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Idjwi Island; Congo’s Safest & Secret Asylum Island

Idjwi Island is a fascinating destination any Africa adventure safari tourist would want to visit and know about. It offers a chance to see the unique side of Congo, a country that for a long time has been associated with endless wars and conflicts. Idjwi, is an island situated in Lake Kivu belonging to Congo, in the Sud-Kivu province. With a length of about 70 km (43 mi) and an area of about 340 km2 (131 sq mi), it is the second largest inland island in Africa, and the tenth largest in the world. The island of Idjwi is a land of green hills surrounded by the fresh waters of Lake Kivu in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This island stands out among the most populated areas of the country with a population of around 300 000.

Because of its isolation, the territory is a haven of peace in the East side of Congo. However, Idjwi is known as a safe asylum due to its calm plus alluring landscape with hospitable people.  As soon as you drop here, you are going to experience an awesome feeling of the spirit of this place, surrounded by ever smiling locals.

Idjwi is roughly in between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda, with 10 to 15 kilometers (6 to 9 mi) separating its western shore from the DRC mainland and a similar distance between its eastern shore and the coastline of Rwanda. The island’s southern tip, however, lies only 1 kilometer from a promontory of the Rwandan coast.

Many people do not know this island and its indigenous pygmy tribe living on it. It is possible to visit this local tribe on the island by a motor bike Congo tour for the best Congo safari encounters. it is easily accessible from either Goma or Bukavu by boat. Described as “Africa’s Forgotten Island”, Idjwi Island has been spared the ravages of wars in eastern DR Congo that have killed millions of people since 1996, mostly from hunger and disease.

Although its inhabitants have been surrounded for years by war and suffering, they have always been spared the violence. So tens of thousands of refugees have flocked to safety and settled there.

Despite the presence of several NGOs in Eastern Congo, there’s literally no support for the Idjwi island community. This rocky island is encircled by the serenity of Lake Kivu. It’s among the most enchanting places you can ever visit on your Congo safari tour especially after your visit to Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo on the last day of your .

The amazing greenery and the view of the calm lake is a dream come true for photographers who want to capture nature at its most pristine. This is among the reasons why travelers moving from Goma to Bukavu are normally advised to take a short Congo tour on this popular Lake Kivu island.

While on your Congo cultural safari encounters or while exploring the island, you are going to see the people going about their normal lives. The local people here are proud of their culture, and are quite eager to reveal their everyday way of life. Greeting anyone you pass with a ‘jambo’ is going to elicit shy giggles and warm return greetings.

You will see lots of women planting crops, washing clothes, and children running excitedly in groups while playing with makeshift toys. You will meet many children under the age of six walking around with their younger siblings strapped on their backhttps://www.primeugandasafaris.com/safaris-congo-safari-congo-tours.htmls. Meeting and playing with these children is a gift, and may be the highlight of your visit. The joy they receive from the attention of travelers is contagious.

As part of your adventure, you will also meet the local people and explore various cultural traditions. You walk to the fishing, brick making and pottery community, and more. You may also visit the local markets, schools and health centers that dot the island.

How to get there

The island people mostly speak their local language-‘Kihavu.’ The whole island has less than a dozen cars; therefore, transport is by bicycle, motor or on foot. When traversing this land feels like you are in another world, and it’s hard to believe Goma is just an hour ride by ferry.

Other amenities on the island

There’s no electrical grid on the island or paved roads. But you are going to find local restaurants, while some overnight accommodations have electrical generators with intermittent power.

Book your Africa safari tour to Congo and enjoy nature walks, bird-watching, swimming in the lake and interacting with the local people. The limitless fields together with pocket-sized villages and rural communities combine to create memorable cultural encounters.

Want to visit Kahuzi-Biega?

Kahuzi-Biega National Park, is a secure area close to Bukavu town in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.