Welcome to Lake Kivu which is one of the African Great Lakes. It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, and is in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. Lake Kivu empties into the Ruzizi River, which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika.
Lake Kivu experiences two wet seasons and two dry seasons, much like the climate in the rest of eastern, southern, and central Africa. The dry seasons are from June until August and from mid-December through to mid-February, though you can expect some showers in the latter part of the season.
Traveling in the dry months is great for enjoying sunbathing or swimming in the lake. Birders can go exploring to catch sight of many of the 60 avian species that abound here. The long rains in this region occur from March to May, and especially in April. The short rains fall from September to November and into the beginning of December, bringing a burst of new vegetation that can be breathtakingly beautiful.
Since the wet seasons are the low tourism months, you might be able to get room discounts in the various accommodations during that time. While it may be called the wet season, those visiting during this time should expect that it will not rain continuously throughout the day; typically, heavy showers are interspersed with bright sunshine.
Lake Kivu sees an influx of local guests during the long dry season. This season coincides with summer vacation in North America and Europe, and families like to spend time touring Rwanda’s parks and reserves on wildlife spotting expeditions—especially partaking in gorilla safaris at Volcanoes National Park.
The tranquil waterside locale of Lake Kivu is an ideal place for rest and relaxation post-gorilla adventure. The short dry season, of course, coincides with the winter months up in the northern hemisphere, and spending time in the warmer climate Eastern Africa is an excellent choice for like-minded vacationers. The latter two weeks of December are also the time of festive holidays, and many locals like to spend them with friends and family.
If you hope to experience fun water activities during your vacation at Lake Kivu, it is best to plan your trip during the long dry season. With a lower possibility of rain, you will be able to enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and long walks on the tan, sandy beaches.
If you’re lucky, you might catch sight of some of the beautiful birds residing around the lake. There are always fewer insects in the dry seasons than during the rains, so you are less likely to be bothered by annoying bugs, including mosquitoes. The risk of contracting malaria is, of course, lower during the dry season; though, precaution should always be taken.