One Day Kiambethu Tea Farm Tour in Limuru
Tea Farm Day Tour Kiambethu Limuru is a unique one-day Nairobi tour to an authentic tea farm – Kiambethu in Limuru, located on the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley about 34 km northwest of Nairobi. It takes between 40 to one hour to drive, depending on the traffic flow. The tour visits a tea plantation in the lush Tigoni area, a small leafy green suburb in Kiambu County of Kenya to see how the tea is grown, harvested, and produced. Kiambethu Tea Farm is where the first Kenyan tea was grown in 1903. The first to do so was AB McDonnel, a pioneer in the tea industry being one of the first to make and sell tea commercially in Kenya – now one of Kenya’s largest exports.
Take a tour of this grand colonial estate, and learn about the history of the farm and the process of making tea followed by a walk through the tea fields. Take an informative walk in the indigenous forest with a local Kenyan guide, who will identify the plants and explain their traditional use – look out for Colobus monkeys who call this forest and the surrounding gardens home. The tour ends at the estate for lunch and tea. We offer tours from Thursday to Sunday each week starting at 11 am.
The Kiambethu Tea Farm tour is a half-day trip to Kenya’s oldest and most renowned tea farm – Kiambethu Farm from Nairobi for an insight into life on a settler farm. It includes tea tasting, 4-course farm-style lunch inclusive of drinks, and an optional guided walk through the indigenous forest in Limuru, and Tigoni in Kenya.
Kiambethu Tea Farm is just 40 minutes from the heart of Nairobi in Limuru. The Kiambethu Estate is located at an altitude of 7000 feet above sea level, in a truly magnificent garden with views of the spectacular Mount Kilimanjaro and the Ngong hills, and has lush acres of tea plantations that seem to vanish on the horizon.
On your arrival at the Kiambethu Tea Estate, a welcome drink is served, and then you are ushered into the main house to learn more about tea. The host Fiona Vernon shares that Kiambethu is their family farmhouse. Her grandfather Arnold Butler McDonell, better known as AB McDonell bought 350 acres from the British government to farm tea.
AB McDonell was the first person to grow, make and sell tea commercially in Kenya. In 1926, he became the first commercial tea producer in the history of Africa establishing a thriving tea industry. AB died at the age of 98 and was the founder of Limuru Girls School located across the tea farm and also helped design and build All Saints Church Limuru.
His daughter Evelyn took over the farm after his retirement and introduced guided tours to tourists in the 1960s. Following Evelyn’s passing on in 1998; her daughter Fiona Vernon took over the management of the farm. Whilst the family has sold most of the original 350 acres, 35 remain with them and 2 acres are devoted to tea.
The present house is set amidst beautifully manicured lawns; colorful gardens dotted with flowers that attract sunbirds buzzing from one bud to the next. As Fiona concludes her talk, she shares on the different tea tree varieties, tea picking techniques employed to harvest tea, and the tea processing procedures used.
After the talk, the local guide takes you on a short walk to a nearby indigenous forest that offers birdwatching opportunities. A brief insight into some of the medicinal plants and indigenous trees found in the forest and their traditional use provides a deeper appreciation of the need to conserve them.
You may also manage to catch a glimpse of the resident colobus monkeys and if the clouds clear up, you may see a commanding view of the Ngong Hills. A walk through the tea plantation edge offers a tea picking demonstration where tea pickers pluck the top two leaves and bud from each tea branch.
The guides elaborate that tea requires good rainfall which is experienced in Limuru throughout the year and share more on the conditions needed for the growth of tea.
After the nature walk, and the chilly weather, lunch follows which includes homemade vegetable soup and bread rolls, then a mix of meat and vegetable dishes followed by cheese & biscuits and homemade ice cream & puddings, tea, and coffee.
After lunch tea is served before setting off to Nairobi bringing your action-packed day tour to a close.
Kiambethu Tea Farm 1 Day Itinerary
1100 Hours: The tea farm day tour of Kiambethu in Limuru begins when guests arrive at the farm. The farm owner welcomes you and over a cup of tea, you learn the history of the farm and the process of making tea. The lecture on the growth of tea is a good learning experience. For instance, you will see tea pickers on the farm plucking the top two leaves and buds from each plantation.
Tea needs good rainfall, which is plenty in the region so tea is picked all year round. After the tea is picked, they are sent to the factories to be processed and sold to local and export markets. Kenya is the third-largest producer of tea after Sri Lanka and India.
1200 Hours: Take a walk to see tea in the field. You will also walk in the indigenous forest with our resident Kenyan guide who will identify the plants and explain how they are traditionally used. Look out for the Colobus monkeys close up and wander in the gardens which are home to a wide variety of birds and flowers.
