The fate of Rusumo Falls seems to be decided – in a few years here will stand the dam of Rusumo Power Station. This is a pity, as these beautiful falls have a special place in the history of Rwanda.
Map of the site
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If compared to the large waterfalls of Africa, Rusumo Falls are not too impressive. The waterfall is up to 40 m wide and some 15 m high, with a horseshoe shape form and several cliff islands in the middle. Falls have formed on Precambrian schists and quartz phyllites.
A sequence of rapids comes after the falls and the stream drops an additional 6 m over the next 800 m.
The border between Tanzania and Rwanda runs along Kagera for a longer distance. Near the falls is located a bridge – one of the few places in this region where the river can be crossed. Due to this several expeditions (including the first Europeans in these surroundings in 1894) and troops have passed along the falls, changing the history of this region.
During the genocide of 1994 corpses of people flowed over the rim of falls and headed towards Uganda. Many victims were thrown into the waterfall alive.
Elimination by power plant
Rusumo Power Station is planned on the site of the waterfall since 1967. Finally, the works are moving ahead – in August 2013 World Bank approved the loan for this power plant. The planned capacity of the plant is 80 MW, it may start producing electricity by 2020.
The 15 m tall dam will be located just upstream from the falls, towering above them.
Rwanda is a densely inhabited country with undulating hills, gorgeous lakes, and volcanoes. The country has left the nightmarish 1990s in the past and is progressive, tidy, and welcoming.
Rwanda is an increasingly popular destination for the observation of fauna and jungle walks (including treetop walks). Nevertheless, in spite of the impressive landscape, there are few well-known landmarks of international fame.
Some of the most fascinating and awe-inspiring natural monuments are waterfalls or locations where a river abruptly changes its elevation.
Africa has many outstanding wonders and some of the most surprising ones are the heritage of Egyptian civilization, the vernacular architecture of the Sahel region, tropical ecosystems, and others.
In 1949, Rosamond Halsey Carr, a young fashion illustrator living in New York City, accompanied her dashing hunter-explorer husband to what was then the Belgian Congo. When the marriage fell apart, she decided to stay in neighboring Rwanda, as the manager of a flower plantation. Land of a Thousand Hills is Carr’s thrilling memoir of her life in Rwanda—a love affair with a country and a people that has spanned half a century.