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Kibuye Rwanda

Kibuye Rwanda, Another Day at Lake Kivu

Kibuye is surely a beautiful lake-side town on the shores of Lake Kivu in Rwanda. It is the capital city of the Western Province in Rwanda. This lake city is located on the eastern shore of Lake Kivu. There are three important towns on the Rwandan side of Lake Kivu. Kibuye is the middle one that lies between Gisenyi(at north) and Cyangugu (on the south). It is a popular beach resort and is about 135km from Kigali and 85km from the Nyungwe Forest. 

Lake Kivu beside our Hostel
Lake Kivu beside our Hostel

How to Get to Kibuye Rwanda?

The Kigali International Airport is the closest airport to Kibuye, situated around 140 km away from the center of Kibuye. Alternatively, there are regular buses plying between Kigali Nyabugogo Bus Station and Kibuye. It includes the Capital bus line, Impala Express bus line, and many minibusses. The one-way fare is about 2500RFr. These buses generally take around 3 hours from Kigali to Kibuye.

However, you can also reach Kiboue from Gisenyi or Cyangugu too. Earlier, there was only one bus from Gisenyi to Kibuye. Now you have a Poctual bus service, and available every hour in the day. I took the early morning bus and reached Kibuye within three hours from Gisenyi. On the google map, the actual name of the town is Karongi.

How to Get Around Kibuye Rwanda?

Kibuye is a small town, so walking on your feet is the topmost option to get around in Kibuye. Alternatively, Moto Taxis are commonly used for local travel in Kibuye that cost around 500RFr.

Where to Stay in Kibuye Rwanda?

In Kibuye I stayed at Home Saint-Jean. It was a great location with Lake Kivu. You can find lake Kivu on its three sides. Home Saint Jean also has some budget dormitories room for backpackers too.

Most of my bookings were from or directly booked at the property. However, When you’re looking for a stay, do your research first. Also, read the reviews to get a feel for the place. Finally, book somewhere that makes your stay a perfect vacation place in Rwanda.

Home Saint Jeans Kibuye Rwanda
Home Saint Jeans Kibuye Rwanda
View of Lake Kivu from Home Saint Jeans
View of Lake Kivu from Home Saint Jeans

Top Attractions in Kibuye Rwanda

As Kibuye is a lake town so, most of its activities revolve around Lake Kivu. These activities can be boating, hiking, or just relaxing in a lakeside resort. Here in this topic, I will explain some of the important activities in Kibuye Rwanda.

Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is a freshwater lake in Western Rwanda on the border of Rwanda and Congo. We visited Kibuye as well as Gisenyi on the shores of Lake Kivu. It was the last town that I visited on my East African tour that includes Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. Lake Kivu is one of the Great African Lakes that lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. It is part of the Albertine Rift.

Lake Kivu provides its water to the great Ruzizi River that flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika. It has a surface area of 2,700 sq. km, with a maximum width of 48 km and a length of 89 km. It is a lifeline of Gisenyi town. On the Rwanda side, the lake forms many spectacular sandy beaches. A few famous ones are the small beach at the Moriah Hotel and near the Golf Eden Rock Hotel. Both these places are marked on my map. Some locals claim Lake Kivu now has bilharzia in it and we have to take Bilharzia pills before a dip into the lake. We took a scenic Island Hopping tour in lake Kivu.

Lake Kivu Kibuye Rwanda
Lake Kivu Kibuye Rwanda
Lake Kivu Kibuye
Lake Kivu Kibuye

Boating in Lake Kivu

Take an hour boat ride around Lake Kivu for 15,000 RWF. Especially, this will be a great activity for sunset. It will be an option to get a kayak to take your own way or a guided boat tour around small islands. I went for the Island Hope tour that was arranged by my hostel manager and I was a part of a small group.

Island Hoping Tour Kibuye

Island hopping is a great and must-do activity while your stay in Kibuye. It might be a half-day or full-day activity as per your time and affordability. I reached early morning to my Hostel in Kibuye from Gisenyi. My Hostel Manager advised me to take a tour of the island hopping. The cost of the tour was $100 for the whole trip and the boat hold 7 to 8 people. As I was alone, I requested him to keep my tag with some other group. Luckily he did so and I was part of that group at the cost of 10000RFr(10$).

Island Hoping Tour booking

The best place to book this tour will be your Hostel.

Island Hoping Route Kibuye Rwanda

We have to reach Wagasirika that was around 1.5km from our Hostel. I took a Moto Taxi to reach the starting point of the tour. We were a bit late due to my companions who managed to book this tour. So, on this tour, we are going to explore three islands and many others to view from our boat. So, here goes our boat tour.

