A person who has never read about or been to Rwanda may wonder what interesting things the country offers but I dare you to visit this remarkable destination, and you will leave totally amazed. There are mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, rich and diverse cultures, other wildlife species, birds, lakes, waterfalls and now rivers that are surprisingly rarely visited by tourists on safaris.
When it comes to explored rivers, the Rukarara River may not appear on the list but its beautiful appearance makes it one of the most exciting yet ignored places to visit within Rwanda. It drains through the western side of Rwanda and is a tributary of the Mwogo River, which is also a headwater of the popular Nyabarongo River. This River is surprisingly the most distant headwater of the Nile River and rises in the forested areas of southern Rwanda to the east of the Congo-Nile Divide.
This River has its sources within Nyamagabe District with the Nyirabugoyi and Rubyiro Rivers being its main tributaries and both of them rise in the lush Nyungwe Forest/National Park. So far, Rukarara is the longest river of the different Rivers that flow into or supply River Mwogo. River Rukarara particularly flows southwards and changes eastwards before finally emptying/pouring its waters into River Mwogo which flows northwards and merging with River Mbirurume, lying on the south of Bwakira to becomes the popular River Nyabarongo.
The source of this river is now considered to be the overall source of the Nile River but the Kamiranzovu Swamp within Nyungwe Forest National Park provides the natural reservoir for the Rukarara River. The notion of the source of this River is the overall source of the Nile confirmed by the 2005/2006 expedition up the river with several states of art navigation equipment, hence the reason you have to visit it during a safari in Rwanda. When you explore this river, you will discover that the origin of the Nile River is actually the furthest source from its mouth at an altitude of 2428 meters (7966 feet) above sea level and at a latitude and longitude of 2°16′055.962″S 29°19′052.470″E
On top of River Rukarara, Rwanda’s landscape is drained by several rivers that include Nyabarongo, Mbirurume, Akanyaru, Mbogo, Ruzizi and Rugezi and are habitats for exceptional fish species as well as animals such as crocodiles and Hippos as well as aquatic bird species especially the Pelicans, Kingfishers, Sacred ibis, African fish eagles and grey crowned cranes among others.