Tchegera Island is a beautiful island found in the northern shore of Lake Kivu which is shared by both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Though little known to travellers, Tchegera is one of the top destinations that travellers on a Congo safari tour should visit so as to relax. The Island is the one spot that is befitting to visit after a long gorilla trekking experience in Virunga National Park and also hiking Mount Nyiragongo. Most Congo safaris tour packages have visiting Tchegera Island as the last activity on the itinerary for it is a perfect relaxation destination. The Island has a variety of animal and plant life as well as various species of birds and butterflies that are worth encountering.
The Island is a U shaped collapsed volcanic caldera island only 15-20 minutes boat ride from the Goma harbour. Tchegera Island was reopened to tourists for visit in 2019 after the reopening of Virunga National Park which had been closed following the insecurities that threatened the park. Travellers in Virunga National Park can hire a Virunga boat to transfer them to the island. The tranquil nature of Tchegera is a great spot for honeymoon travellers. On a clear night, Tchegera Island offers spectacular views of Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamulagira with their glowing red lava piercing a star covered sky, a view that is worth experiencing. Both Mount Mikeno and Mount Karisimbi can also be seen from Tchegera Island.
The Island has about 10 well equipped but far apart safari Meru tents that travellers stay in while visiting. The tents are equipped with en-suite bathrooms, running hot showers and a flush toilet. There is a good generator power supply with charging points in the tents with electric hand hair driers and a luxury torch in the tents. While at the terrace of the tents, travellers are rewarded with wonderful views.
Activities in Tchegera Island
There are a number of activities in Tchegera Island that travellers can take part in and they include;
Paddleboarding and kayaking
Paddleboarding and kayaking are great adventurous activities in Tchegera that have travellers exploring the island’s surroundings and enjoying the thrill of it.
Bird watching and nature walk
Nature walks are another great way to explore Tchegera. On a nature walk, travellers get to see a range of wildlife in Tchegera like the blue monkeys, and also do bird watching to see a range of bird species that roam the island say the African eagle and gulls. Carrying binoculars and having comfortable shoes for long walks is recommended.
Other activities in Tchegera that travellers can do are swimming and fishing which can be done on Lake Kivu, snorkelling, scenic and sunset viewing.
The Island is most often warm during the evening and quite fair in the night. During the day, temperatures range from 23-26 degrees Celsius, but can drop to up to 10 degrees Celsius in the cold season that usually is in the months of July and August. Travellers are advised to carry appropriate clothing depending on their time of visit.
Getting to Tchegera Island
Getting to Tchegera is not so hard. The island can be reached by hiring a Virunga boat, a private boat or a kayak. These boats to Tchegera Island can be got from Goma harbour or Kituku port. It is only about 20 minutes from Goma to Tchegera.
Accommodation in Tchegera that most travellers visiting opt for is the Tchegera Tented Camp, a luxury camp that has travellers being availed with the best service and most comfortable tents. The food served is also great!
The Island is one of the best escape areas for any traveller on a Congo safaris tour. It is the perfect location to end a Virunga National Park safari. Feel tired and would like to unwind peacefully and relax, then Tchegera Island is the best place for just that. Tchegera Island can be visited alone for those travellers that just want a getaway, without hustling through the various Virunga National Park activities like gorilla trekking and hiking the Nyiragongo. Tchegera Island, as earlier mentioned, is a great honeymoon destination. Have your tour operator of choice plan your stay in this beautiful and relaxing island.