Explore Cyangugu Town – Nyungwe Forest National Park
Explore Cyangugu Town – Nyungwe Forest National Park: Cyangugu, previously Shangugu, is the seat of the Rusizi District in Rwanda’s Western Province. The city is located near the southern end of Lake Kivu, next to Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, but separated by the Ruzizi River. The river’s border is marked by two bridges and a dam.
The community is divided into two parts: Cyangugu, a low-density neighbourhood on the lake’s coast, and Kamembe, a higher-density industrial and transportation center further inland and to the north. Kamembe Airport serves the city with flights to Kigali 11 times a week.
Cyangugu is Lake Kivu’s southernmost port. It sprawls along a road that winds through the verdant hills that lead down to the lake. The upper town is a bustling commercial district that, except from lake vistas and a handful of crumbling colonial-era buildings, lacks a little individuality.
The city has a population of around 63,883 people in 2015.
The bottom town – Cyangugu proper — is even more fascinating. It is located on the lake’s shore, next to a bridge that spans the Rusizi River, which also serves as the primary border crossing between southern Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The town must have been big and affluent in the past, but it is now more of a ghost town, with many of the structures deteriorating. Having said that, it has an evocative air to it, almost like an old film set from a movie about some colonial West African trade backwater.
Attractions within Cyangungu in Rwanda.
The lakeside environment is beautiful, and there are several decent hotels from which to visit more off-the-beaten-path attractions like;
The Bugarama Hot Springs
Bugarama hot springs are around 60 kilometers by car from Cyangugu town. These hot springs are located in the Rusizi area of Rwanda’s western province. A trip to the hot spring costs USD 45 per person.
The hot springs are located 13 kilometers from the Cimerwa cement mill. From a distance, tourists traveling by car may observe these hot springs as a spring flowing up into a big pool of supposedly green-like water.
Bugarama hot springs may appear to be a pool of green water at first glance, which might be disheartening, but if you continue trekking ahead to the main spring, the view improves and you will be amazed with Mother Nature’s great gift.
Nymphaea Thermarum, a very uncommon but lovely type of water lily, grows in the Bugarama hot springs. These add to the natural attractiveness of the hot springs.
Cyamudongo is a 300-hectare tract of montane rain forest in Rwanda’s southwest. Farmland and tiny communities surround the woodland remnant. Previously, the forest was linked to the much larger Nyungwe forest, but this connection has been severed owing to destruction.
Nyungwe and the nearby Cyamudongo forest were designated as a National Park in 2004. While Nyungwe includes lower, medium, and upper level montane forest, Cyamudongo woodland is a lower altitude montane forest found at 1.700 – 2.100 m. The forest of Cyamudongo spreads across five hills that encircle the valley of the river Nyamabuye.
The woodland is home to several primates, including Dent’s Mona monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, and a colony of more than 25 chimpanzees. The forest still protects a few uncommon species not found in Nyungwe Forest National Park, such as a new purple orchid polystachia Bruechertiae identified in 2008.
Nyungwe Forest National Park.
This is the finest way to characterize 1,015 square kilometers of land teeming with over 85 animal, 310 bird, 1,050 plant, 120 butterfly, and 38 reptile species. This entire fauna and flora flourishes and blossoms in Nyungwe Forest National Park. It takes a journey through tea gardens and a roadside parade of Rwenzori Colobus monkeys to reach to Rwanda’s South-western edge, where the park is located. With so many sights and sounds to pick from, it’s hard to know where to begin, so here are the top 5 activities to do when visiting Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Common activities conducted in Nyungwe Forest National Park include; chimpanzee trekking, Canopy walk, hiking, birding, Congo Nile Divide and Colobus monkey trekking to mention but a few.
Accessing Cyangugu from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Cyangugu town is used as a stopover to or from Bukavu in the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In a similar way, Cyangugu’s strategic location makes it easy for tourists to combine a chimpanzee trekking tour in Nyungwe forest national park with eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park, which is located just an hour’s drive from Bukavu town.