If you are ready to go off-the-beaten-track, then you are one of the few tourists to explore the breathtaking Kamiranzovu waterfalls, found at the heart of the Nyungwe Forest National Park. Nyungwe is a thick protected rainforest within the south-western corner of remarkable Rwanda and approximately 225 kilometers/5 hours drive from Kigali City.
The Nyungwe Forest National Park is popular for being the catchment area for Rwanda and harboring the furthest source of the Nile River but unlike other waterfalls in Rwanda such as the Rusumo Falls on the border with Tanzania, trekkers have to hike for at least 90 minutes through the jungles to reach the Kamiranzovu waterfalls. The other waterfalls in Rwanda and other countries are beautiful and easy to reach, which is not the case with the Kamiranzovu which you have to reach after a challenging but enjoyable walk.
While in the company of a professional local guide, you will start the hike to the waterfalls from the border of the forest at a stone’s throw away from lush tea plantations. The adventure usually begins with a briefing about the forest and waterfalls where trekkers are advised to leave the forest the way they found it, to ensure its conservation for generations. The source of this waterfall is the Kamiranzovu marshland also within the Nyungwe Forest National Park and the walk to the Falls is about 10 kilometers both ways but due to the dense vegetation as well as hilly landscape, it usually becomes challenging to walk through the forest.
There are several stops to allow tourists to learn about the forest especially the medicinal trees, fruits and plants that are loved by primates but also edible to humans. Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to more than 1000 plant species as well as 38 species of reptiles but what makes the hike through the forest interesting is the fact that all you will see is trees, birds, and animals that you had never seen before. Situated at about 10 kilometers from the start of the hike, the Kamiranzovu waterfalls are approximately 50 meters high and when you approach it, you will be welcomed by the refreshing mist that feels like raindrops
The volume and speed of the waterfalls usually depend on the season but interestingly, the Forest receives high rainfall (totaling to over 2000 millimeters) for 9 months in a year hence the beauty of the waterfalls remains most times of the year. When you see the waterfalls, you will discover that it has two parts-the lower section on giant rocks and is considered the most spectacular spot for photography while the second section is in front of the falling water. For safety and pleasure reasons, hikers to the waterfalls are advised to explore the waterfalls in groups
What to carry or wear when hiking to the Kamiranzovu waterfalls?
Due to the difficulty of predicting the weather, trekkers have to wear long trousers, strong waterproof hiking boots, long-sleeved shirts, rain jackets and carry a backpack, snacks or packed lunch, enough drinking water, a walking stick and a camera for filming experience in Africa.
However, Nyungwe Forest National Park is also known for other exciting attractions and activities that include the invigorating canopy walk, bird watching, chimpanzee tracking, hiking/nature walks involving more than 10 hiking trails and a tour of the nearby tea plantations.
In conclusion, hiking to see the magnificent Kamiranzovu waterfall is a must-do activity for every tourist visiting Nyungwe Forest National Park due to the breathtaking scenery of the waterfalls in addition to numerous attractions that are likely to be encountered during the hike.