discover the riches of Rwanda's Great Lakes

Year Round
7 days

There are currently no planned departures for this adventure, however we can offer a private group trip, contact us for a quote.

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 local life belies the country’s volatile underbelly. Where tropical vegetation and coffee plantations thrive, stretches the azure waters of Lake Kivu, separating Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of Congo. From volcano summits to lake islands; you’ll bike, hike, canoe and kayak your way to explore this tiny yet beautiful African nation.


On this multi-activity adventure, you’ll escape the confines of tours and vehicles to get under the skin of Africa’s ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ – Rwanda. You’ll start your adventure by mountain biking though the lush countryside and tea plantations, before climbing into a canoe to reach the foot of Mt Karisimbi. Hiking boots on, you’ll make your bid for the top!

Volcano summited, you’ll descend to make an optional, yet we believe essential trip to witness mountain gorillas, before beginning the next aquatic leg of your journey. One of the world’s deepest, Lake Kivu, submerges the western reaches of the East African rift. You’ll paddle approximately 10km a day, sleeping on islands en route.

Initially gliding past the Rwandan hills to reach the coffee islands, you’ll stay at a plantation, where local farmers will show you the entire process behind a cup of coffee. Your morning caffeine hit will never be the same again! Let local guides show you the way of life along the shores of this majestic lake, to paddle from Gisenye to Kibuye, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the lake and soak up the discoveries you’ve made along the way.


  • Explore rural Rwanda by bike, canoe, kayak and on foot.
  • Cycle dirt roads and single track through tea plantations.
  • Trek to summit one of the Virunga National Park volcanoes.
  • Optional visit to meet mountain gorillas; a once in a lifetime experience.
  • Kayak Lake Kivu, one of the African Great Lakes.
  • Visit coffee plantations and wildlife preserves.
  • Wild camp on under the stars on uninhabited islands.
  • Kayak to inland beaches and the ‘Bay of Islands’.
  • No hippos or crocodiles(!), but look out for birdlife and bat colonies.
  • Experience Rwanda from a new perspective.
  • Discover a varied geographical and geological landscape.

The Activity

Are you ready? This high energy, multi-activity adventure will not only take you out into rural Rwanda among friendly locals, but will challenge and delight  you in equal measure . First you’ll use mountain bikes to ride dirt roads and single tracks around Twin Lakes, before taking a canoe and hiking to reach the crater rim of one Mt Karasimbi, or another volcano in Volcanoes National Park .

Then, you’ll familiarise yourself with your paddle, learning basic techniques for efficient strokes and smooth travel on the water. Single person kayaks are the ideal craft to explore the shores and islands of Lake Kivu, giving you plenty of freedom to experience the diversity of the surrounding wildlife and vegetation under your own paddle power.

Rwanda and the Great Lakes

Set in the African Great Lakes region in Rwanda, this adventure will give you ample opportunity to meet the locals of the country’s many rural communities and experience the natural wonders. Recovering from a government supported genocide in 1994, the shocking death toll of which made it one of the worst in modern history, Rwanda has made remarkable progress in recent years.

The growing economy is reducing poverty and soothing ethnic tensions, with coffee and tea making up the largest share of exports. Filling the Albertine Rift, Lake Kivu is one of Africa’s Great Lakes. Over 90km long, the volcanic activity of the rift underneath the lake plays a huge part in the geographical, geological and ecological features of the region.

Your Guides

Providing professional leadership, our guides are the most experienced in the region. What’s more, the community is at the heart of what they do, giving people the chance to explore the best of what the country has to offer while supporting local people and sustainable development.

Is This Adventure for You?

This adventure has an activity rating of Moderate. At this level, we recommend you have a good level of fitness and proactive attitude, able to take on each day’s activities energetically.

There are flexible options to change the pace and daily itinerary of this adventure to meet your experience levels, but this adventure will be suitable to anyone with good fitness, a positive attitude and love of the outdoors.

Accommodation is a mixture of modest guesthouses and wild camping, for which all the camping gear will be supplied.

Adventure by Design

Get in touch to receive the Travel Brief to discover our recommended itinerary, before adapting it to your match your group size, availability and travel preferences. In addition, there are a number of options and extensions available to take your adventure to the next level.

Speak to one of our Adventure Experts today for more information on general departures, and adventures designed with you in mind.

The Journal