Saturday, July 25, 2009
Rusumo Falls and a step into Trazania
We took a quick side trip on Thursday afternoon. The Rwandan border guards allowed us to cross the bridge to take photos of Rusumo Falls. It is a waterfall located on the Kagera River on the border between Rwanda and Tanzania (the most distant headwaters of the Nile River). Although the falls themselves are not of a significant height in comparison to other waterfalls, they have played an important part in the history of Rwanda.
The falls gained international fame during the genocide, as thousands of dead bodies flowed underneath the bridge while a simultaneous stream of refugees crossed ''over'' it, fleeing into Tanzania to escape the fighting and prosecution of their crimes.
The Kagera drains water from all areas of Rwanda except the far west, and consequently carried all the discarded corpses from the rivers nationwide. This led to a state of emergency being declared in areas around the shore of Lake Victoria, where all of those bodies eventually washed up.
Chad took a photo of each of us crossing the border since we did not get a passport stamp.