Highlights and Main Attractions of Tchegera Island

This tiny horseshoe-shaped island may not seem like a prime attraction compared to the forested hills of Virunga National Park to the north, but Tchegera’s relatively isolated location in the waters of Lake Kivu make it a perfect place to escape to after making your way through the bustling lakeside cities of Goma or Bukavu. 

Despite measuring barely a mile long, this speck of land is blanketed in trees, grass and shrubs, making it a wonderful venue for travellers seeking a bit of peace and quiet. 

For those looking to tackle the mountainous terrain of Virunga, there are few better places than Tchegera on which to charge (or recharge) your batteries. Wherever you perch yourself you’ll be offered fantastic views of the surrounding waters and distant lakeshores, and on a clear night, the sky may be lit up by the fiery glow of Mount Nyiragongo’s bubbling lava lake. Guests can stay in one of the handful of safari-style tents dotted around the island, which provide welcome shade from the midday sun and privacy when it’s time for bed. Despite its size, there are also wildlife-spotting opportunities on Tchegera, as butterflies and birds are regular visitors here.

Where is Tchegera Island?

Birds of a Feather

As the only land within Lake Kivu for miles around, Tchegera is a favourite destination for local birds looking to rest, preen themselves and perhaps grab a quick meal courtesy of the island’s insect life. Aquatic birds like gulls, herons and cormorants are regular guests, utilising the handful of trees on Tchegera as vantage points from which to spot any fish unlucky enough to stray too close to the island. The migratory green sandpiper, a shorebird which is found across Europe and Asia but occasionally winters in tropical Africa, has also been seen here. So too has the willow warbler, another primarily Eurasian species which at times makes Lake Kivu its holiday destination.

Tchegera doesn’t just serve as a stopping-off point for avian itinerants, however. African species can also be found among the island’s vegetation, including the yellow-throated greenbul with its distinctive shock of vivid neck plumage. But the most impressive visitor is undoubtedly the African fish eagle, the wingspan of which can reach almost 8 ft long. Its call can be heard across the continent, and is so distinctive that it has come to be known as “the voice of Africa”. Regardless of which birds you’ll be sharing Tchegera with, waking up to the sound of birdsong on this idyllic isle is a wonderful way to start your day in the DRC.

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