Thursday, 21 August 2008

Tea estates and monkeys - the far south of Rwanda

N.B. These pictures are slightly jumbled because they' were taken on two different cameras and my computer has separated them out....

This is outside the National Museum of Rwanda at Butare with the monster 4x4 which we hired from a colleague's fiance. It felt like driving a minibus, but a 3 litre turbo engine was brilliant for overtaking lorries on these twisty roads!
Rice paddies outside Butare. These fields are tended by inmates from Butare prison in their pink or orange jumpsuits!

Typical small village between Butare and Gikongoro

As you leave Butare and head west, the scenery becomes much more dramatic and mountainous.
Roadside shots snatched from the car window between Butare and Gikongoro.

Lovely little glade beside the main road.

Tea estates beyone Gasarenda. The slopes these tea plantations use are amazingly steep.

Another shot of the Butare rice fields.

..... and another. Rwanda is aiming to be self sufficient in rice by 2011.

Typical scenery in the far south.

The further south-west you travel, the more mountainous and dramatic the scenery becomes.

Tea as far as the eye can see. Get drinking, you readers - these people need the income!

This is what yur tea bushes look like close up. They're a species of camellia.

Tea plantations stretch right to the boundary of Nyunge Forest National Park.

The locals in Nyungwe were keeping a close eye on us.

Nyungwe Forest - temperate "jungle". It's untouched forest, but cool rather than steamy. There are absolutely no paths in these hills and you could so easily get completely lost and never be seen again!

We bought up lots of the museum's stock of souvenirs because they are made by young people at a training centre there. These are troubled youngsters whom the museum staff are trying to re-integrate back into society by giving them skills, and so we were pleased to be able to support them by buying their produce.

No comments: