Forming part of the Albertine Rift, surrounded by mountains and some of the most scenic inland beaches is the paradise which is Lake Kivu. The lake is one of the oldest lakes on Earth. It is one of three exploding lakes in Africa. It experiences bouts of volcanic activity, which periodically cause volcanic gases which gather deep in the lake to explode.
Lake Kivu is a popular holiday destination for locals but is less visited by foreigners. Two of the towns on its shores Kibuyu and Gisyeni were badly affected during the genocide. In Kibuyu, a staggering ninety percent of the resident Tutsi people were massacred. There is on a hill near the town a church that serves as a memorial to the 11,000 dead.
The town has put its past behind it and has a wonderful feel, with beautiful beaches, friendly locals. There are regular boat trips out to an island called Chapeau Napoleon which has a large colony of fruit bats and to a thriving local bar on one of the islands. Gisenyi is an old, delightful colonial-era town with excellent.