Serena Hotel Lake Kivu – Home Away from Home

On the shores of one of Africa's great lakes - this is a beauty to behold

Gallivant Africa

From the outside, it doesn’t seem like much. Enclosed by white walls and palm trees – I didn’t know what to expect. But this lakeside resort had me pleasantly surprised every single day I spent there.  Lake Kivu Serena is the perfect family resort when you’re with a tribe of kids on holiday.

Checking In:

You know when you visit an old family member, everyone gets hugs with squeals of delight because it has been THAT long! My host, an employee of Serena received that kind of a warm welcome from the team. Clearly the family vibe extends to its customer service! Because my host was there, check-in didn’t take long. It was a quick copy of the passport trade for a room key.


When you first enter an inner city business hotel room, you get that BANG! you’re in a hotel vibe. Don’t spill, don’t smear and don’t you dare think of eating your dinner in bed! But with Serena, it felt like… it’s okay if that happens – the staff are there to bring the room back to perfection! I keep coming back to it – but it just felt like a luxury home. I couldn’t wait to snuggle up in the large warm bed. I couldn’t wait to drop everything I owned, open the french door and walk barefoot straight onto the white sandy beach!

While the room wasn’t as big as the typical hotel, I didn’t mind the use of space. It had everything I needed, exactly where it needed to be. What it didn’t have, which I hoped it did was a multi-type power socket. I hail from South Africa which has the round plugs, while Rwanda, like many other countries has the square version. I’ve stayed in many hotels and quite a few of them have started to add the multi-type socket to each room. It comes in handy! With this in mind – I couldn’t work for 2 days (but to be honest – suited me just fine!).


Oh my goodness, where do I begin?! You can tell from the menu options that Serena truly invests in their chefs and the ingredients that goes into each dish. Breakfast was served on the top deck with a perfect view of the lake. The food in Rwanda is a lot richer, packed with all the nutrients you love from non-GMO foods! The fruit and pastries were my favourite – for obvious reasons! The eggs came with a double yolk – I don’t know if I was lucky or if that is what they do at Serena. Either way – two thumbs up!

Everything on the dinner menu sounded delicious – sadly on the first night I could only pick one! While some hotels give you bread or nuts to snack on while you wait for your meal, at Serena we got sambaza. It’s a small fresh water fish, harvested right out of Lake Kivu itself! I truly could not stop eating them! By the time dinner came, I was half full! What’s more is – you can have dinner by the poolside or on the beach. Great place to create memories and unique experiences!

Rating: 8/10 – I love this property. Every inch of it reminds you of family, home and finally letting your hair down because you’re on holiday! I didn’t want to leave because my favourite thing about this Serena property is the customer service! Would I visit it again? You betcha! Would I recommend it to you? You double betcha!









Miriro Matema
the authorMiriro Matema
Born in Zimbabwe and living in South Africa, Miriro is a seasoned publishing editor and writer, having worked with leading brands in investment, business leadership and entrepreneurship. Passionate about Africa’s development, Miriro is also a dynamic marketing consultant with 10 years experience working with startups and large multinational corporations. With a heart for travel, Miriro spends her time discovering the nooks of crannies of Africa’s hidden gems, taking the roads less travelled, meeting the beautiful people that call Africa home while exploring their food and culture. Miriro is currently a writer with Byolife Travel and Gallivant Africa

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