explore Rwanda's Great Lake

Year Round
4 days

Sandwiched into the Great African Rift, Rwanda owes its mountainous terrain and lush green landscape to the volcanic activity murmuring below the surface. Here, the cheerful humdrum of daily local life belies the country’s volatile underbelly. Where tropical vegetation and coffee plantations thrive, stretches the azure waters of Lake Kivu. Spilling out into the Albertine rift – separating Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of Congo – the lake is the central hub of traditional African life. Go where only kayaks will take you, and explore one of Africa’s Great Lakes under your own steam.


On this short kayaking adventure, you’ll escape the confines of tours and vehicles to get under the skin of lakeside life in Africa’s ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’. One of the world’s deepest, Lake Kivu stretches for 90 km between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, submerging the western reaches of the East African rift. Let local guides show you the way of life along the shores of this majestic lake, as you hug the shoreline to paddle from Gisenye to Kibuye and sleeping on islands en route.

You’ll paddle approximately 10km a day, initially gliding past the Rwandan hills to reach the coffee islands. Here, you’ll stay at a coffee plantation, where local farmers will show you the entire process behind a cup of coffee, from bush to cup. Your morning cup of coffee will never be the same again! For the next two days, you’ll continue along the shore, with route potential to circumnavigate Bugarura Island, before weaving in between the magnificent ‘Bay of Islands’, the tropical vegetation of which teems with birdlife. Here you’ll bargain with local fisherman for your dinner, and set up camp on the islands – a true wild camping experience! Awoken by the chorus of birds, you’ll paddle on to reach Kibuye, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the lake to soak up the discoveries you’ve made along the way.


  • Island hop along the shore of Lake Kivu.
  • Visit coffee plantations and wildlife preserves.
  • Wild camp on uninhabited islands.
  • Kayak to inland beaches and the ‘Bay of Islands’.
  • Experience Rwanda from a new perspective.
  • No hippos or crocodiles(!), but look out for birdlife and bat colonies.

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Terms and Conditions
  1. One entry per person.
  2. Closing date for entries is 12:00 JAN 19th.
  3. Entrants must be at least 18 years old.
  4. The prize includes: 1 ticket valid for one-day entry on either Saturday 20th or Sunday 21st January 2018
  5. Getting to the venue in London is the responsibility of the winner.
  6. The prize is only available from 20th – 21st August 2018.
  7. The prize cannot be exchanged for a cash alternative.
  8. The prize cannot be sold or used by anyone other than the winner.
  9. The promoter reserves the right to provide an alternative prize of similar value should the specified prize become unavailable for any reason.
  10. Neither the Promoter nor any other person or party associated with this promotion shall be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever suffered (including, but not limited to, indirect or consequential loss or damage) or personal injury or death suffered or sustained in connection with either participation in this promotion or with any prizes offered.
  11. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the terms of this prize and without notice in the unlikely event of a major catastrophe, war, earthquake or any anticipated or alleged breach of any applicable law or regulation or any similar event or if circumstances arise outside of its control.
  12. The winner will be selected randomly by Secret Compass on 19 JAN 2017.
  13. Attempts will be made to notify the winner using the email address provided at the time of entry. If the promoter, having used reasonable efforts, is unable to contact the winner, then the prize is forfeited and further draw(s) may be conducted.
  14. The winner may be required to take part in reasonable publicity as specified by the Promoter.
  15. The Promoter cannot be held liable for IT system failures or delays or loss of entries.
  16. The organiser reserves the right to cancel this competition, or to change any condition of this competition, without notice.
  17. Acceptance of these terms and conditions is a condition of entry.
  18. No purchase necessary.