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Gisenyi is a city in Rubavu district in Western Rwanda on Lake Kivu.


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 from Gisenyi to Musanze takes about 2h , departures when full unless have a fixed schedule. Gisenyi Bus Station is located near the Petite Barriere border crossing on the main road and have bank/ATM services next to it.

Get around[edit]

Gisenyi is a small town and can easily be gotten around on foot or bike, alternatively there are hundreds of motorbike taxis around. To rent a bike or tour guide, you can visit a tourist office (Green Hills Ecotours) or book them for other tour activities such as: Kayak; boat trip; pottery experience; Coffee and tea experience.

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]

While traveling in Gisenyi you can visit the tourist office of Green Hills Ecotours, they provide space to local artists to sell their crafts & arts from their office and prices are reasonable.

You can also ask for Kivu Art Gallery has a varied and colourful collection of handicrafts from the DRC, Uganda and Rwanda, including lots of Congolese masks and other wooden items as well as necklaces, paintings and basketware.

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]

  • Dian Fossey Hotel Located very close to the beautiful Lake Kivu coast, about 5 minutes by walking. There is also a 5 minute walk to the DRC border. They offer standard rooms, prime rooms and suites. Prices start from 20,000RWF. Website
  • 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: [email protected])
  • Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, Gisenyi, Rwanda, +250 788 200430, [1]. 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
  • Discover Rwanda Gisenyi Beach New hostel located right next to Lake Kivu beach and Serena Hotel in an old colonial house. It has nice clean rooms and good service with the benefit of your money going into good cause to support genocide victims and the poor. Their options range from tents to dorms and family rooms with prices starting from 12USD. Website


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.To get more information; process your visa and book your trip, visit office of Green Hills Ecotours in Gisenyi or go to virunga website.

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