Are you in Rwanda for chimpanzee or gorilla tour and looking for a place you will relax after your invigorating and physically demanding activities? Lakes Ruhondo and Bulera are your perfect stop point for unwinding or passing time after a long day in the jungles of Volcanoes and Nyungwe Forest national Parks.
Between the border of Uganda and Musanze in Northern Province of Rwanda are two beautiful Twin Lakes referred as Lakes Bulera and Ruhondo, found at the base of Mount Muhabura, one of the Volcanoes in the Virunga Massif. These Lakes are near the Volcanoes National Park, the haven to some of the World’s surviving critically endangered Mountain gorillas and are separated by a narrow strip of land of only 1 kilometer wide.
These Twin Lakes were formed from the effects of volcanic activity after which Rwanda’s largest River-Nyabarongo flowed northwards to Ndorwa many years ago. It is said that because of this Volcanic eruption in northern side of Rwanda especially Muhabura Volcano which is now inactive, the lava flows from the Volcanoes blocked River Nyabarongo’s course thus leading to the formation of the Twin Lakes that are obviously Lava dammed. This diverted the course of the River to flow southeast wards where it joins River Akanyaru to from River Akagera.
These Twin Lakes measure a combined Surface Area of 28 square kilometers (2800 hectares) and are very spectacular with steep and farmed rolling hills surrounding the untouched dark blue waters and also offer jaw-dropping views of the Virunga Volcanoes.
Activities conducted within the Twin Lakes
Tourists interested in exploring the beauty of the Twin Lakes can do so by undertaking a boat ride where the different forested hills and other interesting attractions can be explored. You can also take a boat trip to the different small islands of the Lakes. However instead of a boat cruise with motorized vessels, you can actually go on a dug-out canoe ride.
Nature walks within the areas surrounding Lakes Ruhondo and Bulera allow tourists to spot the different bird species, small mammals and tree species which you wouldn’t have explored during other activities.
Nature walks or the boat ride on the scenic Lake Ruhondo offer tourists with the opportunity of spotting numerous aquatic bird species such as Hammerkops, Pied and Malachite Kingfishers, Darters, African fish eagles, storks, Grey crowned cranes, Herons and Cormorants among others. A camera, guidebook and pair of binoculars are handy for a remarkable birding trip.
Other activities here include fishing using traditional fishing and a cultural tour from the nearby Iby’iwacu cultural village and there is the cozy Lake Ruhondo Lodge and Tented Camp, 1.4 miles away from the shores of Lake Ruhondo offering comfortable accommodation and breathtaking views of the Twin Lakes but also allow guests to unwind and forget about their busy and boring lives. Guests are offered with delicious meals within the on-site restaurant, cold drinks at the bar and barbeque.
Therefore after gorilla trekking or golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park, you can spend your afternoon or evening exploring Lakes Ruhondo and Bulera, the twin Lakes divided by a 1 kilometer wide strip of Land but offer views of the Virunga Volcanoes and the cultivated steep hills surrounding the water bodies.