Meet Cathryn Karanja founder of the Gatura Greens
Harriet James @harriet86jim
What inspired you to go for agro-tourism? My family has been farming tea since 1984, venturing into Purple Tea in 2009, making them the first farm ever to plant purple tea.
They then began processing their own tea in 2016. Seeing how Purple Tea, a fairly new variant in the world was taking the industry by storm, I decided to curate an experience around it for guests to learn more about the purple tea at the farm and had the first tour in October of 2020.
I love travelling and I’ve been doing it for a while. While exploring different countries, I’m always drawn to culturally immersive experiences that allow me to experience local communities authentically.
Farm tours were a big part of my itinerary while travelling countries that offered them. That’s how Gatura Greens came to be.
What are some of the activities that one can do while at the farm?
We tried to create our target market profile for tourists who would be keen on this kind of experience.
Once we felt that we had nailed the profile, we then went on to curate what that specific profile would enjoy at the farm, what they’d like to eat and so on.
What came out strongly is that our customer profile enjoyed immersive experiences, and we made sure to factor that strongly while curating our farm tour itinerary.
What is your itinerary like?
The experience begins with guests learning about the history of our family run farm over some tea and snacks, followed by a trip to the pioneer purple tea farm where guests learn how to pick tea, which they then get to process and take the tea that they’ve made back home with them. Guests then get to enjoy an expansive tea tasting of the different variants of tea processed by our farm at our cottage factory.
After that, we get into the adventurous part of the tour where guests enjoy a lovely nature walk down our 20 year old bamboo forest, past the fish pond where we farm Tilapia fish, all the way down to the waterfall before indulging in a three-course lunch.
Costs are Sh3,500 per adults, Sh1,750 for children under 12 and free for children under five.
What’s your favourite Kenyan destination?
I love Turkana, it is my best travel experience yet in this country! I also grew up in Kisumu so I love it there and the sunsets by the lake are unmatched.
They also have great farm houses there not too far out from the city with scenic hiking trails!
There’s a place called Rondo Smack in the middle of the Kakamega forest that’s an absolute gem!