If you’re looking for a new destination, I suggest that you add Gisenyi to your list of must-visit places in Rwanda.
This city is located on Lake Kivu and has so much to offer.
Here are just some of the mind-blowing things that you can do while there:
#1. Go on a speedboat ride at Lake Kivu
A great way to see the lake!!! Speedboat rides are the way to go.
The views of Lake Kivu are incredible and will leave you in awe.
Speedboats can be rented from the beach on either side of the lake, and if you want to get around faster or just have fun with your friends, renting one is recommended!
The water is very clean and clear at every point in time, so there’s no need to worry about catching any nasty diseases while enjoying yourself in nature’s playground (although I don’t recommend swimming).
#2. Wake up to the views of the Virunga Volcanoes
Looking for the perfect view to wake up to, then head to check out the view from one of the volcanoes.
The Virungas are home to several endangered species and have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The volcanoes are also popular tourist attractions, so you can be sure that there will be plenty of people around when you go hiking or trekking through this natural wonderland!
#3. Visit the Goma-Gisenyi border that was once used to smuggle gorilla body parts
The Goma-Gisenyi border is an intriguing place to visit.
It’s a stretch of land that was once used to smuggle gorilla body parts and other contraband across the border, but has now been opened up for public viewing.
You can see the remains of smugglers’ boats, as well as some buildings from what used to be their headquarters.
This gives you a sense of just how far behind Rwanda was in terms of development compared with its neighbors, and also how much progress has been made since then!
#4. Laze around Rubavu Beach
Rubavu Beach is a small town in the South Western Province of Rwanda. It’s known for its beautiful beaches and good weather, but it’s also known as one of the most popular beaches in Rwanda.
The beach itself is not very large at all, but there are plenty of bars and restaurants along it that make it worth visiting, even if you don’t plan on swimming or sunbathing.
The water is clear blue and warm, perfect for everyone to enjoy!
There are many hotels on Rubavu Beach, but only a few cater to foreign tourists.
The rest are for Rwandan locals and their families. This means that if you’re looking for somewhere to stay, it can be difficult to find something that suits your needs.
The best time to visit Rubavu Beach is in the summer, when it’s warm enough to swim and enjoy the sunshine.
You can also go during the rainy season if you don’t mind getting a little wet, but it’s not recommended.
#5. Kayak and Relax at Minazi Cove
Minazi Cove is a hidden gem on the shore of Lake Kivu. It’s not far from Gisenyi, but it feels like you’ve stumbled upon this magical place by accident. The water is crystal clear and so smooth that even if you were to fall overboard, you wouldn’t sink.
The best part? Minazi Cove offers kayaking opportunities for both beginners and experienced paddlers who want to take their skills up another notch.
You can rent kayaks from rental companies (there’s also a guide service), which costs around $10 per hour plus tax per person (the price varies depending on what time of day and how many people are going).
Once you’ve got your gear and have paid for your spot at Minazi Cove Beach Club, just head down there!
There’s a small bar at the beach where you can grab lunch and drinks.
Minazi Cove is also home to one of Kivu’s best restaurants, so if you’re looking for some good eats as well as great views, this is the place to be!
#6. Hike Nyiragongo Volcano
Hiking Nyiragongo Volcano is a must-do activity in Gisenyi.
The volcano is an active stratovolcano in the Virunga Mountains, on the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is an active volcano with a lava lake at its summit, which periodically emits smoke and ash into air currents flowing from nearby Mount Karisimbi (Rwanda) toward Lake Kivu (Congo).
The hike starts at very early in the morning when there’s still some light left, but you need to be back by 5 pm or else they’ll charge you double the price for making an extra stop on their way back to camp!
#7. Touring of Lwiro Chimpanzee Sanctuary
The orphanage is a non-profit organization that houses about 100 chimpanzees. It’s located on Lwiro.
The sanctuary is home to some very sweet chimps, they love playing with each other and running around.
If you’re visiting Gisenyi, take the time to visit this place during your trip so that you can see how much fun these adorable creatures are having.
With so much to do and see, Gisenyi is not only one of the best-kept secrets in Rwanda, but also a great place for all types of travellers.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet getaway or an exciting adventure, there are plenty of options in this dynamic city for everyone.
If you’re still on the fence about whether Gisenyi is right for your trip, then you’re missing out.
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SUGGESTED READ: Discovering Rwanda: An Unbeatable Travellers Guide, 2022