Rusumo waterfalls are one of the most spectacular places you can visit while on a safari within the land of a thousand hills (Rwanda). These magnificent waterfalls are located within the Kagera River on the Rwanda-Tanzania border. Rusumo falls at about 15 meters high and measures around 40 meters wide of the Quartzophyllites and schists. Historically, Rusumo waterfalls are very significant because are the only connection on River Kagera within the area, hence offer memorable opportunity to tourists to relish a safari along the ancient Bridge within the country.
Historically, the Rusumo waterfalls were used as a connection by the early Europeans to arrive in Rwanda within 1894 from the neighboring Tanzania. It is believed that Gustav Adolf Von Gotzen (a German explorer) arrived Rwanda from Tanzania through the bridge at Rusumo falls and proceeded to the Royal palace of former Mwami (King) at Nyanza until Lake Kivu. Explorers from Belgium also utilized the same route to access the land of a thousand Hills. Rusumo waterfalls were the only bridge at that time to link to this country from Tanzania hence making the site a significant tourist destination for tourists to explore during safaris within Rwanda.
Interestingly, the site later became a popular International site during the traumatizing 1994 Rwandan genocide that took lives of several Tutsi and left deep wounds in the hearts of the people of the country. The waterfalls were therefore used as a refuge for people fleeing from the genocide when escaping to Tanzania and sadly thousands of corpses were thrown below the Bridge hence making it is a must-visit historical site while on a safari in Rwanda. However if compared to the other large waterfalls in the African continent, Rusumo waterfalls are not very impressive.
The Akagera National Park is one of the four wonderful National parks found within Rwanda, which is why it is always visited by tourists on a safari in the country. This magnificent National Park derived its name from the popular Kagera River where the Rusumo waterfalls are situated. Exploring the Rusumo waterfalls rewards tourists with the once in a lifetime opportunity to explore other interesting attractions found within Akagera National Parks such as the Big five animals (Lions, Leopards, Buffaloes, Elephants and Rhinoceros), Antelopes (Topis, bushbucks, Oribis, waterbucks and Elands), Giraffes, Nile Crocodiles and Hippos among others, that all await you to explore.
However, the development of the Hydro Electric Power Project in 2013 (funded by the African Development Bank Group) will affect the speed and physical appearance of the waterfalls. It is a pity that these breathtaking waterfalls have unforgettable place in the history of Rwanda yet will lose its beauty.
This project on the other hand will increase renewable power generating capacity and access to electricity in Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi. Not only that, the project has two components that include a 80 megawatts hydropower generation plant and long transmission lines and substations across a number of places across the mentioned countries. African Development Bank (ADB) funds the transmission facilities of the mega Rusumo Falls Hydropower project and electricity is expected to be produced from 2020.
In conclusion, besides the primates and wildlife in Rwanda, by tourists who visit Rwanda, they can also explore the magnificent Rusumo waterfalls and be rewarded by its breathtaking views.