Tea is Rwanda's largest export. The fertile volcanic soil and temperate climate are perfect for growing the plants that create this popular drink. Tea leaves can be seen covering the mountains – creating a stunning contrast to the blue skies, dirt roads and sunshine. Visitors can discover how tea is harvested, processed, and even get to taste the results. Tea plantation tours take
place in a variety of locations
across Rwanda, with the major
ones being around Nyungwe
National park: Gisovu and
Gisakura. This is a great family
trip and travelers of all ages are
Tea may be Rwanda’s number one export, but the lush, rolling hills of the Rwandan countryside are equally suited to coffee production, and the beans coming out of Rwanda today are in serious demand all around the world. The coffee-covered hillsides shimmer bright green all throughout the year, but when the harvest is ready (usually between February and May), the coffee cherries themselves blush a deep cranberry red to say they’re ready to be plucked. A patchwork of hundreds of thousands of small growers produce coffee all across Rwanda, but visits are primarily centred around Gisenyi, and a number of farmer’s cooperatives and washing stations near here offer tours explaining the coffee process throughout the year, and each one naturally comes with a generous tasting. The plantations themselves don’t liaise with tourists directly, so set up your visit with RDB or any tourist agency.
- Kinunu Washing Station (Coffee)
- Ingoboka (Coffee)
- Other Washing Stations (Coffee)
- Gisovu (Tea)
- Gisakura (Tea)
Directly overlooking the shores of Lake Kivu, it would be difficult to come up with a more perfect location for a washing station than here. As such, Kinunu, some 20km south of Gisenyi, is among the most popular destinations for coffee tours. Reachable by boat or bicycle, Kinunu makes a fabulous day trip from Gisenyi, and can be easily combined with a trip on the Congo Nile Trail.