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Discovering Akagera River

Discovering Akagera River

I left Ngoma town after breakfast and pursued an off-the-beaten path. My destination was Bugesera District. The prospect of discovering the hidden gems of the Ngoma - Bugesera marshland area excited me.

It was a thrilling off-road expedition. There were many crossroads and junctions along the way. Since I do things the old school way, I stopped several times to ask for directions. Once or twice, I rode alongside a taxi-moto operator and asked for directions without stopping. In Kato Sector, I took a minute to admire the area’s Integrated Development Program (IDP) model village.

Akagera River serves as the boundary line between Ngoma and Bugesera. While visiting different parts of Rwanda, I have picked interest in the water bodies decorating the surface of this beautiful country.

In November last year, I saw the merging point of Mwogo and Mbirurume rivers outside Nyungwe forest. This happened when I visited the magical Rugabano area and its environs. It is at this point where the source of Nyabarongo River is traced. Nyabarongo is the longest river in Rwanda, flowing across all five provinces.

Back to my Ngoma - Bugesera route: When I made it to the river, I saw a signpost written Akagera River. The security officer, stationed at the bridge connecting the two districts, confirmed that the river I was about to cross is indeed Akagera.

I stood on the bridge and tried to map out the course of the Rwandan side of the upper headwaters of the Nile. I realized I wasn’t aware of the existence of the stretch known as Akagera. I thought Nyabarongo flows all the way to Lake Rweru before exiting as Kagera River.

Where does Nyabarongo turn into Akagera? I posed this question to a local farmer namely Francois Sentwari. "At the confluence with Kanyaru River." He answered while giving me directions to the location. I decided to check it out and confirm whether this information is accurate or not. I will share my findings in one of my upcoming posts.

While standing on the bridge, I Googled Akagera River and the Wikipedia page of the said river appeared on top of my search results. I didn’t bother to open the page because I lost faith in this source long time ago. I would rather consult my new friend, Francois.

The author is visiting all 30 districts of Rwanda. His tour of Ngoma is sponsored by Ikaze Rwanda Tours & Travel, The Click Creations and Exposure Ltd.

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