Nyabarongo River, Kigali City, Rwanda

The Nyabarongo River is Rwanda’s largest river and is part of the upper headwaters of the Nile. The Nyabarongo River stretches 184 miles, making it the longest river solely in Rwanda.  Rosemary Ferreri visited Kigali City and captured the beauty of a country striving to heal and struggling to rebuild.

The river gathers much of its headwater from the forested mountain country, nearly 9,000 feet above sea level, emptying into the Mwogo River and merging with the Mbirurume River. The Nyabarongo river begins at the confluence of the Mbirurume and Mwogo rivers, which are considered to be the furthest source of the Nile, mainly flowing eastward creating a boundary between the Northern and southern Provinces.

It is said that the Hutu people originated from Chad and that the Tutsi people came from Ethiopia and lived peacefully together, in marriage and work, as Rwandans.
Rwandans have unique African hairstyles and adornment, based in a royal history and powerfulwarrior dress.

TRAGIC HISTORY The Hutu and Tutsi tribes distinguished by their occupations rather than ethnicities. The Tutsi mostly owned cattle and the Hutu were farmers. Often cattle was used as currency which eventually created an imbalance of wealth and class.

When the Germans colonized this region in 1894, but after losing WWII they had to surrender all of their colonies. Belgium took control of the Rwanda and implemented passbooks that identified the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority. The Belgians favored the Tutsi, giving them leadership positions in government, which created a deeper ethnic divide and inequality of power. The Hutus were angered by this. Belgium sensed a struggle and then displaced the Tutsis to pass control over to the Hutus.

1961 Rwanda became a republic, during the Rwandan Revolution. When the strategic murder of the Rwandan president, happened on April 6, 1994, the planned and highly organized killing of the Tutsis began. 

Indigenous art found on stamps, postcards, and travel posters promote Rwanda’s beauty, culture, and royal ancestry.

Headline of interest: UAE’s Metito seals $75m Rwanda water project contract 

Monkey River, Monkey River Town, Belize

The Monkey River begins in the Maya Mountains and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and empties into the Caribbean Sea, near the coastal city of Monkey River Town. The south branch drains from the Maya Mountains near the ancient Mayan settlements of Lubaantun and Nim Li Punit.

Kathy Olson, nature enthusiast, stayed in Monkey River Town to explore coral reefs, Mayan ruins, the jungle forest, and a cocao farm.

The Monkey River supports one of healthiest coral reefs, The Great Belize Barrier Reef, in Central America. The river supports both freshwater and estuarine species while contributing to healthy forests and jungle vegetation throughout Belize. The area has a rich Mayan history and tradition perserved by small settlements filled with those that have relied upon the river for their survival.

Monkey River Town is the northernmost village in the Toledo District. The village is one of the last purely Creole settlements in Belize. The village was incorporated as a town in 1891 at which time it had a population of some 2500 people, mostly engaged in the lumber (mahogany)and banana industry.  A road was built in the late 20th century from the Southern Highway through orange groves and jungle to the village, linking the village to the outside world, although much travel is still by sea. 

The Mayflower Bocawina National Park covers an estimated 7,000 acres of dense tropical forest. Since its establishment as a National Park an estimated 238 species of birds has been identified. Some species include the motmot, parrot, toucan, great green macaws. Other than birds there is also wildlife present such as anteater, howler monkey, jaguars, and tapirs.

Che’il Chocolate farm is a hands on experience of ancient Mayan cacao harvest and chocolate making.

Xunantunich Ruins are reached by the scenic Hummingbird highway to Belize’s western Border town of San Ignacio. The hills were first occupied between 400 BC and 200 BC and it wasn’t until 600 AD that Xunantunich was first used as a ceremonial site making the entire site some 1400 years old.

Hawkesbury River, Refuge Bay, Australia

A part-time resident of Australia and full-time artist, Danielle Morse, dipped the cloth in the Hawkesbury River. The Hawkesbury River is located north of Sydney and is a waterway with seven islands and numerous bays.

The area surrounding the Hawkesbury River is full of bushland and natural attractions once occupied by the Darkinjung, Darug, Eora and Kuringgai Aboriginal peoples. They used the river as a source of food and a place for trade. The Aboriginal name for the river was published as Deerubbun in 1870.

Print circa 1776

The Hawkesbury River was one of the major transportation routes for transporting farm produce from the surrounding area to Sydney during the 1800s. Having served as a major transport route in colonial times, the area now maintains a peaceful charm. 

Life on the Hawkesbury in the 1800s by Joseph Lycett (1775-1828)

The Hawkesbury River has a long history of floods. Flood recordings begin in 1799, when Governor Phillip and his party first arrived in the district. Multiple destructive floods followed, but the worst was in 1867. This flood left nearly 1000 residents destitute and swept away much of the livestock and agricultural district.  

Although this river is prone to flooding, the risk hasn’t scared people away from viewing its magical presence.

1888 print by Livingston Hopkins

The Hawkesbury River was named by Governor Phillip in June 1789, after Charles Jenkinson, 1st Earl of Liverpool, who at that time was titled Baron Hawkesbury.

1909 George Malteby on yacht, Hawkesbury River by Norman C. Deck

Vintage photos span 1806 to early 1900s and the river flood, Peats Ferry, Berowra Creek, and Singleton Mill. Steamships and the railway changed the landscape.

Buller River, Murchison, New Zealand

The Buller River is in the South Island of New Zealand. Heidi Hough is a part time resident of New Zealand and spends during the year taking road trips. Traveling along Buller Road, through the gorge and into the mountains, a riverside stop was made.

Buller River is on of New Zealand‘s longest rivers, it flows from Lake Rotoiti through the Buller Gorge and predominantly westerly direction for 105 mountainous miles and enters the Tasman Sea at Westport.

For most of its length the river flows in steep-sided gorges crossing wide gravel plains at Murchison, Inangahua and the coast. Although the Buller River is swift, this does not take away from its serenity as it flows through the beautiful gorges of New Zealand.  

The river’s Maori name, Kawatiri, is believed to mean “deep and swift”, an appropriate description of the river with many Rapids and a great flood discharge. The Buller is named after Charles Buller who furthered the colonization of New Zealand.

Vintage photos depict the Buller River in the late 1800s boating on the Buller 1850s, a fern pool along Buller Road by D. Mahoney taken in 1905, a Punt boat in 1910, Lyll Bridge and Buller Gorge in the 1930s.

An interesting headline concerns the debate over a new coal mine near Buller River.