Thyolo and Satemwa tea estates

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Thyolo and Satemwa tea estates

Thyolo and Satemwa tea estates

Situated between Blantyre and Mount Mulanje, Thyolo (pronounced Cho’lo) is among Malawi’s most scenic regions, a patchwork landscape of undulating hills and immaculately kept tea and coffee estates.

Thyolo is a particularly good location for walks and treks, with Mt Mulanje very accessible and easier hikes in and among the tea plantations also possible. If time allows, a trip to Lake Chilwa and its surrounding wetlands and rice fields is also worth the time. Day trips to Zomba Plateau, just north of Blantyre, are possible, while birding tours are another highlight.

As one of Malawi’s first land claims registered in 1874, Satemwa Tea Estate is undoubtedly among the country’s most respected and established tea and coffee producers, managed and operated by third-generation members of the Cathcart Kay family. Chip, one of Maclean Kay’s sons, and his wife Dawn live on the estate, and Huntingdon’s guests are invited to step back in time and share some of Chip’s wonderful memories of his family home, discover the multitude of teas exported from the estate, and hear the fascinating history of Satemwa Tea Estate.

Why go

This extraordinary setting provides unique opportunities for walks and hikes around the scenic estate, Satemwa offers tea tasting sessions where guests can visit the factory to learn how the tea is grown, dried, and prepared ready to sip, followed by a wonderful display of various teas and pleasing aromas.

The Thyolo Tea Estates don’t stop at Satemwa. There are a number of other estates that produce tea all over the world. The Thyolo Forest Reserve also offers a haven for walkers and birdwatchers and offers fantastic terrain for those wishing to pedal around on bicycles.

Where to stay

Accommodation is available within the Satemwa Tea Estate at Huntingdon house originally the colonial family home of the Maclean Kay family, built-in 1928. Alternatively, their self-catering option of Chawani is Bungalows also on site.


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