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    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

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    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Dugout canoe, Lake Kivu, Rwanda

Lake Kivu

The Lake Kivu area is centred on the town of Gisenyi, offering a relaxed atmosphere on the shores of one of the regions huge freshwater lakes and a great place to unwind for a few days after trekking.

We think the drive here from the Virunga’s is one of the most beautiful in the country, winding through mountains and steeply terraced hills, covered with tea plantations against a backdrop of mountains. In Gisenyi itself, the lower town is a jumble of picturesque but faded colonial homesteads and charming markets and the nearby Imbabazi charity is definitely worth a visit.

Most people come here to sit back and enjoy the beautiful views, with the lakes blue water surrounded by steeply terraced escarpments and the northern shore overlooked by the smoking Nyiragongo volcano, which can sometimes be seen glowing at night. It is a great place to spend a few days in a wide range of accommodation, depending on what you want, although not all lodges have beaches, so pick wisely.


View of glowing volcanoes, Lake Kivu, Rwanda/Democratic Republic of Congo
Lake Kivu,

Why visit Lake Kivu

  • The perfect place to rest those aching legs after trekking gorillas
  • Wander through the lively markets at Gisenyi and pick up a bargain
  • Visit the Imbabazi Foundation for a unique cultural experience
  • Look out for the lava flow from the distant Nyiragongo volcano at night


What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Colourful hats, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Gisenyi Market

Wander through the lively markets at Gisenyi, on the shores of Lake Kivu, and pick up a bargain.

Suggested hotel

View of glowing volcanoes, Lake Kivu, Rwanda/Democratic Republic of Congo

Nyiragongo Volcano Views

From the shores of Lake Kivu, look out for the glowing lava flow from the distant Nyiragongo Volcano at night, in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo

Suggested hotel

Child looking out over landscape, Rwanda

Imbabazi Orphanage Visit

Travel from the shores of Lake Kivu and visit the Imbabazi Orphanage, set up by American Rosamond Carr to provide a home for children orphaned by the genocide.

Lake Kivu, Rwanda

Relax at Lake Kivu

Unwind on the sandy shores of Lake Kivu and explore this charming market town – the perfect place to rest aching legs after gorilla trekking.

Suggested hotel

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

Chris Johnston

25 years ago, my first trip to Africa took on a life of its own. I planned for three months, I stayed for two years. Whilst there, I was mistaken for a priest, attacked by sharks and arrested. Yet the countless, clattering journeys opened my eyes to the beauty of the landscapes and the grace of the people. My recent trips are undoubtedly more comfortable, but the welcome is as warm as ever and the best experiences are still those I never see coming.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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