Rwanda is known as the land of “athousand hills” and endowered with a number of tourist attractions and among which include Lakes and Rivers. Rivers are among the major tourist attraction because tourists swim, do boat cruise and carry out sport fishing.

The Nyabarongo River in Rwanda

Soon after being joined by the Akanyaru, the combined river meanders east and then south through a complex of lakes and wetlands in a flat valley running in a SSE direction, 35 kilometres (22 mi) wide, which it floods to create a zone of permanent swamps and lakes. Lake Mugesera lies on the east bank of the river, and is the largest Rwandan lake in the complex. Lakes Birara and Sake also lie along the left bank of the river. The lakes on the right bank, from north to south, are Gashanga, Kidogo, Rumira, Maravi, Kilimbi, Gaharwa, Rweru and Kanzigiri. Lake Rweru, which mostly lies in Burundi, drains in a northeast direction into the river through a short swampy section.

Although close to the equator, the climate is comparatively temperate due to the elevation. The rainy seasons are from March to May and again from September to December. In the upper reaches of the wetlands the forest is only flooded seasonally. Further down, common plants are Ficus verruculosa, Myrica kandtiana, Phoenix reclinata and Cyperus papyrus.The water is generally around 25 °C (77 °F). Fish are abundant, and there are many species of waterbirds. Other animals include water turtles, crocodiles, monitors, snakes and otters.

The Nyabarongo River Wetlands is an unprotected area surrounding the course of the Nyabarongo, and covering 142.62 square kilometres (55.07 sq mi). It is of great importance for biodiversity conservation, especially birds, with species such as the endangered Madagascar Pond heron Aldeora idae, the Near-threatened Papyrus Gonolek Laniarius mufumbiri, the Vulnerable Grey Crowned Crane Balearica regulorum, and the Sitatunga Tragelaphus spekii. The wetlands are under serious pressure from agriculture.

Kagera River

The Kagera River is an East African river, forming part of the upper headwaters of the Nile and carrying water from its most distant source. The section of river named Kagera begins in Burundi, flowing out from Lake Rweru. From the lake, it flows east along the Rwanda-Burundi and Rwanda-Tanzania borders to a confluence with the Ruvubu River. The waters of the Kagera are thus provided by two major tributaries, the Nyabarongo of Rwanda, which feeds Lake Rweru, and the Ruvubu of Burundi. It is unknown which of these two Feeder Rivers is the longer and hence the ultimate source of the Nile. From the confluence, the Kagera flows north along the Rwanda-Tanzania border, over Rusumo Falls and through Akagera National Park. It then takes a turn to the east, following the Tanzania-Uganda border and emptying into Lake Victoria in Uganda.

Importance of Rwanda Rivers:

Rivers are sources of water for domestic and industrial use, in the industries; water cools machines, used to mix beverages and so on. At home, water washes, drunk and so on.

Rivers offer water for irrigation –waters crops hence proper growth. To that note, agriculture has been boosted.

Rivers are tourist attractions in Rwanda hence earning the country a lot of foreign exchange.

Rivers modifies climate in Rwanda – cools the environment hence sustaining proper settlement of people.

Rivers promotes, fishing, swimming among others.

Rivers are used for transport – boats and canoes transport people and their commodities from one place to another.

Rivers have sustained wetlands – hence promoting swampy food crops like yams.