You can reach Bukavu from Rwanda via the borders of Cangungu, from Burundi via the border of Uvira, and from Goma via Lake Kivu or by Road.
Due to unresolved wars that continue to this day, as well as the massive crossing of goods over the Rwanda/DRC border, the border crossings can take a great deal of time, as well bribes. Do not approach expecting to be able to buy a visa at the border. Have it beforehand and also be prepared to wait and still possibly pay a bribe. It's just one fellow writing everything down in a big ledger.
A picturesque peninsula on Lake Kivu
From Bukavu you can visit the lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National park, Idjwi Island on Lake Kivu, and Minova village.
Nuns near the airport. They have fantastic ice cream and cheese. You'll need a car to get to them and the road there is absolutely horrible, although quite worth it.
Bukavu is mainly a dollar economy, so plan to use Congolese francs only for small purchases.
For shopping, check out the SuperMarket Asante, between the Mayor building and SONAs, in front of the Bukavu Cathedral.
Hotel La Roche has great views of the lake, decent pizza, and a nice buffet breakfast.
Hotel Horizon (near Alfajiri Secondary School) is a good option for dinner, though the views are less exciting.
Hotel Orchid a great view of the lake as well as the best food in town. Not terribly overpriced despite the rather poshy quality of the establishment. You will want to drive to it at night as the road is unlit and treacherous to walk in pitch black.
For lunch and dinner, try the Cafe and Restaurant Asante at Supermarket Asante, located between the Mayor Building and SONAS.
Beer - Primus, Mitzigi, Turbo king..
Soft drinks - Vitalo, Fanta, Coca Cola, juice.
Local Drinks - Banana beer called Kasiksi or Mutchibwe.
Hotel Tanganyika. No idea where the name comes from, it's nowhere near the lake of the same name. Locals tell me it's the cheapest safe place - it's a bit grotty but generally OK. It's near the center of town, everyone seems to know where it is. It also does reasonably priced food ($3 for brochette and chips)$15.
If you want to get out Bukavu City: Please visit Kaziba about 35 mileages (55km) from the big city Bukavu. There is a guest House at Byakweli's property, closer to the Kaziba Hospital.