Cyamudongo forest is a small fragmented forest of only 19 sq km, of Nyungwe national park, located in the Southwest of the country of Rwanda. Cyamudongo has survived because the community would not farm on steep mountains. It is now surrounded by tea plantations and eucalyptus trees. If you are planning safaris to Rwanda Cyamudongo is one place to visit that may not be missed on your list.
Before being fragmented, Cyamudondo was connected to Nyungwe national park, and after deforestation and poaching, the forest remained isolated. Although it is isolated from Nyungwe national park but is still part of it. The vegetation in Cyamudongo is much thicker and darker than in Nyungwe National Park. Cyamudongo forest is home of the amazing habituated big group over 30 individuals of chimpanzees of Nyugwe national park, together with other primates from Dent’s Mona monkeys, and L’hoest monkeys. Nyungwe national park accommodates many endemic species of Fauna and Flora of the Albertine Rift though, Cyamudongo forest is unique for being the shelter of some endemic species of plants that are not found in Nyungwe national park like the Orchid Polystachia blue chertiae. This kind of Orchid was discovered ten years ago.
Plan your amazing safaris to Cyamudongo forest because this small forest is rich in its Fauna. Cyamudongo forest accommodates many other animals beyond chimpanzees, L’hoest monkeys and Dent’s Mona monkeys such as Ruwenzori Colobus monkeys and the velvet monkeys. Several species of birds can be found here including the amazing turacos, and many butterfly species. But also many other plant species beyond the purple Orchid Polystachia bluechertiae such as; Alangium cheese Newtonia buchananii, and many others.
Cyamudongo forest is known for its famous big group of chimpanzees this means. It is the best home of the chimpanzee trekking activity in Nyungwe national park than any other part of Nyungwe where trekking chimps is applicable. The reason behind Cyamudongo being the best site and favorable one for trekking chimps is because the group of chimps from inside Nyungwe national Park is quite not easy to trek.
Before you start trekking, rangers will give you the direction to take because they are the ones who know and direct tourists to where the chimps are. While hiking, you will be able to see different bird species, primates and plants.
In Cyamudongo Forest, you may ask for a nature walk to Cyamudongo, and this activity is interesting. You will get see chimpanzees by chance, bird species, other primates such as Velvet monkeys, Dent’s Mona monkeys and flowers including the beautiful Orchids. Through the unusual darker and thicker natural tropical rain forest of thousand hills Rwanda, breathe the authentic air.
Nyungwe happens to be a birders’ paradise compared to different forests in Africa. Nyungwe holds 320 bird species among them 29 are endemic to the Albertine Rift, and there is a high chance that you might see many or all of them if you have two to three more days birding in Nyungwe.
Among other activities in Nyungwe, you can also decide to do some local communities tour around the surrounding villages. Traditionally these people have been relying on and surviving on the forest through getting their daily needs from Nyungwe such as herbal, medicine, bush meat and collecting wood and timbers for building materials. You will get a chance to learn about their culture and the different tools they use. You will visit their Tea plantations and get to engage in some cultural activities as you experience Cyamudongo.