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On A Boat… Lake Kivu

May 5, 2012

Lake Kivu, on the border between DRC and Rwanda, empties into the Ruzizi River, which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika. The name comes from kivu which means “lake” in Bantu language, just like the words tanganyika or nyanza.

The lake covers a total surface area of some 1,040 sq mi and stands at an elevation of 4,790 ft above sea level. The lake bed sits upon a rift valley that is slowly being pulled apart, causing volcanic activity in the area, and making it particularly deep: its maximum depth of 1,575 ft.    -Wikipedia

While exploring the house where I’m staying the first weekend that I arrived in Bukavu, I learned that it was also home to a boat… that lives in a boathouse on the lake. The boat is sometimes used for work to visit sites that are hard to access by road.

But on the weekends… when it’s just sitting there… sometimes people can take it out for a boat ride…

Which is exactly what I got to do on my second day here- a beautiful, impromptu boat ride on Lake Kivu.

We sped around along the coast of the city, and then our boat captain asked us where we wanted to go…

Umm…just, around I guess?

The boat captain had an idea. He took us to an old Belgian plantation house a little ways up the lakeshore, set next to a small forest. No one lives there, but there’s a caretaker that looks after it. He was nice enough to let us poke around the outside of the house, the gardens and the picnic/swimming area on the lake.

Not a bad way to start off my first weekend here!

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