Kethi Wangeci Mungai – CEO Karunguru Coffee and Tours Ltd and Kiburi Farms
Where did your passion for coffee and tourism begin?
I was privileged to study in Cape Town, South Africa and took an interest in wine farm tours.
When I came back to Kenya, I asked myself, “Why can’t we do this with coffee?”
So with the Karunguru Coffee Farm team, we started Karunguru Coffee and Tours Limited in 2016 through which we have been taking people on the full coffee journey from crop to cup educating people on what goes into the different tastes and nuances of coffee.
Once we had that going we realised there was also a market for farm homestays, especially with international guests who want to ‘immerse’ themselves in Kenyan culture and so we founded Kiburi Homestays in 2018.
So what comes with the homestays?
Being both a tea and coffee farm at the slopes of Mount Kenya we felt well placed to showcase two of Kenyas celebrated cash crops.
The homestay, includes both a tea and coffee tour showing the farm processes tea and coffee go through all the way to the cups we all love and enjoy
What’s the difference between staying in a homestay and hotel?
The difference is that you are coming to stay in someone’s home. It has less rules and is a lot more cozy.
Unlike a hotel, we serve homely meals and mostly food that we source from our kitchen garden and from the locality.
The food is mostly Kenyan dishes, such as kienyeji chicken, mukimo and mbuzi.
We serve meals at our dining room where ideally a family sits together and shares a meal and have good conversations.
When you want to relax and play board games or continue hearty conversations, you proceed to our cozy living room area in front of a fireplace.
Are there rules that one should observe at homestays?
A homestay is basically a home away from home. We love and respect all our guests and just ask them to be courteous and observe our house rules. Booking also should be done prior to visit.
Have you been affected by the pandemic?
Covid-19 was really hard on us. We were ground to a halt in March last year when the first lockdown was announced and have only resumed in June of this year. It has been tough, but we are happy to be back up and running! We are observing the Covid-19 protocols and guidelines.
How has the reception been so far?
The reception since we opened up again has been good. People like our home and appreciate the plush grounds and farm processes.
The numbers have been low, but we believe that more and more people will continue to come as the global situation begins to stabilise.
What are your future plans?
We will keep the place running as a cozy homestay and continue to welcome local and international guests who are in need of a family or group getaway or want to see first-hand how we run coffee and tea farms.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the fact that I meet people from all over the world and all walks of life, and our team gets to share our passion for farming, literally with the world!