Kamiranzovu Swamp is home to a big number of flowers especially orchids and source of the Kamiranzovu waterfalls-the biggest waterfalls in Nyungwe. Kamiranzovu swamp is located in Nyungwe national park and it is an ancient swamp and the largest wetland in the park. It lies in between the two peaks of the high altitude mountains. It is also among the wetlands in the world that are in the high altitude. The swamp has a view you can’t find anywhere. There are many vantage points and the constructed wood boardwalk across the trail helps people walk in the swamp since it passes in between the swamp. The swamp is the mother of the great waterfall of Nyungwe national park which is Kamiranzovu waterfall. The water flows about 3km to form a waterfall, which will flow through Lake Kivu, Congo River, Tanganyika until Atlantic ocean. The swamp is rich in vegetation, shrubs, flowers, mosses, ferns, epiphytes, and orchids. There is a loop for orchids in the trail. You will see two endemic bird species like Grauer’s Rush Warbler and Albertine Owlet.
The marsh is known to have many flowering plants, and easy to see orchids such as foxglove orchid. This one is the most popular and common in Africa. If you choose to visit flowers here you will visit the Orchid loop, where you will manage to see some endemic plants such as flowering Begonia, glossy and yellow lemon. While visiting this loop try to look at each side and be attentive to learn about each vegetation type.
Hiking the Kamiranzovu water fall: The trail to Kamiranzovu waterfall starts from Gisakura reception center, from the entry of the trail which is at the One and only Nyungwe house. So that means we hike downward that’s why coming back always requires a lot of energy. But does not mean that there is anyone who cannot hike the trail because the guide will always manage to go on the last one’s speed. The trail is known to have many flowers and some Orchids and for birders. When you reach the waterfall, it is too loud, since the water falls down with no interruption form 50m high and after water flows which changes color to dark brown or green, red and dark red depending on the plant’s colors under water. For the sake of environmental security, if you come in a big group you will be divided into small groups, maybe two or more depending on how big your group is.
The trail is known also to have many primate species than any other trail, Birds, reptiles and some mammals. The trail is a zigzag designed to avoid a steep path, which also allows having as many vantage points as possible. From Gisakura reception center to the entry of the trail and from the entry to the reception, there are two choices. You may use vehicles from each place to another one. But if you choose walking its better idea, because from Gisakura reception center to the entry of the trail, you pass through the magnificent light green tea plantation which is in both sides left and light. There is a beautiful blue sky, the view of Lake Kivu, and the mountains of Nyungwe national park. There is amazing activity in the tea plantation estate you will see; which when they are harvesting, picking the new fresh little leaves, and fill them in the big baskets they all carry on back, each one carries one on back. And it is different from many other countries. Some use machines to harvest which is interesting to learn about. Also along the way toward the waterfall trail, there are chances for birders as you go through tea estate to get to see many forest edge bird species as possible.
So if you got a plan to visit Nyungwe don’t forget this amazing mountainous rain forest waterfall trail. Also, remember to book for it before the visiting date. Don’t ever leave behind your bottle of water, some snacks and warm clothes, also remember to ask for a hiking stick.