1300 Hours: Return to the house to enjoy a pre-lunch drink on the verandah with sweeping views across the tea fields to the Ngong Hills. Enjoy your three-course buffet lunch from our set menu prepared with vegetables from the garden and desserts are topped with cream from our herd of Channel Island cows. After lunch guests depart at leisure.
1500 Hours: Kiambethu Tea Farm tour returns to the city arriving between 1600 Hours to 1700 Hours.
Tea Farm Day Tour Kiambethu Limuru Prices
Tea Farm Day Tour Kiambethu Limuru Rates Includes:
Lunch + Soft Drinks + All entry fees, service charges, and taxes + Pickup from your hotel in Nairobi and drop-off to your hotel or residence + Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee followed by the history of the farm and process of making tea + Professional English speaking guides. All are experts in African wildlife, culture, and tour guiding + Enjoy a pre-lunch drink on the verandah with sweeping views across the tea fields to the Ngong Hills + Look out for the Colobus monkeys close up and wander in the gardens which are home to a wide variety of birds and flowers + Take a walk in the indigenous forest with a resident Kenyan guide who will identify the plants and explain how they are traditionally used & Enjoy your three-course buffet lunch from a set menu prepared with vegetables from the garden and desserts are topped with cream from the farm’s herd of Channel Island cows
|Dates From||Dates To||Price Per Person||Children Aged 3 to 11 Years|
|1st January 2023||31st December 2023||Request for rates||Request for rates|
* Kiambethu Tea Farm Day tours depart from Nairobi on Thursday to Sunday each week starting at 11 am.
* The farm is closed on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
Tea Farm Day Tour Kiambethu Limuru Rates Do Not Include:
* Personal expenses such as drinks, telephone calls, etc
* Visas, international airfares, and airport taxes; meals, and sightseeing not included in the package
* Tips or gratuity for your Driver Guide, Drinks; Travelers insurance; Laundry, Communication charges
* Personal expenses such as transfers to/ from the airport (supplement airport transfer cost applies for tours starting from the airport)
FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. What time does the tour start?
The tour starts at 11 am and finishes by 2.30 – 3 pm.
2. What days are you closed?
We are closed every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The easiest way to check our availability is to email us/call us on 0721-242-711
3. How much does the tour cost?
The tour, lunch & transport (all-inclusive package) costs depend on the pick-up and drop-off location. Kindly inquire. Children 12 and under are half price and children 4 and under are complimentary (but please still put them on your booking form).
4. Do I really have to pre-book?
Yes! Our online booking closes at 9 pm the night before a tour. If it is a last-minute plan for that day you are welcome to phone us in the morning to see if we have availability that day.
5. How do I get there?
The easiest way to get here is by car. If you don’t have a car come with a driver who will wait for you whilst on tour. Please note if you get an Uber here it is unlikely you will be able to get an Uber back!
If you are traveling on Matatu from Nairobi get the 116 and get off at the bottom of Girls School Road (Kenchic Stop) and catch a Boda Boda up the hill to the farm. You can find us on Google Maps under Kiambethu Tea Farm but please read the directions from the menu above as sometimes Google picks interesting routes!
6. Is the walk strenuous?
No, the walk is to the indigenous forest just outside our farm gate, just watch out for roots and the occasional safari ant.
7. Can I come at another time?
We only offer the tour at 11 am it then finishes by 3 pm.
8. Are you a restaurant?
No, we are not a restaurant – we serve a hot buffet lunch for our tour guests. Lunch starts with homemade vegetable soup and bread rolls then a mix of meat and vegetable dishes followed by cheese & biscuits and homemade ice cream & puddings, tea, and coffee.
9. Can you cater to dietary requirements?
Please let us know on the booking form if you are vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, gluten-free, or have any other allergies.
10. What’s the weather like?
We are a little colder here than in Nairobi as we are at 7,200 ft so bring a sweater with you!
11. Can I bring my dog?
No, please do not bring your dog or any other pets to the farm. We have farm dogs who don’t appreciate other dogs being here and many of our guests do not like dogs.
12. Do you hold weddings and events?
No, we do not hold other events at the farm.
13. Do you do accommodation?
No, we don’t offer accommodation but there are lots of Airbnbs in the area. Search for Tigoni or Limuru.
14. I’m struggling to book online…
If you are trying to book online please make sure you are not using a VPN – your card will likely be declined if can’t determine your location as a fraud precaution. If you are still unable to book you can phone us (0721242711) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to check availability and mpesa us directly to confirm your booking.