Satemwa Tea Estate

Satemwa Tea Estate is located in the Thyolo district in the Shire Highlands of southern Malawi. One of the oldest tea estates in Malawi, it was founded in 1923 by Maclean Kay, a Scottish immigrant and former rubber planter in Malaya, and has been handed down from generation to generation of the Cathcart Kay family.

The estate provides magnificent views of Mount Mulanje and the Lower Shire valley to the west. Visitors to the Satemwa Estate are transformed back to a by-gone era and often absorbed by the colonial feel to the area and the diverse scenery.

Things to do in Satemwa

The main attraction of Satemwa is, of course, tea! Built-in 1937 the Satemwa Factory is known around the tea world as a producer of quality tea. During your time at Satemwa, you can do a factory tour and taste the tea. After all, how often do you get to taste teas that end up in the world’s most-known tea brands; PG Tips, Lipton, Tetley’s and 5 Roses to name but four. If you are a coffee fiend don’t worry the estate has grown coffee since the 70s. Coffee tours are seasonal and take you on a guided walk through the coffee fields which are wild, open and set in spectacular scenery.

Mountain bikes are available to hire from Huntingdon House if you wish to explore the 105 miles of dirt roads and paths. If you would rather explore through the Thyolo Mountain forests on foot you can do so. Take a leisurely stroll to one of the streams or meander through the coffee fields.

Satemwa boasts exceptional birdlife viewing. The varied vegetation on the estate provides ideal habitats for a variety of Malawi’s bird species including the endangered Thyolo Alethe.

Must Do’s

  1. Tea Tasting:
    The ultimate experience of Satemwa tea! Learn more about the estate, the magic of tea, how it is grown, produced and what is so special about Satemwa teas. Mr Custom introduces you to the art of tea tasting- slurp about 20 very differently tasting teas to find your favourite. Most of those teas can be purchased at the Little Shop at Huntingdon House which leads to…
  2. Spend a night at Huntingdon House:
    Live a flashback in time in what used to be the founder’s family home! Enjoy a refreshing Gin & Tea or a MoTeato on the picnic spot with an incredible view down to the Shire river and up to Mulanje mountain, indulge a delicious three-course dinner prepared with love by some of the best chefs in the country, using mostly ingredients grown in the garden behind the lodge, sleep heavenly in one of the individually decorated suites (Chapel? Or Planter’s? Maybe), and wake up to a full English breakfast to fuel you up for no. 3.
  3. Hiking or mountain biking on Satemwa:
    Put on your hiking shoes and follow their guide or explore by yourself! You choose- tea or coffee fields, indigenous forest, or maybe even up to the famous rock of Thyolo mountain? Or all of it? Most of the beautiful corners of the estate can also be discovered by bike.

Who the destination is good for

If you want to escape the bustling areas of Malawi and crave for peace and quiet, then Satemwa is the perfect location for you. A few days on Satemwa Tea Estate is the perfect amount of time, you can embrace the great outdoors by partaking in one of the open-air activities or leave feeling like you’ve learned something new following a tea tour.

Tours including this destination