Lake Ruhondo is one of the two twin lakes of Rwanda and this Lake Ruhondo is the twin lake to the Lake Burera. Lake Ruhondo is located close to the lake Bulera almost sharing or pouring into each other at many points. The Lake Ruhondo is located in the north western part of the country. This is on the outskirts of Musanze district, a district on the Northern province of Rwanda commonly known as Ruhengeri because of the capital town of the area.
The Musanze district is the most visited tourist district as it is the home the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas and this town has booming tourist facilities and establishments ready to host the visitors of the area. The Musanze district is the home of the Volcanoes national park where the mountain gorilla trekking experience of Rwanda is done along with some mountaineering up five of the Virunga volcanic ranges; Mount Bisoke, Mount Karisimbi, Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Gahinga and Mount Muhabura.
Lake Ruhondo is strategically set at the base of one of these dormant Virunga volcanoes and that is the Mount Karisimbi, the highest range. The Mount Karisimbi is Rwanda’s largest volcano and doubles as the highest range of the eight Virunga ranges. The hike up to the Mount Karisimbi is possible however it is a 2 day hike with an overnight at a camp enroute to the summit and a permit goes for 400 USD per person excluding the camping equipment.
Lake Ruhondo, along with its twin lake, the Lake Burera were formed as a result of volcanic activity in the area. These twin lakes are said to have been a result from the volcanic activity of the Mount Sabyinyo. Mount Sabyinyo once had a volcanic eruption where the lava that spewed from the lava lake damned a river in the area by solidifying its path and once the lava cooled, the river turned into a divided lake forming the Lake Burera on one side and the Lake Ruhondo on the other.
The Lake Ruhondo is separated from the Lake Burera by a 1 kilometer wide strip of land (previously lava) and the two lakes pour into each other at other points of the lake. These twin lakes can be visited while in the northern part of Rwanda or as you connect from Uganda to Rwanda and vice versa.
The lake Ruhondo is close to the Uganda-Rwanda Cyanika land border commonly used by tourists crossing between the two neighboring countries to enjoy the tourist attractions in either of the destinations. This border is commonly used on one of the Rwanda safaris of mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali Rwanda.
The Mgahinga forest national park, one of the homes of the mountain gorillas is located far south of Uganda and can be easily accessed from Rwanda as it is a 1 hour to 2 hour drive from the Uganda-Rwanda border which is closer than accessing the park from Entebbe Uganda.
Guests who opt for this safari package will surely pass by the Lake Ruhondo or Lake Burera and this is where you can get an opportunity to make a detour to this tourist attraction. The Lake Ruhondo is said to be fed by the Lake Burera from the south western part.
The Lake Ruhondo is estimated to be covering an area of 2,800 hectares and is not only fed by the Lake Burera but also by the other smaller waterbodies in the area such as streams and drains in the south western area via the River Mukungwa which is broken off from River Nyabarongo meaning twins in Kinyarwanda the common language spoken all over the country.
There are a number of activities you can engage in while on the Lake Ruhundo such a boat trip to do some birding and enjoy the fresh breeze of the area, opt for a canoeing experience on either of the twin lakes. Some guests if interested can also engage in fishing experience with the local fisher men in the area. Do some picnicking as you pass time to enjoy the land of a thousand hills as there is a great view of this while at the top of the Lake Ruhondo.
It is a bit of less developed so you will find less tourist establishments and if you are interested in spending a night, you may have to stay in an air bnb or drive to spend the night near the Volcanoes national park. Book your visit to the Lake Burera and Ruhondo in the middle of your Rwanda safari.