River Ruzizi

The river is notoriously known for the man-eating crocodile Gustave which terrorized the villagers when crossing the river and the river basin has also other bigger wildlife animals. The river also forms the southern border of Rwanda with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Ruzizi River is approximately 353km from Kigali City the capital of Rwanda .This river flows from Lake Kivu to Lake Tanganyika which makes descend rapidly from about 1,500 metres above sea level to about 770 metres above sea level over its length.

The vegetation of the river basin is mainly savannah grassland vegetation interspersed with trees like eucalyptus, acacia, oil palm and among others.

Tributaries of River Ruzizi

Through its path its receives the waters from the tributaries of

  • Luvungi
  • Nyakagunda
  • Nyamagana
  • Muhira
  • Kaburantwa
  • Kagunuzi
  • Nyarundari
  • Mpanda
  • Ruhwa.

Hydro Electricity

The Ruzizi I hydroelectric dam was built at the Ruzizi River outlet from Lake Kivu in 1958, affecting the level and outflow of the lake. The dam delivers electricity to Bubanza and Kigoma via the Mururu substation, and is believed to have an optimal capacity with the present infrastructure, of generating 148 GWh annually.

The Ruzizi II power station was added in 1989. Ruzizi I and II are operated by a tri-national company Burundi, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of the Congo but electricity production is insufficient to meet the needs of the adjacent areas of these three countries and a further dam, Ruzizi III, situated about 25 km downstream is planned.

The project represents the first public-private sector energy engagement in the Great Lakes region.

Activities along the River

Ruzizi Rivers is used for irrigation in the extreme eastern and extreme western lowlands.

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