The soft spoken Idjwi Island in D.R Congo
Absorbed in exploring part of the Democratic Republic of Congo? This is an outstanding chance to glimpse the most peaceful and calm area of the country. Idjwi is an island perched in the middle of Lake Kivu, along the boarder of Rwanda and Democratic Republic of the Congo. It’s 70 km (43 mi) in length and with an area of 340 km2 (131 sq. mi), it is declared the second largest inland island in Africa, and the tenth largest in the world. Idjwi Island is described as “Africa’s Forgotten Island”. Despite the fact that there are very many active international N.G.Os in Eastern Congo, there is literally no support for the Idjwi Community. This craggy island encircled by the serenity of Lake Kivu is one of the most beautiful places you can ever travel to during your safari in Congo. The profuse greenery and the view of the wide and unperturbed lake is a dream come true for the photographers and it’s among the purposes why travelers moving from Goma to Bukavu are usually advised to have a tour on this popular island on Lake Kivu.
This island is separated from the rest of Congo in so many ways; with it’s over 250,000 inhabitants, Idjwi has no paved roads, no piped water, very little government services, and has been out lied from much of the country’s recent history. The island is known as a safe asylum in the region because of its calm and alluring landscape with hospitable people. As soon as you drop on this island, you can’t refuse to focus on the sights and sounds of the Bukavu land. A humbling feeling of intimidation by the hospitable crowd pervades you immediately. The limitless fields, pocket-sized villages, and rural fishing communities create a magnificent experience of cultural encounters. Putting aside the few generators and solar panels, there is totally no electricity connection in the area. The citizenry here mainly speak their local language – ‘Kihavu’ – and the society has less than a dozen cars, so transport is by motor, bicycle or on foot. When journeying to this island, it appears like infiltrating into a different world, and it’s difficult to believe that Goma is just an hour drive away by ferry.
Idjwi Island is a home and a destination one would wish to let people know about. It’s a remarkable chance to see the distinctive side of the D.R Congo and support local communities. On a tour to Idjwi Island, be rest assured of meeting local people and exploring various cultural traditions coupled with amazing people. You walk to the pottery, fishing, farming, brick making communities, and more. In addition, you can visit a radio station, local markets, schools, and health clinics that dot the island. Proud of their culture, the Ban ‘Idjwi (people of Idjwi) are tremendously eager to reveal their everyday way of life. Attempting to acculturate; greeting any one who passes by with a “Jumbo” (hello) met with shy giggles and returned warm greetings are worthy to encounter. Playing and joking around with the kids is a gift. You can’t imagine the joy and excitement they receive from your chat. Make a visit to Idjwi Island a priority.