Rwanda II


(German text)

In the beginning there was a botanical discovery

Three years after my first botanical trip to Rwanda a botanical discovery takes me to the East African country a second time:
Eberhard Fischer, Dorothee Killmann, Burkhard Leh, and Steven B. Janssens described a new species of mahogany tree in July 2021:
Wohlleben's mahogany (Carapa wohllebenii).

carapa 1

Three researchers at the German university of Koblenz, Eberhard Fischer, Dorothee Killmann and Burkhard Leh, noticed during their studies in the Nungwe rainforest of Rwanda that the mahogany trees there all had pointed leaves. These differed markedly from the rounded deciduous leaves of Carapa grandiflora seen in other forests in the region. A comparison with the type deposited in the herbarium of Kew Gardens near London brought the confirmation: a new tree species!

During the public presentation of Wohlleben's mahogany on 1.10.2021 at the University of Koblenz, the idea arose to show the forester and author Peter Wohlleben the tree named after him on site. And Dorothee suggested me to accompany them. In preparing the trip for September/October 2022, the plan emerged to spend a week on the road with the Wohlleben family and then follow up with a second week for further studies - what a welcome opportunity to deepen my first encounter with tropical orchids in 2018. Even though my Dutch friend Karel Kreutz warned me beforehand: "If you start with tropical orchids too, you're done for."

The following travelogue is organized by regions. It begins with the capital Kigali.