Scheduled ferries on Lake Kivu

Bob Francescone writes:

Scheduled ferries now run between Rubavu/Gisenyi and Rusizi/Cyangugu via Karongi/Kibuye on Lake Kivu.

Two of us spent 2 weeks in Rwanda in May, 2016. The Lake Kivu ferries are now running on a schedule from Gisenyi down to Cyangugu and back. The ferries run SUNDAY, TUESDAY, THURSDAY north to south (Gisenyi 07:00, Kibuye, 10:30, arriving at Cyangugu at 16:00). They run MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY south to north (Cyangugu 07:00, Kibuye 13:00, arriving in Gisenyi at 17:00). We saw two schedules, with the same days and departures, but with different phone numbers. There may be two ferry companies operating the boats. The numbers are 0788454298 and 0784034996.

Gisenyi to Kibuye is 2500-300Fr. Gisenyi to Cyangugu is 6000Fr. We did it from Gisenyi to Kibuye and then back two days later. Both trips were crowded. The seating was comfortable but tight in the inside cabin. Window seats give you a great view of this stunning landscape. The boat is never out of sight of the shore, so sit facing the land for great views. There is a special ‘salon’ with comfortable sofas, very uncrowded for 5000Fr one way from Kibuye to Ginsenyi. Many people pay the base fare, then just hang out on the narrow decks.
Simple food (eggs, at least) is sold on board, though we didn’t try any. There is a bathroom on board.

Get to the dock at least 45 minutes before departure to get your life vest and register. From Gisenyi they asked for our passports as we registered. From Kibuye back north they did neither.

The ‘dock’ in tiny Kibuye is a few minutes’ walk from the few hotels and shops, and not all all pobvious. The ‘dock’ in Ginsenyi is way out of town. A MotorTaxi should cost about 500Fr.

One thought on “Scheduled ferries on Lake Kivu

  1. alistair says:

    Good info and it can be very hard to find out information on this ferry both the schedule and where to find it. it is (or at least was) not the most reliable of things so be prepared for it not to turn up. This is a bigger problem in Kibuye as at Gisenyi and Cyangugu you can check the night before

    In Kibuye it used to run from near the brewery depot which as you say is near some hotels but is on the far side of the “peninsular” from kibuye town and therefore might be a longish walk.

    In gesenyi it used to leave from Rubona again near the brewery

    You can also take private charters for the trip – when I was there got a very good deal as boat had bought tourists to Rubona and did not want to return empty – not only did he give us a very good price but he took us sightseeing stopping on several of the islands on the way which is well worth doing

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