This lake lies between Democratic Republic of Congo to the West and Rwanda to the East. Lake Kivu is considered to be one of the great lakes in the Albertine rift, the Western arm of the East African Rift, which Pours its waters into River Rusizi,flowing Southwards into Lake Tanganyika.
Its surface area has been estimated to an approximation of 2,700 square kilometers because of its irregular shape and has also been considered the eighteenth deepest lake by maximum depth of475km and the ninth deepest lake by mean depth of 220km with its surface sitting at a height of 1460 above sea level thus being approximately 90km long and and 50km wide.
This fresh water lake contains the 10th largest island in it, and is located in the melodramatic mountains and the volcanic Virunga mountain to the North. Various inlets and Peninsulas as well as countless forest fringed waterfalls are as a result of the unshaped shores of the lake.
Since it is the largest fresh water lake in Rwanda with a length of 2650 square kilometers ,the steep jugged hills also lead down to the attractive lake shores and the three resort towns of Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu, which act as welcoming retreats, ideal for relaxing, sitting and one can easily get a boat excursion past the small lake side villages which offer a rewarding glimpse of rural life. This region is also in between the numerous Nyungwe forest national park known for chimpanzee tracking and Gorilla tracking in the Volcanoes National park.
There are various activities happening around Lake kivu, which include; tea plantations and factories, coffee washing stations, subsistent agriculture, cattle farming, honey harvesting, fishing, brewing of beer, hydroelectric production, mining, methane extraction in Lake Kivu itself, boat building, construction and brick making. In addition there are many tertiary activities such as markets, shops, restaurants, hotels; particularly in the main cities on the Rwandan side, Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu.