Kamiranzovu waterfalls are definitely a natural world wonder, visiting them when on a safari to Rwanda might be a breathtaking experience, since they overwhelm with their mist and green vegetation around. Not very high but impressive, the waterfalls flows 50 meters down the cliff uninterrupted. They are formed of two beautiful, sections; with the first water dropping 50 meters creating a permanent mist while the second creates a pool of water reflecting green vegetation.
The source of the waterfall is a huge wetland of the same name Kamiranzovu, in the middle of Nyungwe Forest National Park. Sometimes the speed and magnitude of the waterfall depends on high amounts up to 2000 mm of rainfall, received for 9 months a year.
Nyungwe forest national park is a water catchment area for Rwanda, and some geographers, speculate it to be furthest source of the Nile. This claim is not true when Lake Victoria and Mt. Rwenzori (mountains of the moon) were the very first to be discovered and well documented.
You can visit Kamiranzovu waterfalls any month of the year in Nyungwe forest national park, located in southwestern Rwanda, about 4-5 hour drive from Kigali city. The waterfall attracts many visitors, who like adventure trips into the jungle and nature photography. Even visitors, who have been at the waterfall, attest to the natural life of the forest. It takes 1 hour and 30 minute walk from Uwinka, the main visitor center. Usually several stopovers are made along the trail, with a ranger and guide spotting butterflies, birds, primates and other wildlife as the guide explains some of the medicinal plants.
The vegetation is eye catching to avoid disturbance, that’s why visitors are encouraged during briefing by guides at the start of the walk to be environmental friendly. Do not pluck off flowers or plants, visitors in large groups will be divided into small groups in order to have an eco friendly visit in the forest.
The weather is wet and rainfall is unpredictable. Walking to the waterfalls can be strenuous due ragged landscape and muddy trails, one must be fit, dressed in warm clothing, rainproof gears, good hiking shoes and also carry some packed snacks or drinking water. Since it’s in the middle of Nyungwe forest, don’t expect amenities.
Nyungwe forest national park is a hotspot for biological conservation protecting world’s rare and threatened wildlife including chimpanzee, three horned chameleon and birds.
Besides Kamiranzovu waterfalls, Nyungwe forest national park has diverse wildlife attractions and visitors have a lot of adventure activities to enjoy on a safari to the park.
The most popular activity for visitors is chimpanzee tacking. Most of the visitors are attracted to the park by chimpanzees and 13 species of primates including 400 troop of black and white Colobus monkey. Rwanda development board authorities have habituated chimpanzee communities which can be tracked by tourists. Book a chimpanzee or primate tracking permit with a tour operator.
Canopy walk is also famous activity for visitors who want to walk on top of Nyungwe forest. The canopy walk is the highest in east Africa, hanging over 60 meters to 90 meters above the ground. The metallic bridges are safe and include those for children above six years of age.
Bird watching is fantastic, for Nyungwe forest national park is an important birding area (IBA) with over 310 birds including those endemic to Albertine rift valley such as the strange weaver, stripe breasted tit among others.
Hiking is the best way to get close with nature and wildlife. There are 13 hiking trails ranging from one day to multi-day hiking. The most famous is the Congo-Nile dive trail which takes hikers to the separating ridges of Great River Nile and River Congo. Hiking includes picnic, camping opportunities with facilities along such as shops, food and beverage as well as visiting coffee making villages and tea estates.
Local community visits offer a traditional Rwandan culture experience including craft shops, coffee stations, local cuisines and drinks. Banda and Katabi cultural villages offer traditional home stay accommodation for visitors who want to appreciate how local farmers use culture and sustainable agriculture to conserve wildlife. With a local guide, visitors can learn different local skills such as banana beer brewing, local food preparation, basket weaving and craft making, medicinal plant administration, cultural dances and storytelling.