Lake Kivu is one of the great lakes of Africa.  It lies on the border between the DRC and Rwanda in the Albertine Rift, part of the Great Rift Valley.  Linked to lake Tanganyika by the Ruzizi River, the lake covers an area of 2700 sp km.  The lake is particularly deep and experiences volcanic activity on a regular basis. The world's 10th largest island Idjwi is found in Lake Kivu.   The scenery is magnificent with the lake circled by misty, blue mountains.

There are 3 known exploding lakes of which Kivu is one along with Cameroonian Lake Nyos and lake Monoun.  This means the lake experiences violent overturns.  The gasous chemical composition is unique to each lake and in Lake Kivu's case results in methane and carbondioxide due to the interaction between the lake water and a volcano.

In layman's terms and overturn could result in explosion which could obliterate most of the residents of the lake basin and create tsunamis to boot.  Recent discoveries have indicated a huge reserve of methane gas beneath the lake floor which one exploited would provide enough energy to sell to Rwanda's neighbours as well as fuel it's own industry.

Fish species include barbus, clarias, haplochromis as well as the Nile Tilapia, limnothrissa miodon, which is one of two species of Tanganyika sardines introduced in 1959.  The sardine population growth has doubled the fishing industry and provided a rich source of protein for Rwandese.

Lake Kivu gained notoriety as the dumping ground for bodies during the Rwanda Genocide and conflicts between the Hutu and the Tutsi tribes.

Lake Kivu

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