Twin lakes in Rwanda

The twin lakes in Rwanda are quite an attraction for visitors in this region and is a great stopover enroute the different destinations in the area. The twin lakes of Rwanda are known as Lake Burera and Ruhondo. These twin lakes are beautifully located in between the Volcanoes national park and the Mgahinga gorilla national park which is basically the Katuna-Gatuna, Uganda-Rwanda land border. This land border is often used by guests looking to do mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda from Kigali.

Twin lakes in Rwanda

These two lakes, Burera and Ruhondo are all individual lakes but pour into each other at many points majorly factored by their closeness. They are only separated by a 1 kilometer wide stretch of land which is approximately 2,800 hectares. The Lake Burera is located on a higher elevation from the Lake Ruhondo and it looks like the Burera feeds the Ruhondo as it is about 150 meters higher.

The 1 kilometer strip of land separating these twin lakes Burera and Ruhondo is a result from the volcanic activity in the area following an eruption that was experienced from Mount Sabyinyo. Mount Sabyinyo is one of the 8 Virunga volcanoes that are located in the area and is the only one that is shared by all the three countries, Rwanda, Uganda and in the Democratic republic of Congo.

The twin lakes are as a result of volcanicity and these are usually very deep lakes and the lake Burera and Ruhondo are said to be about 180 meters deep but no official depth has been released about the lakes. They are both clean water lakes and are safe for any activity for the humans even swimming as they have no crocodiles living in their waters.

Do not pass by these lakes enroute from on your Rwanda safari from Uganda to Musanze as you can take some time off refreshing and also enjoy the natural backdrop that the area offers with clear water lakes and forested and mountainous land in the far end. The water of the twin lakes Burera and Ruhondo have a deep blue appearance and the hills in the back are steep and well terraced giving off the ideal view of Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills.

There are small islands on the twin lakes Burera and Ruhondo and guests can take a boat trip to one or more of these depending on the time you may have. A few of these islands are Cuza, Bishosho, Bushongo, Munanira and Muhabura much closer to the Mount Muhabura. The area around the twin lakes is great for a picnic setting to sit back and enjoy the cool breeze from the lakes with rewarding views from the top.

What to do at the twin lakes Burera and Ruhondo on a Rwanda safari.

There are a number of activities that visitors to the twin lakes can engage in to explore the most of the region and these include those listed below.

The twin lake visit is a popular one for guests looking to take a break from the demanding activities and sit back and relax for a moment.

Twin lakes in Rwanda
Twin lakes in Rwanda

Water activities such as boat cruises, canoeing or paddle boarding

The lake Burera and Ruhondo are calm lakes and the tides are human activity friendly but all activities are done at one’s own risk. Guests can hire a canoe or a paddle board from the nearby establishments and head out to sail on the lakes or take on a boat trip to one of the islands on the Lakes. A boat ride ranges from about 20 to 30 USD per person for a shared boat and if you prefer a private boat to hire out the whole boat, it will cost much higher but is possible.

Swimming in the twin lakes is a thrilling but also possible activity that guests interested can engage in. If you are still in the area in the evening hours, you may join a fisherman for the fishing experience on the twin lakes.

Community tour or village walk

There is a community that lives around the twin lakes and very welcoming people who can show you their way of living and how they run their day to day life in the community. This is also a great chance to interact with the local people on your Rwanda tour. Enjoy the entertainment, the folk tales and dances and also get more insight on the culture of the Rwandan people.


The twin lakes are in a very natural state and on a visit to them on one of the activities like picnics or boat trips, guests can do some birding so ensure to move with your binoculars to spot a number of birds. This is a very biologically diverse attraction as they are home to a number of birds like the hamerkop, the cormorant, the kingfishers to mention but a few.

There are other activities that guests can engage in while in the area such as just a peaceful guided nature walk, or do some biking or even spend a night here camping. The best time to visit the twin lakes is any time of the year as they are full time lakes and the experience is great all months of the year.

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