Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo-Twin Lakes of Rwanda

The twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo in Rwanda are a must-see for any Rwanda safari visitor. These lakes are located approximately halfway between Musanze and the Ugandan border. These lakes (Burera and Ruhondo) are known as twin lakes because of their close proximity and the fact that one lake feeds into the other. Given that Lake Burera is at a higher elevation (150 meters) than Lake Ruhondo, it appears that her waters are draining into the latter. A one-kilometer-long (approximately 2800-hectare) swath of land created by Mount Sabyinyo’s eruption separates the two lakes. The twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo in Rwanda are connected by a pipeline that is 70 degrees slanted on top of the Ntaruka hydropower facility.

According to researchers, both lakes are approximately 180 meters deep. The waterways are considered safe for human use because they are free of predators such as crocodiles. For anyone returning from a gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, the twin lakes are an excellent diversion travel option. The twin lakes are strategically located on the outskirts of Volcanoes National Park, near the Sabyinyo, Muhabura, Bisoke, and Gahinga Mountains. The lakes are surrounded by steep and well-terraced hills, and deep blue crystal clear waters can be seen from nearby hills.

Visitors to Rwanda’s twin lakes can visit two islands by boat or on a boat ride on either lake. Visitors can visit islands such as Muhabura, Bushongo, Bishosho, Munanira, and Cuza. On the tops of the hills that encircle the lakes, there are excellent picnic areas. Enjoy your picnic with loved ones while taking in the breathtaking views of the lakes, birds, and surrounding hills.

What to do on the Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo

Boat cruises and canoeing:

Visitors to the twin lakes can go canoeing or boating on the lakes. By taking a boat tour or riding in a canoe, visitors can enjoy the beautiful bird life as well as the surrounding lush green and terraced hills around the lakes. A boat ride on Lake Burera or Lake Ruhondo could cost between $20 and $30 per person. Visitors can also go to nearby lake islands like Bushongo, Munanira, Cuza, and Bishosho. Visitors can also take swimming or canoeing lessons from the islands’ skilled boatmen.



Community Walking Tours:

Visitors can also take a guided walk to one of the twin lakes’ surrounding towns or villages on any of the islands. Tourists can interact with locals, watch performances by local entertainment groups, listen to folktales told by community elders, and learn a lot more about Rwanda’s culture and history during these community/village excursions.



Visits to farms:

Farms on neighboring islands are also open to visitors. On a farm tour, visitors can help with farming tasks such as digging and harvesting crops, fruits, tea, and coffee. Visitors can also enjoy a home-cooked meal with a host family.

Bird watching:

Rwanda’s twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo are biodiverse, with numerous bird species in the area. This is an excellent spot for bird-watching. Visitors on a birding adventure can see birds such as the cormorant, Kingfisher, darters, and Hammerkop




Visitors to Rwanda’s twin lakes can also engage in fishing activities on the lakes. Indigenous fishermen on the islands teach visitors how to fish using traditional methods. Visitors who want to go fishing on the lake can do so with their equipment.

Other activities available to visitors to the twin lakes include nature hikes, motorcycling, and camping.

How to Get to Rwanda's Twin Lakes of Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo

Visitors must travel by road to see Rwanda’s twin lakes. The twin lakes are easily accessible from Volcanoes National Park. These lakes can be reached in about an hour’s drive from Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. Travelers from Kigali City will have to drive 99 kilometers (about 2hrs 30min) to Lake Burera. Visitors arriving in Kigali will need to drive 11 kilometers to the nearest town to Lake Burera, Cyeru. The drive from Cyeru town to Lake Burera takes about 32 minutes. Visitors from Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are welcome to visit the twin lakes. Visitors can easily access either of the twin lakes by taking the Cyanika Road from Kisoro in Uganda. It will take approximately 1hr and 30min to travel to Lake Burera and nearly an hour to travel to Lake Ruhondo.

The best time to visit Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo

Visitors can visit Rwanda’s twin lakes at any time of year. All year, visitors can visit Lake Burera or Lake Ruhondo. A trip to the lakes can be planned by contacting a reputable tour operator.

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