• JUDITH BAKER

Tea with the monkeys in Kenya


A visit to a Kenyan tea farm included an encounter with the local monkeys in a surprisingly English-looking country garden

I'm taking afternoon tea in the garden of Kiambethu Farm in Limuru, Kenya and it feels as if I am in a country house on a sunny British afternoon.

Just a short drive from Nairobi Kiambethu is situated at 7,200 feet and was farmed by AB McDonell in 1910. He was a pioneer in the tea industry being one of the first to farm and sell tea commercially in Kenya, although it is now one of the country's main exports.

Five generations have lived on this farm and it is currently run by his granddaughter Fiona Vernon who serves us a delicious tea in the grounds after a tasting of some of the farm's famous brews.

The farmhouse is set in acres of tea plantation and forests, home to the delightful Colobus monkey who scamper over the lawns and watch us. After tea we take a walk around the farm with Peter, who has worked here for 20 years. He points out that tea is a year-round crop and on the tour we spot porcupines, mongeese and dozens of beautiful colourful birds.

kiambethufarm.com

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