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Karera Waterfall

The beautiful, approximately 80 m tall Karera Waterfall belong to most impressive natural landmarks in Burundi. The falls are situated in the conserved area of Karera covering 142 hectares. There are four falls in the Karera River, swelled by a branch from the Mwaro River coming in from the west. The latter parallels with the second on Karera River and together form, downstream, the fourth which is the strongest of all the falls.

Karera Waterfall
Karera Waterfall

This is a complex waterfall with three main cascades and numerous smaller ones. Two upper cascades have formed on two separate tributaries – Karera stream itself and its smaller tributary Mwaro. The third cascade has formed on Karera stream after the confluence with Mwaro. Each of these cascades consists of numerous smaller cascades. The prettiest is the cascade Nyakai I where you park your car. Upstream from this is the smallest of the four falls, Nyakai II, an ideal spot for an impromptu shower.

This watercourse is joined by that of Mwaro Falls before creating the namesake and tallest waterfall in the area, Karera Falls. The fifth completes its spectacular descent to give way to a river which first runs initially in small cascades and then slowly at the bottom of the valley, through a forest gallery, which leads to the Muyovozi River and the Malagarazi which is thrown finally into Lake Tanganyika after a long course until Kigoma in Tanzania

Along the falls grows dense gallery forest and the general scenery of this area is beautiful. The site is beloved tourist destination both for locals and infrequent foreign guests.

As you would expect, the falls are at their best during the wet season (especially from October to January). The falls are 64 km south of Gitega, but as there’s no public transport, you’ll have to charter a vehicle in Bujumbura to get here.


Karera Falls in Burundi is blessed with unfamiliar water having the healing powers that acts as a soothing medication for the body. The natural forest reserves of Mugara, Kigwena and Roumonge are rich in such thermal falls. The nearby beach of Tanganyika is added pleasure spot for the travelers to relax and swim. Big trees such as Neutonia buchanii surrounded by a savannah with parinari curatellifolia and Pericopsis angolensis as well as many species of birds can be seen.