Tea Plantation is a farmlands that has been set up around Nyungwe Forest National Park by the government and the locals to boost tourism and they show the process of tea production. Nyungwe national park is the only national park in Rwanda, which is surrounded by tea plantation as a buffer zone in the South, North, East, and West. The tea plantation has become a tourists’ activity where the tourists experience each stage of tea processing from the field to the tea factory until they taste a cup of the tea.
After a long day of chimpanzee trekking and hike, here is an ideal activity you must do for relaxing.
There are popular beautiful tea estates all around Nyungwe that everyone would wish to visit including:
Kitabi tea plantation, estate, and factory: Kitabi is one of the Nyamagabe sectors which touches to Nyungwe. The number of people who work in the tea plantation field is more than any in other working in different occupations & its best experienced when seeing them harvesting. The way they dress, the way they line themselves. And moreover, if share with them and they tell you how they get paid according to the kilograms each one has harvested that will drive you crazy if you think about how the leaf is light normally. So the best activity here you will come in the morning as the locals are always there early. Get dressed in harvesting dresses to look like them, if you don’t have, they may lend you no worries. The harvest takes a long time that you can’t have, so you will have a few hours there then you continue to the factory which is about 5km from the main road. From the tea factory, you learn more about all the process of the tea processing and have walk in the factory to see all that they are telling. That is what we mean if we say tea experience from the farm to the cup.
Gisakura tea estate and factory: As you go towards the west of Nyungwe Forest on the right side of the main road to Rusizi you start enjoying the best view of the tea plantation field on both sides of the road and it is quite developed in terms of tourists visit. The tea estate and factory visit here was developed by the local community in Gisakura. The tea estate here is like shooting three birds with one stone because as you do walk in the estate you get to have a magic view of the blue sky, Kivu Lake, and Nyungwe mountainous outside view. For birders they are in benefits as the tea estate is known to accommodate forest edge bird species, as long as this tea estate surrounds the fragmented forests of Nyungwe, in rolling hills. If you want to try this activity of picking and collecting the tea into the basket on your back, you can come here. It challenges at the first time because when you are picking tea together with these farmers, the first time you don’t even know which leaves to pick, how to pick them. But as long as you are close to them you will know all, including how do they depend on such job, when is the best time for tea harvesting, which shows it is the time for it, also how the oldest tea is replaced. So request your tea estate visit and have a better experience.
Gisovu tea plantation estate: In the North of Nyungwe, there is Gisovu tea plantation estate which is located in Karongi district and it is a 1 hour and a half to a 2hours drive from Karongi town to Gisovu by bus. A motorbike is possible to transport you from Karongi town. Gisovu is the first tea estate of Rwanda in terms of the beautiful view, and in size. The view of Gisovu tea estate is incomparable there is no amazing and beautiful natural image I have ever seen that the tea estate of Gisovu. Travelers who have ever had a visit to this great view place they actually call it the best of Africa and they don’t lie. Plan your trip and prove it. The activity of tea estate visit and factory are offered in working days plus Saturday but you have to inform that you will come to do so especially in Gisovu but in Kitabi and Gisakura. You need only to inform factories so that they check availability on the requested date. Otherwise, in Kitabi and Gisakura, you visit a tea estate without a factory visit. All those places around Nyungwe national park are accessible by all means of the transport, Kitabi and Gisakura the most advisable modes of transports are a vehicle, motorbike, bicycle, and aviation. While in Gisovu the most advisable is aviation, but also vehicle and motorbike and if you are doing Congo Nil Trail cycling toward Rusizi you can pass by the trail as an optional road that will let you visit the place.
The tea of Rwanda has a great name all over the world, but you can wonder why Rwandan tea has such a big name? It is because; Rwandan temperate climate and ashy from volcanoes have made the soil of Rwanda favor the tea plantation. In mountains, rural areas tea plantation is much more occupying the great number of Rwandans, it was confirmed to be the best-tasting tea in the world. Tea is one of the leading export products of Rwanda so this team can be consumed anywhere and anytime so coffee lovers here have your tea after visiting Nyungwe.