I traveled to Nyamasheke through Nyamagabe. This ride started in Kibeho Sector, Nyaruguru District. During the Nyaruguru - Nyamagabe off-road stretch, I had a stopover on the bank of Mwogo River and indulged in a short nature walk along the Richard Kandt Trail.
After crossing Kitabi Sector, I was swallowed by Nyungwe forest. When I emerged out of the forest, I took a minute to admire the beauty of Gisakura area in Bushekeri Sector, Nyamasheke District.
Kitabi and Bushekeri are among the greenest places in Rwanda. Since green is synonymous with beauty, I believe it’s safe to say these two sectors are among the most beautiful ones in the country. That says a lot considering how beautiful the rest of the country is.
Upon arrival, I was awestruck by the beauty of the Camellia sinensis plants. A few days later, I had an opportunity to visit Gisakura and Gatare tea estates and traced the genesis of my favorite beverage.
There are currently 24,000 hectares of tea and 18 factories in Rwanda. The growth of the highly organized sub sector has led to the formation of 21 cooperatives and a couple of companies providing outgrowing services.
Tea is grown on highlands and well drained marshlands between 1,500 and 2,500 meters above sea level. Highlands and well drained marshlands describe the land of 1,000 hills pretty accurately. No wonder the famed green crop covers tens of thousands of hectares in Rwanda.
As the country positions herself as an investment magnet, more and more chunks of land are expected to be converted into tea plantations. I left Nyamasheke with a deeper knowledge of the entire process of tea production and a better understanding of its supply chain.
The author is visiting all 30 districts of Rwanda. His tour of Nyamasheke is sponsored by Nyamasheke District, The Click Creations, Tec Global Ltd, Elimo Real Estate Ltd and Exposure.