Mantis Kivu Queen uBuranga

The luxury houseboat, Mantis Kivu Queen uBuranga, is now open for reservations and ready to welcome guests aboard for voyages along one of Africa’s great waterways, Lake Kivu. The Rwandan people preserve their traditional fishing methods on the magnificent lake that forms Rwanda’s western boundary, renowned for its fishing industry.

Explore Mantis Kivu Queen uBuranga

Image: Mantis

The vessel is the first of its kind to sail the region, traversing the lakes of the southbound from Gisenyi to Nyamasheke and the northbound from Nyamasheke to Gisenyi. It serves as a gateway for travellers to explore Rwanda’s treasures.

The houseboat offers 10 cabins, including two executive suites and two deluxe cabins. The vessel also has a restaurant and bar, a plunge pool, and various outdoor spaces where guests can relax and enjoy captivating vistas.

“The Mantis Kivu Queen uBuranga promises an extraordinary experience that marries luxury, exploration, and conservation against the background of Lake Kivu, celebrated for its beauty and ecological significance.

On their voyage, guests will have the opportunity to explore the region while immersing themselves in a range of activities that encompass Mantis’ core values: celebrating locality, sustainable adventures, and conservation,” said Craig Erasmus, Vice President Operations, Sub-Saharan Africa for Fairmont and Mantis.

As the Kivu Queen uBuranga is part of Mantis, Accor’s conservation and sustainability brand, the vessel has been created to add value to the environment and communities living along the lake. As part of an all-inclusive, two- or three-night itinerary, guests will have the opportunity to take guided excursions to Kinunu (famed for its coffee plantations), visit local fishing communities to learn their traditional techniques, and hike subtropical trails.

Guests can also explore the smaller islands dotting Lake Kivu, including Napoleon Island, Teddy Bear Island, Monkey Island, and Peace Island. One of the highlights of this journey is the unique opportunity to connect with nature by visiting the renowned mountain gorillas at the Volcanoes National Park or the chimpanzees at the Nyungwe National Park, pre- or post-sailing Lake Kivu.

Stephane Castell, Regional Manager for Mantis Rwanda, said: “We are thrilled that, for the first time, travellers to Rwanda will be able to see the mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park and the chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park without having to endure an arduous six-hour road trip.

We are delighted to connect travelers to our other three properties in the region: the Mantis Akagera Game Lodge located within Akagera National Park in the Eastern Province, the Mantis Kivu Marina Bay Hotel situated in Rusizi in the Western Province, and the Mantis EPIC Hotel & Suites located in Nyagatare in the Eastern Province.

Insider tip

Plan your Rwanda adventure in the dry seasons between December – February and June – September. But for a more intimate experience, venture off-peak season to discover the serene beauty of the forests, lakes, and mountains with fewer crowds.

How to get there

There are daily international flights to Kigali International Airport in Rwanda. Once in the country, there are two ways in which guests can board the vessel: either a road transfer to Gisenyi (also known as Rubavu) or Rwesero (Nyamasheke).

Rates & inclusions:

Mantis Kivu Queen uBuranga sails on scheduled departures every Wednesday and Saturday:

Wednesdays: Southbound from Gisenyi to Nyamasheke (two-night itinerary)

Saturdays: Northbound from Nyamasheke to Gisenyi (three-night itinerary)

The 2024 *all-inclusive rate for two or three-night stays starts from £1,180/ $1,500 USD per person per night, based on double occupancy.

The exclusive charter of the Kivu Queen is available for a maximum group of 20 passengers in its 10 double cabins, POA

*All-inclusive: includes accommodation, all meals, soft drinks, local beer/ wine, and two guided tours.

Contact & reservations: 



The Mantis Travel Desk, a personal concierge service designed to cater to both traveller and agent inquiries, can assist with international and domestic flights and curate a bespoke itinerary. Contact central reservations on email: 

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