Wooden chalets, simple comforts and gasp-worthy views of ancient Lake Kivu
Set on a steep hill leading down to the shore of Lake Kivu, stone-built Cormoran Lodge accommodates just 16 guests in wooden cabins. From the lodge, steps lead down to a small private man-made beach beside the lake, which begs you to swim, paddle around its shores in a kayak, or try a spot of waterskiing or boating. The Cormoran is not a luxury lodge, but it's clean, comfortable and full of African character, so it's perfect for a few days' stopover if you're exploring Nyungwe Forest and the Virunga Volcanoes.
At the lodge
The central area, a stilted wooden structure, features a bar and, on one side of the large fireplace that is lit every evening, a comfortable seating area with a TV. The dining area is small, with a few tables set on the terrace, and serves simple but fresh and tasty fare (try the tenderest beef stew ever!). The main areas are simply stylish, furnished with nautical memorabilia and local artworks. The views, as you would expect, are incredible.
Sloped pathways lead to the accommodation – just 16 guests can stay at a time, in twin or double rooms, or in the VIP cabin which is perfect for honeymooners. The rooms are simply decorated, with wood predominating, and have large netted beds, a TV, an en-suite bathroom with a bath or shower and flushing toilet, and magnificent views. Opt for the VIP cabin for incredible sightings of the fiery crater of Nyiragongo Volcano in neighbouring Congo.
Relax on the beach (keep an eye on your children as the edge of the beach drops away to the water). Stroll across to the jetty for a swim, rent a kayak for some personal exploring, visit the islands on a motorboat, or go waterskiing (extra charges apply). Lake-viewing is wonderful, both in both sunshine and when the wind comes up and corrugates its surface. Though by now, of course, you know we're crazy about the views!