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Huntingdon House at Satemwa Tea Estate

Let us have a look around this tea estate

On Saturday morning we decided to check out some tourist spots that we have somehow not seen so far.

First stop was Game Haven. This place is advertised as offering top end accommodation in the Blantyre area (actually it is just over the border in Thyolo District). We had been intrigued to hear that it is the nearest place to Blantyre offering ‘game drives’ to see a reasonable selection of animals within a large fenced off area. The animals were no where to be seen near the lodge – we did not actually make an effort to look to be honest. We were told however that with all the work going on to build a golf course, a swimming pool and more chalets and rooms the animals had retreated to the farther reaches of the large fenced off area.

I hope that all the building work goes well and that when it is finished Game Haven will provide great five star accommodation with zebras and nyalas grazing on the golf course. I wish them all the best and hope that their vision turns into reality. I certainly would not fault them on ambition.

Imagine rolling hills of tea like this for as far as you can see and then you can imagine a tea estate. The landscape could hardly be more different to that at Game Haven.

We did not stay long and headed off to the other end of the upmarket spectrum to experience some old colonial style life in a tea estate.

Satemwa Tea Estate is a family run and owned tea estate and the family of the Scotsman who started it all in the 1920s are still living there.

Huntingdon House itself is no longer occupied by the family. They are elsewhere on the estate. This place is therefore a great place for visitors to relax.

Huntington House is the original family home and the rooms are named in accordance with who used to sleep where. We thought that it was a great place to stop and relax and I would recommend this place as well as Fisherman’s Rest as good locations for a relaxing day away from Blantyre.

In addition to eating and drinking other activities on offer are tea tasting, coffee tours, bird walks, walking, picnicking, mountain biking and croquet. The nearby Thyolo mountain has unique sub species of birds.

An elderly member of the family, now eighty, had this room when a child.

Ruth enjoyed the courtyard and especially the goldfish

Apparently 'The Chapel' was rarely used even at the best of times. Now the 'honeymoon suite'.

We liked the fact that there were islands of old trees preserved among the tea. They were good to drive through. One thing that Malawi needs is the conservation of trees and forests.

We did plan to go on to Mulanje but by the time we had checked out the bungalow it was time for lunch and Amelia suggested that we stay. By the time that we had returned from viewing the bungalo the managers had returned from watching the rugby. They are a couple that we had met briefly at Majete. At last we had fulfilled our promise to visit their establishment. The good news is that Marc is very keen to climb Mulanje with us. On the way out we met another couple keen to climb Mulanje. It seems there is no shortage of people looking for someone to organise Mulanje trips for them.

The bungalow, also on the estate, looks like a great place to stay with friends.

It is nice to drive or wander through the little forests.

Amelia and Ruth wait for lunch. We made the right decision to wait here for lunch instead of heading on to Mulanje for 'the best pizza in Malawi'.

Ruth and David relaxed before we headed back to Blantyre

The car engine was making a loud deep revving kind of sound as I turned it on and when I pressed hard on the accelerator. Not being a petrol head I did not understand what might be causing this. This problem seemed to start while driving on some of the rough steep roads within the tea estate. As it was getting late we abandoned our Mulanje ambitions and headed back to Blantyre.

Little known fact: Tea and coffee arrived in Malawi via the original Scottish mission in Blantyre. Now they are two important export crops.

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3 responses

  1. So glad you all loved Huntington House! Thanks for the excellent posts!

    October 11, 2011 at 6:18 am

    • Douglas

      Thank you. I think it was you who pointed out on your blog that visiting the tea estates is such a good idea. I noticed their crocket set…

      October 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm

  2. h

    Nice to hear some positive blogg ! its great congrats !

    January 21, 2013 at 4:05 am

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