It is possible to visit the tea estates on a guided tour (enquire in the lobby of the Tea Hotel). The Tea Hotel’s guide can also be hired for birding excursions in the neighbourhood at Chagaik Arboretum, and to Lelartet Cliff, which is also home to a large number of red colobus and black-and-white colobus monkeys.

A curious sight amid the closely cropped tea bushes, the graceful Chagaik Arboretum consists of acres of beautiful trees from across the tropics and subtropics, tumbling steeply down through well-tended lawns to a lily-covered lake. Inside the arboretum, a plaque reads “Founded by Tom Grumbley, Tea Planter 1946–75”. Don’t miss the magnificent stands of bamboo on the banks. Entry to this haven of landscaped tranquillity is unrestricted and you can picnic or rest up as long as you like, though there are gardeners around who won’t let you camp. It gets quite popular at weekends and holidays when families come out here to enjoy the space and air. Across the lake, thick jungle drops to the water’s edge. Mysterious splashes and rustles, prolific bird and insect life, and at least one troop of colobus monkeys are a surprising testament to the tenacity of wildlife in an environment hemmed in on all sides by the alien ranks of the tea bushes.

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