Kenya is a beautiful country with some of the most beautiful landscapes and sites in the region. Every so often, you discover a place/ town that you fall in love with and cannot wait to share the details with the rest of your family, friends and citizens.
One town you must add to your bucket list this year is Limuru. Located northwest of Nairobi city, and is about 30- 45 minutes away, this town is home to the most beautiful, sprawling lush tea plantations that will simply blow your mind as you marvel at the remarkable greenery of the area, flowing with endless beauty of mother nature.
Tea is a very important cash crop for Kenya – we export about 90% of what we produce. Today, it is said more than four million people derive their livelihoods directly or indirectly from the sector, across the value chain and Kenya is the world’s largest exporter of black tea, a top foreign exchange earner. According to Fiona Vernon of the famous Kiambethu tea farm in Limuru which is one of the pioneer farms in the region, tea is picked throughout the year. “Going back to the same tea bush every two to three weeks depending on the weather and growing conditions – sometime we pick every ten days if the conditions are good. We are able to pick our tea all through the year – not seasonally as the tea grown in the colder parts of the world where the tea is plucked every three to four months,” she says.
Whether you want to visit to learn a thing or two about tea farming or simply to visit for leisure, you will love these farms. There are plenty of tea estates and factories in the area (As of 2017, Kenya Tea Development Agency reported that about 600,000 smallholders with farms covering about 120,000 hectares are in Kenya). Most require you to make prior arrangements to visit for planning purposes. Alternatively, you could also just take a drive around the area, not necessarily inside the tea factories but in and around the terrains, especially if you are on a leisure tour and take in the views from any vantage point, as my crew and I did one Sunday morning, to bring you these images. Some of activities you can do while at these farms include horse riding, tea picking, cycling, tour guides, and wine and cheese tasting.
Did you know that the very first tea seedling introduced in Kenya, was planted in Limuru in 1903? This explains why Limuru holds a special place in the history books in relation to tea farming in Kenya. Kiambethu Farm was bought and farmed by AB McDonell in 1910. He was a pioneer in the tea industry being one of the first to make and sell tea commercially in Kenya.
If you are looking for a new adventure or weekend date plan, simply drive down to Limuru for a picturesque outing. This will make a perfect unforgettable road trip. Think about it, in life, nothing brings two people together quite like a road trip and discovering some beautiful attractions side by side (good memories are made of these). Kenya is about the most unique tea growing region as you will ever find.