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The Lake Kivu beach at Gisenyi
The Lake Kivu beach at Gisenyi
Gisenyi is located in Rwanda
Location in Rwanda
Coordinates: 1°42′S 29°15′E / 1.700°S 29.250°E / -1.700; 29.250
Country Flag of Rwanda.svg Rwanda
Admin. Province Western Province
District Rubavu
 • Total 11 km2 (4 sq mi)
Elevation 1,481 m (4,859 ft)
Population (2012 census)
 • Total 53,603
 • Density 4,900/km2 (13,000/sq mi)

Gisenyi is a city in Rubavu district in the Western Province of Rwanda. Gisenyi is contiguous with Goma, the city across the border in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The population of the city is about 106,000 (2009).[1]


Shoreline at Gisenyi

The city features a resort on the shores of Lake Kivu, with several hotels and three sandy beaches. The area is also known for water sports. The northern shore of the lake on which Goma and Gisenyi lie is a flat plain featuring lava formations from the eruptions of nearby Mount Nyiragongo. In contrast to Goma, Gisenyi escaped the lava flows of both the 1977 and the 2002 eruptions which destroyed between 15 and 40% of the former. The centre of Gisenyi lies at the foot of hills in the north-east corner of the lake, and low-density expansion is taking place in the hills which should be safe from any future eruptions.

Gisenyi is also home to Bralirwa, the only brewery in Rwanda, which manufactures various local beers Primus and Mützig, as well as Amstel, Guinness and a range of Coca Cola brand soft drinks.

Gisenyi is a small town compared to neighboring Goma in the DRC, though Gisenyi is growing quickly. In 2011, a new multistory shopping mall began construction over an old bus station in Gisenyi. As of 2011, the main roads of the town are paved, and sidewalks are nearing completion for most of them as well.

Gisenyi has two borders with Goma, the "Petite Barriere" and the "Grand Barriere". These names are a little misleading because the Petite Barriere is physically larger, and features much higher traffic volumes. About six thousand people crossed the Petite Barriere daily during 2011. On the Gisenyi side, a large customs/immigration office was built with a large capacity, not yet matched by the Congolese facilities. Similarly, the road to the Petite Barriere is paved on the Rwandan side, but not on the Congolese side.

The Grande Barriere is paved on both sides, and receives more of the heavy truck traffic. It is also a diplomatic border.

During the Rwandan Genocide, the provisional government was based in the city.

It is the city where Laurent Nkunda is being held.

Coordinates: 1°42′S 29°15′E / 1.700°S 29.250°E / -1.700; 29.250


Kigali Independent University has a Gisenyi campus.[2] Rwanda Tourism University College{RTUC} has a Gisenyi campus. Privet and Public schools about 30,nursery,primary and Secondary schools.


  1. ^ "Ruanda: Die wichtigsten Orte mit Statistiken zu ihrer Bevölkerung". World Gazetteer. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  2. ^ "Contact Us." Kigali Independent University. Retrieved on 28 February 2013.