We all have moments where we feel prouder to be Kenyan than in our normal day to day life. Not that we are not proud to be Kenyans, but those moments just makes it sure we are at 100%. One of the moments for me has always been when I travel past the tea fields in and around Kericho. From the imaginations of playing football on top of the well ‘mowed’ tea bushes as a kid (I was young and naive, do not judge) to wants of just spending time there away from the busy adulting life, the calmness and neatness has always filled my heart with joy. And so when I got to be told about Chesumot Tea Estate and had the chance to peep in on our way past Kericho, I couldn’t pass the chance.
Chesumot Tea Estate is approx. 10KM out of Kericho town. If coming from Nairobi, it is before Unilever/KETEPA factories. There are two routes to access the estate, one of which you will need a 4×4 vehicle or get to learn the hard way as we did. For the first route(RED path), you turn at Taidy’s Restaurant(Also Kaisuguu Tea Factory turn), then drive through the tea farms and the mini forests and arrive at the main gate. This road is truly meant for lorries, tractors and pickups, DO NOT try to drag your urban cars to this route. The second route(BLUE path) starts at a left turn just before KETEPA Offices. It is much longer but tarmacked for a good length of it, and where you branch to the estate, it is a smooth gravel and murram road. The two roads meet at the main gate and from there it is basically straightforward to the dam.
You can visit Chesumot Tea Estate for just a day or stay there. Your stay in Chesumot is basically a farm life, the British farm life, not the one I am used to in Khumsalaba(feel free to google). Hahaha! You are surrounded by tea bushes, man-made forests and animals. You go to sleep to cricket chirps, slumber in dreamland to nature’s awkward silence with occasional gentle zephyr whistling through the leaves and wake up to the sounds of birds chirping. What more do you want?
You can either stay at the Chesumot Farm Estate House or camp near the Dam where a proper campsite has been prepared. The campsite is under some lovely trees. You have to bring your own tent, but there are hot showers and a sit-down toilet for the campers. There are also two rondavels and a fire pit where you could sit and read your book. The House is close to the main gate – A spacious four bed-roomed house that accommodates up to 6 people. The house can be rented for Sh12,000 a night via airbnb here or by calling the management. Camping costs Sh1,000 per person.
The estate is essentially built around the dam. The dam has a floating jetty that goes to almost halfway of the dam, and it is a wonderful spot to just sit. The light waves may lull you. For the brave, you could jump in for a swim to cool down in the dam. There are also two canoes and a rowing boat that you could practice your rowing skills in the dam. In the evenings, you could also take a horse-ride around the farm(or walk) as you enjoy some bird-watching, the amazing landscapes and even the tea pickers at work. Movement around the estate is to a minimum, and so be assured to enjoy some stillness and quietness.
So if you ever feel the need to be around fresh air and nature, Chesumot Tea Estate is your place. It is advisable to inform the management of your visit beforehand so that they can have someone guide you in case you are not great in directions, and also just to help you go round the estate during your stay. You can contact them via @chesumotteaestate or get in touch on +254 722 741879 / +254 52 2020170, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FUN FACT: Chesumot farm produces variety of tea, including green and purple tea – popular in Japan. A large portion of the estate is covered in purple tea bushes.