During our 10 day trip in Uganda and Rwanda our second last stop was Lake Kivu. The Lake forms the border between the DRC and Rwanda, and is also very close to Uganda. We decided to stay in Paradise Kivu because wanted to pamper ourselves. The lodge recently opened they have an amazing “first year special”, allowing us to save some money and still be a little fancy. We stayed there for two nights and truly did not want to leave.
Arriving at Paradise Kivu in Gisenyi
Paradise Kivu is 10 minutes away from Gisenyi. The lodge is on the shores of the lake and sits on the side of a hill running from the entrance down to the small private beach. From the main gate you descend onto the first level down, where the kitchen, main common area and restaurant are. The chalets are on both sides of the main area getting closer and closer to the beach. Furthermore, there is an orchard that they use for all fresh produce in the kitchen.
The food is made with freshly grown vegetables, fruits and other fresh produce from their own garden. I have to say it blew my mind. The menu is extensive and there are different international and local dishes to choose from. We had dinner and breakfast both days and enjoyed the cuisine a lot.
We ordered food and enjoyed a improvised picnic on the beach both nights, because there wasn’t another place we would rather be spending that golden hour. The staff was super happy to accommodate and brought all food and drinks down for us.
The most outstanding space in the lodge is clearly their private beach. Separating the cabins/main area and the beach there is a grass garden with picnic tables and hammocks. From there, descending cobbled stone stairs one can find the private beach. It is about 6 metres wide in the widest area, but it is perfect and very romantic. The sunsets there cannot compare to any other that I’ve seen, as the sun sets in right in front of one, where the DR Congo is.
The rooms at Paradise Kivu
The rooms are standalone with a little deck area. They have thatched roofs and you can access them walking on cobbled stone paths from the main areas.
Inside the room there was a double bed, mosquito net, desk and chair. There was a little walk in closet with a safe and the bathroom.
Activities at Paradise Kivu
The lodge is far enough from the city to not hear noise and sits next to a lake. You can enjoy the Beach or the tranquil ambience of the lodge itself – relaxing in the hammocks. They also have a sister property, Paradise Malahide, halfway between town and Paradise Kivu. We took a boat to the other lodge and rented kayaks there.Right in front of the Malahide property the owners have a small private island that you can visit or rent for lunch or dinner.
What I loved the most
The entire lodge feels like an Eden garden, full of greens, trees and chirping birds. But I would be lying if I didn’t say my favourite part of the resort was the private beach… and the food… and the food we ate at the private beach! Both nights the sunset and having dinner sitting on a beach alone was the highlight of my stay.
What could be improved
There is always something you can come up with for this section, but in this case it was quite hard. The only thing I would say is that staff could have given us a better recommendation on where to eat in town. Not a big deal, it was very touristy and we wanted the right local experience.
What is the best food in a restaurant or lodge that you’ve experienced? The Paradise Kivu’s food was definitely in my Top 10 greatest ones!