Lake Kivu, Rwanda
Located close to the beautiful border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lake Kivu is a spectacular sight. Its shores are tree-lined and mountainous, its waters emerald green, shimmering in the warm sun.
But all is not as it seems beneath the surface of Africa’s sixth largest lake. People do swim here, but most come to regret it.
The water looks lovely, but its rare chemistry makes it hazardous to health. There are large concentrations of methane and carbon dioxide here, the deadly gases often bubbling up from the volcanic bottom in what local people call a ‘mazuku’, or an evil wind.
Being poisoned is always a possibility, whilst with dangerous microorganisms lurking in the lake, picking up a nasty illness is also a significant risk. Factor in the parasites that are at home here and you should reach the conclusion that swimming isn’t a good idea. Go and take a look at the lake, but don’t be tempted to venture in.