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Gisenyi is a city in Rubavu district in Western Rwanda.


Gisenyi is a town on the north shore of Lake Kivu on the border with DR Congo (Goma) Gisenyi is coterminous with Goma, the city across the border in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Get in[edit]

Buses run many times a day between Kigali and Gisenyi (2h30 to 3h) and at least once a day between Kibuye and Gisenyi. Minibus Gisenyi to Musanze takes abt 2h , departure when full.

Get around[edit]

Gisenyi is a small town and can easily be gotten around on foot, alternatively there are hundreds of motorbike taxis around.

See[edit][add listing]

Lake Kivu and beaches

Do[edit][add listing]

Situated on the north of Lake Kivu, it also offers many opportunities for water sports or for excursions on the lake. The northern shore of the lake on which Goma and Gisenyi lie is a flat plain featuring lava formations from the eruptions of nearby Nyiragongo Volcano.

Gisenyi town features a resort on the shores of Lake Kivu, with the best hotels and beaches.

  • Wildlife Tours,Gorilla Trekking,Historical & Cultural, Village visits,

Volunteer,Walking & Trekking,Kayaking & Boat trip, Community based Tours, Sightseeing Tours.

  • Visit the Brewery. It opens for tours once a week. Call or ask the local for details.
  • Visit the local youth cultural center and see kids practice in dance, music, gymnastic

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Calafia Cafe is located on the lakefront road in town near the Big Border crossing. Exquisite coffee and gourmet sandwiches, salads, smoothies, toast, tapas, baked goods, and cocktails. Great for dining in or grabbing a packed lunch for your car ride, trek up Nyiragongo, or hike.

Other good restaurants include Thai Jazz, Super Five, Paradis Malahide, and Inzu Lodge.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, Avenue de la Cooperation (on the shore of lake Kivu outside just outside the city), +250 252 541111 (fax: +250 252 541102), [1]. From $134 per night.  edit
  • Hotel Umumwe Located one block from Lake Kivu it has nice clean rooms for 35,000RWF/58USF, 25,000RRFW/41USD and 20,000/33USD with breakfast included in the rate. (email:

There are many guest houses and other hotels in Gisenyi. Just ask around. You can find prices cheaper than the two listed above.

  • Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, Gisenyi, Rwanda, +250 788 200430, [2]. Surrounded by tropical gardens and located on a sandy beach at Lake Kivu, Lake Kivu Serena Hotel offers luxury and business friendly accommodation as well as a great range of sports activities, relaxing spa services and family friendly options. $180USD.  edit


Get out[edit]

Gisenyi is right on the border of DRC and you can easily walk there; However, you should check what visa requirements are needed for the DRC as the rules have recently gotten much tougher. . Plane trips can be made from here to view the Nyiragongo volcano craters.

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