Gisenyi (Rubavu) Town, Lake Kivu, Northern Rwanda Destinations

Gisenyi (Rubavu) Town, Lake Kivu, Northern Rwanda Destinations


 Gisenyi is the largest city on the shores of Lake Kivu also referred to by its new name Rubavu, known for its water sports and surprisingly tropical beaches. The town resembles a forgotten tropical beach resort with an endearing mismatch of architectural styles, sandy red shore, and lakeside extremely rich in birdlife. The northern shore of the lake where the towns of Goma and Gisenyi are found features lava formations from the eruptions of the nearby Mount Nyiragongo. Gisenyi is also home to Bralirwa, the only brewery in Rwanda - nothing like a cold beer to relieve stress.

Visitors will be tempted to spent more than a few days here as the beachfront accommodation, bustling marketplaces, forgotten colonial buildings and tree lined streets all add to the town's allure. Add to that the proximity of the town to the Volcanoes National Park and the Gorilla tracking activities most visitors to Rwanda are after. The Volcanoes National Park (Parc des Volcans) was made famous by Dian Fossey's work and the film Gorillas in the Mist. Along with an array of other endangered species, more than half of the world's last mountain gorillas live here. At present, it's probably the best place in Africa to see them.

An important place of interest while driving north from Gisenyi (Rubavu) is the Imbabazi Orphanage founded by an American Rosamund Halsey Carr. Imbabazi Orphanage is a beautiful memorial to a remarkable lady who on returning to Rwanda after the genocide at the age of 82, transformed her ransacked house into an orphanage for survivors and over 400 orphans have since called this place home. Sitting among colorful 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.

Why Visit Gisenyi (Rubavu) Town, Lake Kivu, Northern Rwanda.

  • Enjoy the water sports activities on Lake Kivu.
  • The rich birdlife found on the lake shores and surrounding areas.
  • Visit a town that is home to the only brewery in Rwanda Bralirwa.
  • The bustling markets make it an ideal place to shop.
  • Relax before and/or after visiting the Volcanoes National Park (Parc des Volcans) for a gorilla or golden monkey tracking trekking expedition.
  • Visit the Imbabazi Orphanage an orphanage for survivors and over 400 orphans of the Rwandan genocide.

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