If there are a few magical tourist sites that for long have not been fully explored then most of the islands in Rwanda are among them. Nearly everyone who comes to this country for a safari feels the best to do is only to track the rare mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park in the northwestern part and yet in reality, there is a lot more for one to discover. Rwanda boasts of about 16 stunning islands, all of which straddle within Karongi district which the 5 are found in Kibuye. An Island per say denotes a mass of land bordered by water and you can find them even distributed around Lake Kivu. Most of these are ideal for a number of activities for instance swimming, fishing, lush plantations as well as tourism. They include among others;
- Idjwi Island
This is the 10th most extensive inland island in the world, expanding for about 25 miles down Lake Kivu center, covering an area of about 110 square miles. About two miles wide in areas, the island features an expansive shoreline relative to its area. It is rugged features rugged mountains and limited infrastructure thus transport to and fro this island is by boat. Transport on the island is a big challenge. This island lies on Lake Kivu just at a border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with an area coverage of about 340 square kilometers making it also the second largest inland in African continent. About 220000 people depend on this island for many reasons including fishing, farming, hunting, pottery and many more.
- Munini Island
This island is also known as the Napoleon’s Island. It was named so due to its sharp that looks like Napoleon’s hat. It is a refuge to so many fruit bats and supports a huge population of avifaunal species.
- Iwawa Island
This Island lies within the heart of Lake Kivu and has Iwawa Rehabilitation and Vocational Skills Development Centre. This center was established by the Rwanda Ministry of Youth to solve the ever increasing challenge of youth related drug problems. It main goal is to rehabilitate and cultivate sober minds as well as skills development like building, carpentry and tailoring.
- Amahoro Island
Amahoro Island is privately owned and bordered by several other islands. It is one of the developed areas and a major tourist site of its own and features many camping facilities, bar, restaurant and ideal for swimming. Besides, it is also good for bird watching and many water sport activities. It comprises of many peninsulas especially Mpembe that is ideal for a four kilometer nature walk. This peninsula can easily be reached by boat from Kibuye and it is also privately owned although it is tourist site with several camping facilities and a birds’ sanctuary. The other is Nyakarwa peninsula which is ideal for bird watching and recreational walk via the Lake. Exploring the magical islands on Lake Kivu can be best done while you are on a boat cruise and you can do so by contacting an agent to help you arrange your safari.
- Mpembe Island
This can be accessed by boat from Kibuye and it is one of the stunning islands on Lake Kivu. It is linked by a bridge to the Mpembe peninsula and it boasts of its unbeatable beauty and diversity thus making an island with lots of hidden treasures.
- The Peace Island
This island comes with a number of incredible avifaunal species, lush vegetation and beach area. Compared to Napoleon’s Island, this inhabits humans who practice crop farming and cattle keeping.