The Twin Lakes of Rwanda

The Twin Lakes of Rwanda : The beautiful Lakes of Ruhondo and Burare are the famous twin lakes of Rwanda located at the back of Volcano Muhabura and close to the border of Rwanda and Uganda in the northern part of Rwanda, on the outskirts of Musanze. They are referred to as the twin lakes because they are interconnected at a point where one lake pours water into the other.

The Twin Lakes of Rwanda

Rwanda is known as the land of a thousand hills and this is because Rwanda is surrounded by different mountains and hills that you can see wherever you turn your eyes. These twin lakes can easily be viewed close to volcanoes national park for your gorilla experience in Musanze region and so beautiful to take a visit while on your safari to northern Rwanda.

The lakes are located right at the foot of Mountain Sabyinyo, Muhabura, Bisoke and Gahinga. They are extremely beautiful, surrounded by the mountains and a very beautiful forest. The lakes are fishing grounds and this makes them not only important to those on Safari in Rwanda but also to the nearby local communities. The lakes are usually visited as an additional activity after a gorilla tracking Safari.

The twin lakes area is very scenic, with steep and intensively farmed hills surrounding the pristine dark blue waters. They offer magnificent views over the whole of the Virunga Volcanoes (weather permitting). Walking and birdwatching are possible in the hills and at some points around the lakes, but due to the very steep character of the landscape most visitors prefer to drive up the small track leading to a lodge situated on the top of the hill overlooking both lakes to enjoy the scenery and have a refreshing drink. At Lake Ruhondo visitors can hire a boat to go on a scenic lake cruise and have an opportunity to spot many water birds such as herons, cranes, kingfishers and hammerkops

Lake Burera and Ruhondo were formed as a result of volcanic activity where river Nyabarongo used to flow northwards was blocked by lava flows and led to the formation of these lakes. Research says that these lakes are around 180 meters deep and water is good for human and wildlife consumption and use for any other activity. They are also bilharzia and crocodile free.

The Twin Lakes of Rwanda
The Twin Lakes of Rwanda


The Twin lakes of Rwanda are home for fish and bird species among others and this has enabled development of activities that you can take partake while on your safari to these magnificent twin lakes;

Fishing – While on your safari to these lakes, you can take part in fishing activity; here the local fishermen teach you how to use local fishing tools like baskets. In case you want to take part in fishing activity, you have an option of bringing your own fishing tools or rent onsite.

Photography – The twin lakes offer great photographic scenery surrounded by well terraced hills, blue skies during dry seasons and deep blue crystal waters.

Boat cruise and traditional canoeing – The cruise or canoeing takes you to visit different islands such as Muhabura, cuza, among others. Visitors are given a chance to explore more abundant birdlife, terraced hills and green vegetation.

Community tours – A walk to the surrounding community offers a chance to interact with the local people, enjoy entertainment from music and dances as the elders will engage you in the folktales about the culture of Rwanda.

Bird watching – These twin lakes are rich in diversity of birdlife around its shores and on different islands. Different bird species can be sighted while on a canoe or nature walk in and around these lakes.

Species that can be viewed include hammerkops, African fish eagles, yellow bill storks, and sacred ibis among others.

Farm tours – Visitors take a walk and visit the farm gardens of the locals in the surrounding communities and islands. Visitors can also do hand digging, harvesting or weeding depending on their time of visit. You can also taste the locally prepared food by the local people to enhance your experience.

Swimming – Because these lakes are bilharzia and crocodile free, visitors can come with their swimming costumes and ready to take this exercise. These twin lakes are deep with about 180meters, so only experienced swimmers are allowed to take part to reduce the incidents of drowning.


These twin lakes can be visited throughout the year depending on your schedule only you need to contact us earlier enough for better planning to make your Rwanda safari more memorable. Note that the best time is during dry season which takes place from June-Oct and Dec-Feb.


You can access these lakes by road from Kigali city or airport which takes about 2 hours’ drive at a distance of about 150km. You can also easily access these lakes from Volcanoes national park. Another option is for visitors from Mgahinga National Park in Uganda as they use the Cyanika road VIA Kisoro district and this can take between 1-2 hours’ drive. Therefore, as you plan to visit Rwanda, the twin lakes must be on your bucket list.

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