The Research Location
The research location, a series of hills known as the Bisesero hills, lies in southwestern Rwanda, in the prefecture of Kibuye and is part of the famous Congo-Nile water shed. Primarily an agricultural region, the landscape is characterized as undulating lush rolling hills, often separated by deep valleys, on the banks of Lake Kivu. The region contains many tea plantations, as well as some tin and precious-stone mines. In the higher elevations there are steep forested hillsides dotted with caves. Elevations range from 1400 to 2400 meters and Bisesero hill is at about a 2000 meter elevation. The region experiences two annual climatic seasons: the short rains (the main growing season) from about October to March, and the long rains from about March to December. For the purpose of this research, “Bisesero Region” pertains to the area outlined in red and lies between Gishyita and Gisovu communes of Kibuye Prefecture.