Nyamasheke District, found in the Western Province of Rwanda, is made up of fifteen administrative areas known as sectors. Eight of those sectors border Lake Kivu while the remaining seven sectors border Nyungwe National Park.
The humid equatorial mist from the lake and the rich volcanic soil are ideal for the production of coffee. While in Nyamasheke, I visited Kamajumba, Nyaruzina and Jarama coffee plantations owned by Kivu Belt Coffee. I left the area with a deeper knowledge of this iconic product and its supply chain.
Nyungwe forest, on the other hand, creates a conducive environment for the production of tea. During my Nyamasheke expedition, I was given a tour of Gisakura and Gatare tea estates in Bushekeri and Karambi sectors respectively. This tour made me more acquainted with the entire process of turning green leaves into the magic potion that kick-starts every day of my life.
Tea is a high altitude crop that requires an adequate amount of rainfall. No wonder the mountain rainforest mentioned above is surrounded by tea estates. Apart from Gisakura and Gatare, other estates encircling the forest are Gisovu in Karongi, Shagasha in Rusizi, Mata in Nyaruguru and Kitabi in Nyamagabe.
The construction of the Kivu Belt highway has made Nyamasheke more accessible than ever. Apart from boosting tourism, the road is stimulating trade between Rwanda and the neighboring countries of DR Congo and Burundi.
Tourists find the allure of Lake Kivu irresistible. The lake’s methane gas deposits are attracting investors in the energy sector. In addition, the construction of new modern ports is underway. The ports will undoubtedly fast-track development along the Kivu Belt.
Nyamasheke District is sandwiched between Lake Kivu and Nyungwe National Park. From the lake to the forest, and everything in between, the opportunities are endless.
The author is visiting all 30 districts of Rwanda. His tour of Nyamasheke was sponsored by Nyamasheke District, The Click Creations, Tec-Global Ltd and Elimo Real Estate Ltd.