Coffee in Rwanda-Karisimbi

Coffee in Rwanda-Karisimbi: Coffee is one of the major exports in Rwanda and it is grown along the slopes of this inactive volcano found in Volcanoes National Park. Rwanda has favorable conditions that have promoted coffee-growing such as high altitude, regular rainfall, and fertile volcanic soils.

Coffee in Rwanda

Mount karisimbi is the highest of the 8 peaks of the Virunga conservation region and is located along the Congo-Rwanda border in Volcanoes National Park. The name karisimbi comes from a Kinyarwanda word “amasimbi” meaning white shell which is the description of the white-capped summit seen at the top of the mountain.

Other mountains which neighbor the Karisimbi mountains include Mikeno to the north, Bisoke to the east, Nyiragongo to the west. 

The type of coffee grown along the slopes of this mountain is Arabic coffee. The karisimbi mountain is characterized by rich vegetation ranging from the dense forest along the slopes to the snowcapped summit and an abundance of wildlife species.  

The altitude of the karisimbi mountain favors the drying of the washed coffee and is one of the highest coffee washing stations in Rwanda. The other types of coffee grown in Rwanda include caturra, catuai and Arabica. 

Access to volcanoes national park where mount karisimbi is found can be through the following means;

  • By air/flight; flight services offered by Akagera aviation to volcanoes national park
  • By road; about 2 hours drive from Kigali

In Rwanda coffee is grown in most parts of the country and it starts to flower in the months of September and October and the harvesting of coffee is done in the months from March to July and the entire process is done by hand.

Coffee is grown among other indigenous plants along the mountain slopes and in the valleys. Most of the coffee grown in the smaller farms is more compared to the coffee got from the larger coffee estates and the coffee type commonly grown is of the bourbon coffee variety.

Some of the most commonly done tourist activities on Mt. Karisimbi include hiking where the tourists see different attractions such as Nyamuragira volcano, primates, bird species, different vegetation types along the slopes.

Activities which can be combined with the coffee tours on Mt. karisimbi include gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park, golden monkey tracking, Dian Fossey tombs visit, cave viewing at Musanze caves, community visits to Ibi’lwacu village, nature walks, bird watching.

The karisimbi coffee goes through different processes before it reaches the final consumer and the processes range from growing, harvesting, milling, pulping, dry fermenting, washing, grading and packaging. Some of the processes are done by hand while others are carried out by use of machines such as the de-pulping process.

Coffee growing dates back to the time when the German missionaries introduced it in Rwanda and people in this country have since taken on the activity which is sometimes carried out on a part-time basis.

Other regions where coffee is grown in Rwanda include the Kivu area, the central and western region in locations such as Virunga, muhazi, Akagera, Kizi rift where coffee is wet-processed at the communal washing stations by different coffee farmers. Processing stations have also been set up in different parts of Rwanda which has improved the quality of the coffee.

Coffee in Rwanda
Coffee in Rwanda

Take a journey to the land of a thousand hills and experience the crop to cup moments as you visit different coffee plantations.

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