12 Sep Rwanda Gorilla and Lake Kivu Holidays 2017
If there is a safari that brings you any closer, on foot, to wild beasts capable of mauling you, I’m not sure I care to be on it. One second you are bushwhacking through thickets of bamboo in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, pulling yourself up a steep lava slope, toehold to toehold. The next, you turn a corner and sunlight streams through the canopy to illuminate a matted clump of black against a curtain of rain forest green. You’ve known this was coming and still you gasp. Seated perhaps 30 feet away is one of the roughly 900 mountain gorillas remaining on earth, a saggy-breasted female, and soon you see that she is cradling an infant in her lap. She wraps one arm around the 6-month-old while scratching her own ear with an extended index finger.
She is the advanced sentry for the Hirwa family, a clan of 20, and to the extent that she seems to care at all about our arrival, her attitude smacks of “What took you so long?” We freeze, then tiptoe forward to give all eight trekkers in our group a clear sight line. Cameras are upholstered faster than six-shooters at a gunfight. Soon two siblings tumble out of the brush, abruptly disrupting the maternal one-on-one time. As the imps wrestle and roll, the mother flops on her back in surrender.
Lake Kivu is a beautiful high altitude Lake which forms the border between the Congo and Rwanda. It’s a busy Lake, always alive with traders and fishermen in their dugout canoes. The drives along Lake Kivu are longish, on unmade roads, but they offer the opportunity to see rural life as it has been for centuries, virtually unchanged. It is a very scenic route and you see people at work, cultivating bananas, cassava, sorghum, beans, rice, potatoes, and even coffee in their steep and tiny fields.
From the moment you first set eyes on Lake Kivu, it is clear that the most beautiful of Africa’s great lakes is a deeply special destination. A cascade of rich blue colours plays across its surface. The terraced escarpments and pretty villages on its banks invite you to explore further and enjoy the wealth of recreational activities on offer. It is the incredible depth of Lake Kivu that lends it those enticing aquamarine hues. Reaching 480m at its deepest, the glittering lake runs for almost 100km along Rwanda’s Congolese border.
Whether you are taking in the stunning views from a boat trip to the buzzing town of Gisenyi in the north, or relaxing on its white sandy shoreline, Lake Kivu rates as a must-see. Here you can also enjoy lake fishing, canoeing and swimming in those clear blue waters. If you are planning an unforgettable jungle experience, this is the perfect place to kick back and relax. Lake Kivu is only an hour’s drive from the Volcanoes National Park and the Virungas Conservation Area. The perfect retreat before or after the thrill of a gorilla trek. More so some travelers trek gorilla in Rwanda and cross to Uganda to also experience the Bwindi gorilla trek in Uganda with the relation at the shores of Lake Bunyonyi or Mutanda both the crater lakes with stunning landscapes.