Join Atlas in Rwanda and Burundi

By: Susan Heller Evenson

Mar 29, 2018

Do you enjoy rustic travel? Do you have a soft spot for exceptionally delicious coffee? Yeah, us too.

If you answered ‘yes’ to both questions, then we should be travel companions!  Grab your passport and your cupping spoon to journey along with Atlas to Rwanda and Burundi, known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, from May 29th to June 9th.  Coffee Trader Susan Heller-Evenson, Director of Education Drew Billups, and Mollie Moisan from partner organization Twin will lead trainings and cuppings with a wide variety of cooperatives, including groups that are both new to working with Atlas and those with whom we enjoy long-term relationships.

In Rwanda, we will visit Sholi (Atlas imported this coffee for the first time to the US earlier in 2018!), Kopakama, and Abakundakawa, which both have exciting new developments, including a regional dry mill built in part by Fair Trade funding and a new Organic certification at Abakundakawa.  We are also planning exploratory/information-gathering visits to Coocamu, located near Lake Kivu and accessible by 45 min boat ride, and Koakaka, which recently started a savings and credit program for its members as well as selling women-produced lots.

Members (and a future member?) of the Sholi Cooperative in Rwanda.

In Burundi, we will visit COCOCA, an umbrella cooperative representing around 1,300 members and a dozen primary cooperatives.  Next up, our friends at Kahawa Link Company (Kalico for short), a women-owned company operating seven washing stations located in Northeastern Burundi that produces remarkable coffee while investing in training, inputs, micro-credit and micro-insurance for their 1,000-1,300 smallholder farmers. Throughout the trip, we’ll include training/education days for producers, farm visits, and cupping events. After flying into Rwanda, we will travel to cooperatives by car and then travel overland to Burundi, and finally fly out of Bujumbura.  For a basic idea of our travel route, click here.


For current clients, Atlas will cover meals, ground transportation, and rural hotels.  New clients are also welcome.  Travelers are responsible for airfare, visa costs, hotels in major cities, and incidentals (gifts, personal items, etc.)  Estimated traveler costs (not including airfare) are $500-$800.

Traveler Requirements include:

  • Current passport with 6 months prior to expiry
  • Yellow Fever Vaccine required; others (Malaria, Typhus, etc.) recommended—see your physician/travel clinic for specific recommendations
  • Visa required for both Rwanda and Burundi
    • Visa is available on arrival in Rwanda ($30)
    • Burundi also requires a visa ($90)
    • We recommend applying at least 8 weeks in advance of departure (so seize the moment and start planning!)

If you are interested in the trip, please email as soon as possible to discuss details, plan flights, and start applying for your Burundi visa. We’re hoping to finalize the trip ASAP due to visa requirements.

Please contact us with any questions, and we hope that you can join!

Members of Dukundekawa from a past trip.

Want to watch our adventures in Rwanda and Burundi?  To experience all things Atlas from afar, including our upcoming travel and Expo experiences, follow @atlas_coffee!