Coffee Tea Tours or safaris are something you shouldn’t miss out during your safari to Rwanda,tea is Rwanda’s largest export. The land of a thousand hills is blessed with fertile volcanic soil and temperate climate which 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 welcome.
Big Tea Estates in Rwanda
Gisakura Tea Estate and Farms
Gisakura area at 2 Km before arriving to NyungweNational Park and forests on the road NR6 to Rusizi and border with DRC. It approximately at 97 Km from Huye. The tea was planted in those farms in colonial period as happened to Coffee. However, Gisakura Tea Factory was set up in 1975. It employs around 2000 farmers, mainly women. Gisakura Tea Farms are known for offering splendid views either while touring farms or from the air (helicopter).
The trip can be combined with visit to NyungweNational Park, mainly doing hiking (trails), birding and monkey tracking.
Gisovu Tea Estate
n Karenge district (Kibuye) there’re other famous tea fields and tea estate of Gisovu, approximately 4 hour drive from Kigali (NR7). Like other tea farms, growing starting in colonial period but Tea Factory was established in 1977. At Karonki Gisovu Tea farm and estate, you feel natural fresh air while enjoy spectacular tea farms landscape and unbeatable breeze. Accommodation is arranged at Gisovu Guesthouse. There are three en-suite double bedrooms and two single rooms. If you don’t plan in their guesthouse, tea tour are accepted only if you’re in a team of 10 people and charge 15$ each person for a period of 45 minutes.
SORWATHE Tea Tours
The plantations started in 1966 and the factory begun operating in 1978. There are plantations owned the SORWATHE factory and other by a nearby cooperative. The SORWATHE and cooperative employs over 4000 people in farms and create at least 10 thousands jobs in the area. The activities at SORWATHE and in tea field are sustainable considering various certifications of the factory and a committed American investor in it since 196o’s. It seems this factory was built considering receiving guests. SORWATHE guesthouse— of 10 rooms— offers nice views of tea fields, especially when you’re on it balconies. The same guesthouses offer breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
Pfunda estate and farms
Pfunda estate and farms (900ha) is located in Rubavu (between Congo Nile Crete and Volcanic range, at 9 km from Rubavu on NR4 road. The soil is highly fertile, the clime is favorable while mountainous tea is the most preferred of Rwanda.
The Phfunda Tea Company, operating since 1965, is the first Rwanda tea company to obtain Rainforest Alliance certification and is certified with Ethical Tea Partnership. It employs around 2000 people and daily more than 500 workers daily at the factory. Obviously this the modern tea factory in Rwanda and coincidentally is largely owned by McLeod Russel family, the world’s largest tea producer.
Things To Do While On A Coffee Tea Tour
- visit the factory
- interact with the workers and farmers (mainly women)
- learn daily life of rural industrial worker
- Go to the farms to see tea ripping and collection, get smiles of pickers, take photos and enjoy the landscape of rolling hills with tea.
- Attend cupping sessions
- Drink Rwandan tea (black tea)
- Bike excursion