Explore Nkombo Island : Rwanda’s Hidden Getaway : After chimpanzee tracking in the Nyungwe Forest National Park, Nkombo Island in Rwanda’s western province’s Rusizi Region is the ideal spot to unwind. Located in Lake Kivu, the island is 36 kilometers from Kitabi, the park’s western entrance gate, and can be accessed by boat in 28 minutes from Cyangugu town. The eighth and last leg of the Congo-Nile bike trail is Cyangugu. Travelers can tour tea farms in Gisakura, go on bicycle trips around the island, or ride dirt bikes along the shoreline.

Nkombo, which covers 23 square kilometers, is home to more than 18,000 Mashi-speaking people. The Mashi dialect, which can be distinguished from Kinyarwanda by its vocabulary and sound, is particularly associated with the Masi people of southern Africa, specifically Zambia and Namibia.

After surviving the horrific genocide of 1994, Rwanda is now open to tourists who want to experience its hospitality, peace, unity, and patriotism. Many tourists travel to the Land of A Thousand Hills because Kigali, the capital, is currently recognized as one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world. The true and rural part of Rwanda, which you hardly ever see on television, has persisted on Nkombo Island.


In 2014, the national hygiene and international handwashing campaign turned its focus to Nkombo Island. Considering that cholera and typhoid are diseases that are caused by inadequate sanitation, teaching the community how to alleviate poverty, promote food security, enhance wellbeing, and improve hygiene was the main goal.

 Since then, the island has improved as a place to live for both residents and tourists. By constructing churches and schools, a number of groups, such as the Church of the Holy Spirit, have also offered comfort and hope. You still have time and opportunity as a visitor to Rwanda to positively influence the locals. A Rwandan wildlife tour that includes the national parks of Nyungwe, Akagera, and Volcanoes can also include Nkombo Island.

Together with enhancing people’s quality of life, tourism development is modernizing Nkombo Island so that it can welcome upscale safari visitors to Rwanda.


Numerous water sports are available on Nkombo Island, such as kayaking, stand-up paddling, and boat trips.

Explore Nkombo Island
Explore Nkombo Island

Water Sports

To get to the island, visitors must take a boat, which is an adventure in and of itself. You can hire kayaks, paddle boards, and boat trips from a tour operator or guide.

Make a donation.

You will probably run into old people and children if you explore the nearby farms, villages, or schools. Plan beforehand, which you will give them via your tour guide. Find out which locations and items meet the demands of the people by asking. Whether you would want to provide money, stationery, water purifiers and filters, or bar soap by hand, additionally, you may help out local businesses that sell everything from food and drink to crafts and art. For example, one may find pottery produced by the Batwa minority everywhere in Rwanda, from markets in the village of Cyangugu to retail establishments in Kigali.

Coffee and Tea Tours

Sorghum and coffee are important economic crops that are listed on the national coat of arms. In rural areas, coffee is grown by almost every home, and the Gisakura tea estate is one of the lovely tea estates close to Nyungwe Forest National Park. To find out more about the coffee experience, stop by a farm or a farmer’s cooperative organization. Everything about it, from cultivation to harvesting to final preparation for ingestion in a cup, can help Rwanda’s small-scale farmers by taking a coffee tour.

Lowland Gorilla Trekking

For visitors planning to visit Kahuzi Beiga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site well-known for being home to lowland gorillas, Nkombo Island is an ideal island getaway. The settlement of Cyangugu is located near the Rwandan-DR Congo border, on the banks of the Rusizi River. The capital of South Kivu Province, Bukavu, is located just across the border between the two countries and is connected by a bridge. The sole choice for the DR Congo Gorilla Trip is to go to Kahuzi Biega for lowland gorilla trekking. This is to be done from Cyangugu Town in the North Kivu Province, not from Goma City.

Biking the Congo Nile Trail

The eighth and last leg of the Congo-Nile Path is located in Cyangugu Town, which makes for ideal riding trips from Nkombo Island. With a local guide, you can rent a bike and explore the island or the lakefront dirt paths. The resort town of Gisenyi, located at the northern tip of Lake Kivu, is the starting point of the Congo-Nile Path.


Nyungwe Forest National Park is the ideal island getaway following chimpanzee trekking, located 55 km (one hour’s drive) east of Cyangugu town. To further explore the rich biodiversity of the park, which includes over 1,000 plants, 350 birds, 16 of which are Albertine Rift Endemics, and 13 primate species, including chimpanzees, Hamlyn’s monkeys, red colobus monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons, and blue monkeys, the park also offers a canopy walk and more than ten nature trails. Nyungwe is located 220 kilometers (5 hours) southwest of the capital city of Kigali. Kamembe Airport serves air travel to Nyungwe.

Access to isolated locations and economic revitalization, especially in the western province, have been made feasible by tourism. There don’t seem to be as many isolated locations in the nation, given the comparatively smaller territory. She has seen a rapid growth curve.

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