancing. You are free to join in, but this is not a must. After the welcome ceremony your guide will take you on a tour of the island. You will have a chance to witness some of the small farms on the island as well as some remains from the German and Belgian colonial settlements. Unique to the island is a cooperative of fishing women. Before leaving, the women, who use local wooden canoes to get about on Lake Kivu will bid you farewell with a race in their canoes.

Before returning to Rusizi, your guide will take you past some more of the Rusizi’s islands. You will also pass by the mouth of the mighty Rusizi River and the border between DRC and Rwanda.

About the organizer

ABAGI Fishing Cooperative offers guided boat trips in the Rusizi side of Lake Kivu by fishermen who sustain their lives by fishing. The cooperative owns a range of different boats ranging from tour boats to wooden canoes. The cooperative also earns additional income by organizing tours for visitors.

Before you go

  • It is wise to bring a sweater or light jacket
  • Some walking in uneven terrain, wear comfortable outdoor shoes

Meeting Point

  • The tour starts at the fishing cooperative near the Rusizi Harbor

Fitness Level

  • This activity requires that you can walk on an uneven surface


  • Explore the Rusizi Archipelago
  • Visit Gihaya Island
  • Meet the community on Gihaya Island who will greet you with unique songs, dance and canoe racing


More information

Contact the organizer


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