Although it is known as the land of a thousand hills, there is more to Rwanda than mountain gorillas and mountains. In the Western part of the country, lies Lake Kivu. Lake Kivu is shared between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Along its Rwandan shores, there are various points to enjoy the Lake and the various activities it offers. It is often one of the stops when going to Volcanoes National Park, which is an hour away from Rubavu.
Although Lake Kivu is an attractive destination, it is not the main destination today. Other than water sports, this area is popular for agrotourism. In the district of Rubavu in the Western province, not too far from the shores lie fields and fields of tea and coffee plantations.
It is no surprise that Rwanda has a favourable climate for coffee growing, as it is surrounded by the hills. There are multiple shops around Kigali and bags of coffee in Starbucks to attest to this. Acres and acres of plantations grace the scenery in Rubavu, on the road to Kigali.
The plantations add to the colonial setting, which often defines towns here. Visiting the plantations is relatively easy, as they are accessible by car or taxi. To add to it, tours around the plantations are affordable, ranging between USD 10 to 15. Tours to the plantations are popular all year round, but especially during the harvest season. If lucky, tourists get to pick tea or coffee at the respective plantations and see the process until they are each packaged and ready for transportation. If you are tea lover, this is paradise.
If tea or coffee is not your drink of choice, Rubavu district is also home to Rwanda’s oldest and largest brewery. Rwanda is a land of many surprises, and it amazing where a little exploring can get you.