Kamiranzovu trail in Nyungwe National Park is one of the most unique and moderate trails that leads to Nyungwe’s largest wetland- the Kamiranzovu swamp from which the trail is named after. The Kamiranzovu swamp is an ancient and virgin wetland in this Nyungwe National Park that is stunningly beautiful, it forms a huge watershed that resembles a caldera like depression, surrounded by lush vegetation and montane forests and drains its water between two peaks.
Deriving its name from this large wetland, “Kamira” which means swallow and “nzovu” meaning Elephant, explains the ancient scenarios of elephants that used to live in the park and on many times as they grazed around the swamp, would be trapped and swallowed in the ooze of the marsh.
The Kamiranzovu trail in Nyungwe National Park which runs through this impressive wetland, uniquely formed, covers a distance of about 5.9 kilometers that includes a road segment and usually takes 3 to 4 hours to complete. Hiking this kamiranzovu trail is one of the most rewarding adventures that will lead you to discovering such unique and hidden treasures of the park including the incredible Kamiranzovu waterfalls.
There are two trail heads for this specific kamiranzovu trail, both starting off from the main road, one is a shorter and another takes a long loop but will both give you fascinating rewards for adventure. The shorter trail head enables you to reach Kamiranzovu marsh quickly and you will explore attractions that border the wetland, sight various bird species, beautiful plants and later return to the road.
However, the other second trailhead takes you to the east and has a longer and fascinating bend around the Kamiranzovu marsh, hikers who take this route deeply immerse in the beauty of stunning views, sights of abundant bird species including the numerous water birds, ideal for bird watchers. Expect to watch the Albertine owlet and Grauer’s rush warbler found in the Kamiranzovu marsh, which are both endemic to the Albertine Rift. Reaching to the far end of the orchid loop, during the rainy season this trail will reward you with a wide array of flourishing flowers covered in bloom and producing nice scents.
Hikers who trek Kamiranzovu trail in Nyungwe National Park from its more elevated western side towards the end of the trail, have greater opportunities of viewing the entire Kamiranzovu wetland and its outlet, the waterfalls, clear views of Lake Kivu, Lake Tanganyika and the Congo River and this makes for an exhilarating magical hiking experience.
The Kamiranzovu trail connects with Uwinka trail at the far northern end of the hike which brings you back to the Uwinka reception center (park headquarters). This is also an interesting trail passing through lush thickets, entering into the rain forests again, the chances of viewing the spectacular Kamiranzovu marsh from a high vantage point offered on this Uwinka trail, give mind blowing moments.
Nyungwe National Park is a rich biodiverse rain forest with millions of undiscovered attractions, soaking up yourself in this mist covered rain forest while on adventure through the numerous hiking trails offered in the park will connect your soul to nature and enable you to discover a lot more from the expected.