Earlier this month, I featured the splendid Cormoran Lodge in my Coffee Break segment. Cormoran is a French word (cormorant in English) — a long-billed aquatic bird.
While sipping some coffee on the terrace of this uniquely designed facility, I used a pair of binoculars to observe the activities of a flock of cormorants inhabiting the area. However, it was during my previous boat trip to Kivu Lodge, farther south, when I got a closer look at these fascinating creatures. The cormorant species, found around Lake Kivu, belong to the Phalacrocoracidae family.
The fish-eaters catch their prey in deep waters. After eating, they usually doze off on the shore or on the islands. Cormorants can take naps on slippery cliffs or loose branches of trees on a windy day. They can fall asleep on the edge of a violently shaking canoe.
When I chartered a boat to Kivu Lodge, courtesy of Kivu Tours & Travel, I saw cormorants enjoying their afternoon siesta on the floating accessories of the KivuWatts’ submerged pipeline. The sounds produced by the wind, the waves and my boat’s engine were not loud enough to wake them up.
Apart from a variety of fish species, Lake Kivu cormorants eat crustaceans, amphibians, molluscs and nestling birds. That explains their love for the riparian forest patches this lake’s shore and islands are known for.
Cormorants are multi-talented. They thrive in different environments. They can fly, crawl, swim and dive to the bottom of the lake. A cormorant is the only creature I know capable of being a bird in the sky and a fish in the water.
The author is visiting all 30 districts of Rwanda. His tour of Karongi is sponsored by Ikaze Rwanda Tours & Travel, Kivu Tours & Travel, Rebero Kivu Resort and Exposure. Follow his awe-inspiring expeditions on Twitter @GeoExposure.