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29.13117E 2.jpg
Idjwi is in the southern region of Lake Kivu
Idjwi is located in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Idjwi (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Location Lake Kivu
Coordinates 2°09′57″S 29°03′22″E / 2.165851°S 29.056091°E / -2.165851; 29.056091
Area 340 km2 (130 sq mi)
Length 70 km (43 mi)
Highest point Nyamusisi
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Population 250,000 (as of 2009)
Density 700 /km2 (1,800 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Havu (Bany'Idjwi)

Idjwi or Ijwi is an island in Lake Kivu, belonging to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At 70 km in length and with an area of 340 km², it is the second largest inland island in Africa, and the tenth largest in the world.[1] Idjwi is roughly equidistant between the DRC and Rwanda, with 10 to 15 kilometres separating its western shore from the DRC mainland and a similar distance between its eastern shore and the coastline of Rwanda. The island's southern tip, however, lies only 1 kilometre from a promontory of the Rwandan coast.

Historically a clan-based society, Idjwi island became a kingdom in the late 18th century (roughly between 1780 and 1840) under the influence of the neighboring Kingdom of Rwanda.[2]

Idjwi lies within the Sud-Kivu province of the DRC.

In 2013, the island was estimated to have a population of 252,000. This is a massive increase from the estimated population of 50,000 in 1983. Malnutrition is common, especially among children, and almost all of the population is dependent on subsistence agriculture.


  1. ^ Retrieved 4 June 2007. Ukerewe Island in neighbouring Lake Victoria is considerably bigger than Idjwi, at 530 km².
  2. ^ Newbury, David. Kings and Clans: Ijwi Island and the Lake Kivu Rift, 1780-1840 (ISBN 0299128903 / 0-299-12890-3 ) 1992.

Coordinates: 2°09′57″S 29°03′22″E / 2.165851°S 29.056091°E / -2.165851; 29.056091