Kamiranzovu waterfalls, a beautiful piece of Rwanda

Saturday November 19 2016

Taking pictures is a must at the Kamiranzovu waterfalls in Nyungwe National Park. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA

Taking pictures is a must at the Kamiranzovu waterfalls in Nyungwe National Park. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA  

By Jean-Pierre Afadhali

hIt takes courage, patience and energy to discover Kamiranzovu waterfall, located deep in Nyungwe National Park, a dense and protected rainforest in south western Rwanda.

The park is famous for being the furthest source of river Nile, according to Rwanda Development Board.

Nyungwe National Park is approximatively 225km from Kigali, a four- to five-hour drive making it the furthest national park from the capital city.

Unlike other falls, I have visited before, like Rusumo on the Rwanda -Tanzanian border and Thompson Falls in central Kenya; a tourist has to walk for almost an hour and a half, through the forest, on what is known as “nature walk” to access this waterfall.

The Rusumo and Thompson Falls are amazing, but easily accessible, located not far from the road.

We got to Kamiranzovu falls after a tiring, fun walk in the cold Nyungwe Park along a trail.

Led by a local guide, the walk starts at the edge of the forest near tea plantations, with a briefing about the forest where we are cautioned to leave the forest just the way we found it for conservation and environment protection.

Tourists wear raincoats; carry water and walking sticks to help them walk as it is tiring in a forest with a hilly landscape.

On the way, guides make frequent stops to talk about the forest; give information on medicinal plants and fruits which are eaten by primates and are edible for humans too.

The forest has 1,068 species and 38 reptiles, according to Rwanda Development Board.

What makes the walk fascinating is that when one looks around in the jungle, you see nothing but trees and vegetation that one has never seen before, while eager to discover the waterfall.

The trail is approximately 10km both ways, but being in a forest with hilly landscape makes the walk long.

The source of the Kamiranzovu waterfall is the marshland also called Kamiranzovu in Nyungwe Forest.

The waterfalls speed depends on the season but we were told that it rains for nine months in a year in the forest so there is a lot of water.

The falls have two parts: the lower part on huge rocks, a beautiful spot for photography; and a second side in front of the falling water.

I was told by a guide that the waterfalls are 50 metres high and the mist feels like raindrops as one approaches the scenic waterfalls.

It was a perfect spot that people can combine with adventure in the jungle.

To avoid chaos and accidents once at the waterfalls, people go to view in groups.

While in Nyungwe, tourists can also visit other attractions including the canopy walk, bird watching and a tour of the tea plantations.