Although not a single leaf of tea grew there a hundred years ago, today Kenya is the fourth largest tea producer in the world. Seventy percent of Kenya’s exports are agricultural products, primarily coffee and tea. What could be more relaxing and enjoyable than visiting these coffee and tea plantations? We list the three most beautiful plantations in Limuru.
Near Nairobi are the hills of Limuru, where the first Kenyan tea was grown. To be precise, it was the British who decided to plant tea in 1903. AB McDonnel was one of the first to do so. His Kiambethu estate and farm are still in the family five generations later. These days, McDonnel’s granddaughter runs the tea plantation situated at a height of 2200 meters. Tours start from the white colonial estate, from where you go through the surrounding forest into the green hills. The tour ends at the estate for a lunch with – of course – tea. Tours start daily at 11:00 and cost 3800 Kenyan shillings (€30). Kiambethu is at about an hour and a half’s drive from the city center of Nairobi.
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Fairview Coffee Estate
Looking for more of a caffeine rush? Then you want to visit Fairview Coffee Estate in Limuru. At an altitude of 1750 meters lies the coffee plantation. Along it runs the river Riara, which irrigates the fields. Well, the water comes from the river, but it is actually the impressive waterfall that falls into the Fairview land. There are daily tours through the coffee fields to the exclusive waterfall. During the tours, a guide explains the process of making coffee. To top it off, you’ll be treated to a fresh cup of coffee afterwards. It doesn’t get any fresher than this. Fairview has two daily tours at 10:00 and 14:00 at a cost of 3225 Kenyan shillings (€25).
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The first Karanguru coffee was made in 1928 by the British Glassfords family. Fifty years later, it came into the hands of the Kenyan Kariithi family, who refined the coffee process. What makes it special is that Karanguru makes their coffee from bright red beans. These beans, which are still picked by hand today, give the coffee an exceptional taste. The coffee farm is happy to show off their estate and bean-filled hills on daily tours. A tour costs 3750 Kenyan shillings (€29).
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