Friday, March 13, 2015

Kericho & Tea

My favourite area of Kenya is in the highlands,west of the Great Rift Valley. The small town of Kericho is in this area.


Can you spot Kericho on the map?  It is several hours west of Nairobi.

Kericho's population is about 150,000 and total population around the area is about half a million people (1999 census so the information is a bit out of date). While that doesn't sound so small it has a very small town feel about the place. Kericho is the hub or center of the tea industry. Most of what it grows in tea is shipped to the United Kingdom. The main tea companies are Unilever and Finlay's and Ketapa.

Tea is so important to this town that the town square is even called Chai Square. Chai is the Indian word for aromatic spiced tea.

On my last trip to Kericho I snapped the photo of these 3 beautiful trees as we entered town from Nakuru, a larger city located to the north east of Kericho. Nakuru tends to get a lot more tourist activity than Kericho because it is closer to the flamingos and other wildlife I featured in an earlier post. Nakuru is also a central location as a jump off point for many other tourist destinations in Kenya.


It was a very hazy day when we arrived in Kericho and the skies were not so terribly exciting.  However, the thing that stood out to me  is the sheer beauty of the town.  The tea estates and tea crops which dot the hills and valleys around the area are a vibrant green colour.  I should say shades of green which give a depth to the colour instead of making it look lifeless and flat because everything is the same shade of green.  In the photos above and below virtually all the greenery on the ground consists of tea bushes.


In this photo taken from the car, the skies are a very pretty blue with white fluffy clouds. This is how it usually looks whenever I've travelled to Kericho. It can get quite hot at times but it usually rains for a short while every day and then the sun comes out.  I understand that right now they are experiencing a dearth of rain.

I pray the rains will arrive soon.  Kericho's rain keeps everything green and fresh.  The the rain is needed for the tea crops and for the farms. The people depend on it like all farming people depend on the right weather at the right time.


In my last photo you will see how hazy it is. The beautiful red roof tops are the roof tops of houses on a tea estate. The people who work on the tea estates live and work there. The housing is provided by the tea estate companies. I'm not sure but I think the workers pay rent also.


Kericho is home to the world's single largest tea plantation. It is also the home to the first fossil ape Kenyapithecus discovered by Louis Leakey in 1961. It is a beautiful little town with manicured looking tea estates & beautiful lawns and gardens. The weather is usually very agreeable for those that prefer moderate temperatures.

I hope you enjoyed this "peek" into the town of Kericho, Kenya.

I'm linking up with Skywatch Friday today.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

13 comments:

Joanne Noragon said...

A beautiful land. I hope every land that needs the rain can get it.

Barb said...

Fabulous shots of a stunning landscape. Those trees are wonderful.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Looks like a beautiful area. Thanks for the tour!

sunshine said...

I love this area, was there some years ago with to few time. Wonderful photos.

Valerie said...

Thank you for sharing this part of the world that I would not otherwise have seen. Vibrant greens!

Stephanie said...

Beautiful landscapes!

jabbott said...

Looks really nice here and those little houses are so cute x

Jan said...

What an interesting post. Wondering about the lack of rain and how this affects the people who work in the tea industry? It's only by reading posts like this that I realise how little I really know about Kenya and the world!

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

Beautiful images of this area. I did enjoy this "peek" into the town of Kericho, Kenya.

Anonymous said...

The scenery is lovely.

Carletta said...

Lovely shots! I love the third one with the clouds.

Littlewanderingwren said...

I just googled the weather in Kericho Monday is showers so that's good news! Loved my visit to you as I drank my evening cup of tea!
Wren x

betty-NZ said...

How interesting! We drink the tea but I had no idea what it looked like as it grows.

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