Island Hop Tour
Island Hop Tour Kibuye
Beginning of Island Hop Tour  Kibuye
Beginning of Island Hop Tour Kibuye

Peace Island Kibuye

After starting our tour, initially, we traveled in a canal-like lake part beside the mangrove forest. After half an hour of boating, we were about to enter Peace Island. I couldn’t find this name on the map, so I pinned this location on my attached map. The landing place was the best for a day’s trip. Actually, it was a cluster of three to four small islets. We explore the complete island and took our desired shots. Many other groups were also coming and going from this island. So, after spending an hour or less there we again boarded into our boat to our next island stop.

Peace Island Kibuye Rwanda
Peace Island Kibuye
Island hop tour in Kibuye Rwanda
Island hop tour in Kibuye

Monkey Island

Monkey Island was our next stop. It was the place where many monkeys were waiting for us. Even a few of them jumped into our boat before our landing on the island. These monkeys were waiting to get some foodstuffs for them. We make a short stop here and then went to our final stop on the tour.

Monkey Island Kibuye
Monkey Island Kibuye
Monkey visit us for his food on Monkey Island
Monkey visit us for his food

Napoleon Island Kibuye

Napoleon Island was also called Bat Island as there were. It is one of the most interesting ones on the whole tour. Napoleon Island was named because of its shape to Napoleon’s hat. The island is home to a large colony of bats and after a short walk, we can have a face-to-face interaction with them. Our guide makes a conversation with this Bat Group. Whenever he made a clapping sound the whole of the bat colony replied with their clicks. We watched the sunset at Napolean Island. It is a good activity to climb to the top of the island for stunning views, We couldn’t do this as we are late to start our tour. So, if you come to visit this island then definitely you will go to the top to have a panoramic view of many islands around this.

Approaching to Napoleon Island Kibuye
Approaching Napoleon Island Kibuye
Bat Colony at Napoleon Island
Bat Colony at Napoleon Island Kibuye Rwanda

Teddy Bear Island

Although, we didn’t visit Teddy Bear island you can ignore this island that has the shape of a Teddy Bear. When I asked one of my Rwandan Group fellows about the name of this Teddy Bear-like island, he said it hasn’t any name. Later on, I googled the map and surprisingly it has the same name (Teddy Bear) as of my guessing.

Teddy Bear Island Kibuye Rwanda
Teddy Bear Island Kibuye
ISland Hoping Tour Kibuye
Monkey Island, Napoleon Island, and Teddy Bear Island as seen from Peace Island

A Stroll down the Town of Kibuye

Kibuye is a small little town and there are very few places you can visit while walking through the town. While I got off my bus at Karongi Bus Terminal. So, I took the leisurely stroll to my hostel which was a mile distance from the bus terminal. On the way, the small city center offers a quick search center to make necessary purchases. Then the eyecatching scenery beside Lake Kivu forces you to take an hour-long walk in a serene atmosphere.

Congo Nile Trail

You can follow the Congo Nile Trail from Kibuye. Indeed, the Congo Nile Trail offers great adventure travel on the coast of Lake Kivu. Tourists can take a hiking or biking tour that extends all the way from the northern Rubavu (Gisenyi) district down to the southern Rusizi district. While this route passes through Rutsiro, Karongi, and Nyamasheke.The full length of the Congo Nile Trail is about 227 km (141 miles. Whereas, tourists do this activity in a span of a 10-day hike or a 5-day bike ride.

Lake Kivu in Kibuye, A good place for Vacation in Uganda
Lake Kivu in Kibuye, on the way to Congo Nile Trail

Day tours from Kibuye for an Extended Stay

In addition to the famous island hopping tour, we can go for a visit to Ndaba Waterfall. This waterfall, situated around 28 km away from Kibuye and is very much famous among nature lovers. Alternatively, Bisecero Genocide Memorial is another option. It is also called the Hills of resistance. This memorial is on top of Bisesero Hill overlooking Lake Kivu and lots of hills. We can take a Boda Boda from Kibuye to reach there. The highway ride was smooth but then the rough road to Bisesero which is around 15 Km is too bumpy.

Good Bye from Kibuye Rwanda
Good Bye from Kibuye Rwanda

Hey, This is Rashid and I am here to share my Wide Angle Dreams with you, with the aim to provide you a Wide Angle to catch your bucket list dreams of travelling and trekking. If you love to travel but feel that you are bound in tough daily routines and find very little time to catch your travelling dreams, then you are at a right place.

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