Complete Guide to Lake Kivu and the Various islands like Idjwi Island , Ferry
The lakes of the Albertine Rift (Albert, George, Edward, Kivu, and Tanganyika) contain large numbers of
endemic fish species. Although not strictly thought of as Albertine Rift habitats, these lakes do show a history
of interconnection with one another and also with Lake Victoria (Snoeks 2000). Lake Tanganyika is home to
over 300 fish species, and about 75% of them are endemic. However, only 10% of Lake Tanganyika’s shore
has been explored and over 1 200 species (vertebrates and invertebrates) have been recorded, making it the
second highest recorded diversity for any lake on Earth (Patterson and Makin 1998). Lakes George and
Edward have 56 fish species endemic to these two lakes, while Kivu and Albert have 15 and 6 endemic
fishes, respectively. A conservative estimate of freshwater fish diversity indicates that, together with their
surrounding drainages, the lakes Kivu, Edward, George, Albert, and Tanganyika harbor over 400 fish species,
274 of which are endemic. Most of the endemic fishes are cichlids, with 226 endemic species and 47 endemic
genera. However, a more recent assessment suggests that these numbers are a clear underestimate, and
that the number of endemics could be at least 366 species, with around 350 of these being cichlids.
Lake Kivu covers a total surface area of some 2,700 km2 (1,040 sq mi) and stands at a height of 1,460 metres
(4,790 ft) above sea level. Some 1 370 km2 or 58% of the lake’s waters lie within D.R.Congo borders. The
lake bed sits upon the Albertine Rift Valley that is slowly being pulled apart, causing volcanic activity in the
area, and making it particularly deep: its maximum depth of 480 m (1,575 ft) is ranked eighteenth in the world.
The lake is surrounded by majestic mountains.
The world’s tenth-largestm inland island, Idjwi, lies in Lake Kivu, as does the tiny island of Tshegera, which
also lies within the boundaries of Virunga National Park; while settlements on its shore include, Bukavu,
Kabare, Kelehe, Sake and Goma in D.R.Congo a,d Gisenyi (Rubavu), Kibuye, CVyangugu in Rwanda. Native
fish include species of Barbus, Clarias Catfish and Haplochromis (Cichlids), as well as Nile Tilapia.
Limnothrissa miodon, one of two species known as the Tanganyika sardine, was introduced in 1959 and
formed the basis of a new pelagic zone fishery.