Kamiranzovu waterfalls in Nyungwe forest national park
Kamiranzovu waterfalls are situated in Kamiranzovu swamp inside Nyungwe forest national park. Nyungwe forest national park is located in Rwanda in the southwestern part of the country protecting a number of animals the famous ones being chimpanzees. Kamiranzovu waterfalls are found in the Kamiranzovu swamp which is the biggest in the park and most visited by tourists who want to encounter the beautiful waterfalls or do birding activities.
Hiking the Kamiranzovu water trail requires one to be physically fit because the hike is very tiresome as it takes them through steep slopes with muddy trails and it’s for this matter that hikers must out on long-sleeved warm clothes and waterproof hiking shoes. Other necessities required include a walking stick, energy-giving snacks, and enough drinking water.
Nyungwe forest national park is one of the gifted areas in Rwanda that was gazetted in 1934 to protect wildlife and its of today protecting over 13 primates among which include chimpanzees. Other thins in Nyungwe forest include 85 mammals, 1086 plant species, and 310 bird species.
Hiking Kamiranzovu waterfalls
Just like any other park activity, a hike to Kamiranzovu waterfalls starts with a briefing where participants are taught about the dos and don’ts of the activity and then the armed ranger guides lead tourists to the waterfalls. The journey to the waterfalls takes you through thick vegetation covers with opportunities of meeting park mammals, primates, water sources, and different bird species. On the day of going to the waterfall, you are advised to put in long-sleeved clothes, waterproof hiking shoes, and have a rain jacket to protect you in case it rains.
When you arrive at the waterfalls, you will be having beautiful views of the waterfalls, step in the waters, see the surrounding vegetation, encounter birds and animals around the place. At the waterfalls, the armed ranger guides will tell you about different information about the waterfalls such as the speed of waters during different seasons and what led to the formation of the falls.
Other activities in Nyungwe forest national park
The canopy walk: The canopy walk is one of the activities which one shouldn’t miss out while in Nyungwe forest national park. The canopy walk is a unique activity found nowhere else in Rwanda as it takes people to a bridge raised 50m from the ground and 90m long. The canopy walk activity starts with a briefing and an armed ranger guide leads the participants throughout the whole activity. The canopy walk gives participants a special opportunity of having an aerial view of the national park, its surrounding areas, the lakes, mountains, rives, plant species, waterfalls, birds, mammals, and primates.
Chimpanzee trekking: This is the most done activity in Nyungwe forest national park because tourists like trekking these endangered apes share 98% DNA with human beings. Chimpanzee trekking is done by those that have valid trekking permits and the activity starts with a briefing after which armed ranger guides lead the trekkers into the jungle through different walking trails.
Through different trails, trekkers are able to meet different park animals such as vervet monkeys, duikers, blue monkeys, buffaloes, otters, elephants, and Angolan colobus monkeys among others. When the trekkers meet the chimpanzees, 1 hour starts counting, and during the period given they are able to watch them do some of the daily activities, learn about their habits and take photos.
Birding: There are over 310 bird species in Nyungwe forest national park and this made it be among the best birding destinations in Rwanda. Birders to Nyungwe forest national park must purchase the birding permits days before the final activity in order to get a chance and encounter birds of the park. The birding activities are done in the morning or evening hours with a help of a guide.
Birds likely to be seen in Nyungwe forest national park include red-throated alethe, regal sunbird, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, great blue turaco, while tailed flycatcher, barred long-tailed cuckoo, kungwe apalis, Rwenzori apalis, red collared babbler, Albertine owlet, archer’s robin chat, Rwenzori nightjar, dusky crimson wing, shelley’s crimson wing, stripe-breasted tit, Rwenzori batis, handsome francolin, and mountain sooty boubou among others.
Monkey trekking: This activity is done among the black and white colobus monkeys because they have been habituated and are used to human presence around them. The trekking activity starts with a briefing just like chimpanzee trekking and from there the armed ranger guides do lead the trekkers through different trails of the park searching for these monkeys. While searching, other monkeys will be spotted such as blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, golden monkeys, crowned monkeys, mammals, and different bird species. On meeting the black and white colobus monkeys, trekkers will be given 1 hour to be around them, watch them do daily activities, and take photos.
Nature walks: Nature walks are one of the activities that give tourists an opportunity to explore the national park on foot. The nature walk activities are done in the different walking trails of the national park such as Muzimu trail, Imbaraga trail, and Bigugu trails among others. During the nature walks, tourists are able to spot different park animals such as monkeys, chimpanzees, olive baboons, mammals, birds, and different plant species.
Community visits: There are different communities around Nyungwe forest national park where tourists can interact with the local people. Some of the communities around Nyungwe forest national park include Banda village where you meet welcoming local people as well as traditional dancers who entertain you through dance and drama. During the community visits, tourists can visit Cyangugu village and visit Mashesha hot springs to see the boiling water oozing. Another village to visit is Bisesero located around the park and this is where tourists can visit the genocide memorial where some of the people who didn’t survive the war were buried.
What is the best time to visit Kamiranzovu waterfalls?
Since Kamiranzovu waterfalls are located within Nyungwe forest national park, tourists that want to visit these waterfalls can visit them at any time of the year but there are months that are better than the rest. The drier months of June to September and December to February are the best to visit Kamiranzovu waterfalls because the walking trails to the place are dry due to little or no rainfall, the vegetation is short giving clear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Tourists can still visit Kamiranzovu waterfalls in the rainy season of March to May and October to November but they need to know that during these months, there is a lot of rainfall which makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall giving unclear views of park animals and the roads leading to the park are passable. In the rainy season, birders will encounter many bird species in the Kamiranzovu swamp due to migration, and inbreeding.
Accommodation on a safari Kamiranzovu waterfalls
Tourists that are coming to explore Kamiranzovu waterfalls and would want to spend a night or two in Nyungwe forest national park have several accommodation facilities available for them. These accommodation facilities do range from luxury to mid-range to budget options such as One & Only Nyungwe House, Nyungwe Top View Hotel, Gisakura Guest House, Gisakura Family Hostel, E.R.A Gisakura Visitor Guesthouse, Emeraude Kivu Resort, Peace Guesthouse, Hotel du Lac, Rusizi Progress Hotel, Golden Monkey Hotels, Comoran Lodge, and Delta Resort Hotel among others.