I get it, not everyone is cut out for camping. To some it’s a tedious and unpleasant experience while to the rest of us it’s a refreshing and wholesome one. But you have to give it a shot at least once in your life to understand the joys of camping. However, I’d suggest you ease into it and try out glamorous camping first, aka GLAMPING! The amenities you find at a glamp far exceed any camping experience, so don’t be totally fooled.
Glamping has become a global trend with gorgeous glamps popping up all around the world. It’s a superb way to experience the great outdoors without having to sacrifice the luxuries we’re all oh so attached to. There’s no tents to pitch, sleeping bags to roll out, holes to dig and there’s usually a working kitchen, showers, chill out areas and staff!!
When I came across Sieku Glamping in Laikipia I had to check it out as soon as I could! ok STOP RIGHT THERE! Before reading any further, you MUST watch the video we made to contextualize the area and landscapes that make up Sieku… We live in a beautiful world!
Link to video —> SIEKU VIDEO
Hope you enjoyed that 🙂
Getting to Sieku Glamping
Sieku is 235kms from Nairobi and should take approx 4 hours to get to. It’s a 50-minute drive from Nanyuki and you want to go through Timau town, past the Kobil petrol station, the police station and over a tiny flat bridge. Shortly after, there will be a turn on your left with many sign posts including one for VCT and Ngare Ndare Forest Trust, you want to take this turn. Then follow the directions provided by the host, but as a heads up, Sieku Glamping is about 13km from the turn and before Ethi town. The roads up to the turn are pretty smooth but a 4×4 would be ideal thereafter, especially if it ends up raining (like it did for us on the way back).
You could also check it out on Google Maps here.
A little bit of background on the glamp
Sieku glamping is part of a 33 acre piece of land and boasts panoramic scenery with views of magnificent Mt. Kenya to the South and endless views of Borana Conservancy to the North. In fact, Sieku gets its name from a nearby seasonal river that flows into the large dam at Borana Conservancy. And much to my delight, we had a great view of both sides from the glamp. We travel for Mother Earth’s grand views right?
For over 20 years, the land that is now Sieku had been badly neglected resulting in lots of the original red cedar trees being cut down and land used for wheat farming, animal overgrazing and charcoaling. However, since early 2013, the new owners have made a great deal of effort to protect the land, slowly and consistently regenerating with an aim of restoring plant and animal life. A large number of trees and euphorbias have been successfully planted, gardens have been created and as a result, bird and insect life is beginning to increase, including pollinating bees. Let’s just say the eco-system is being built from scratch here, but as you can imagine, this is a long term process and will still take a while. It is wonderful to see and know that the owners are very very determined to make this happen though.
The surrounding land at Sieku is mostly dry due to the neglection, however, the landscaping that has been done so far completely fits the vibe and of course took the scarcity of water in the area into account. The large variety of cacti & succulents, dusty brown earth and blazing sun makes you feel like you’re in a totally different country, almost like out in a desert. It definitely is a very unique experience compared to anywhere else I’ve been to in Kenya. The afternoons are usually nice and toasty, but the nights are quite chilly there.
Sieku Glamping is made up of 3 super spacious bespoke bell tents, a Touareg tent (we stayed in here) and they have recently added a 5 metre Tipi tent to the collection (although we had just missed seeing this one!) accommodating a total of 14 people very very comfortably.
Sieku has only been around for about 6 months and is constantly evolving. The owners have recently made stone floored porches and bamboo roofs for each tent (and they still have many more plans to make your stay as comfortable, luxurious and unique as possible).
The decor in the tents is fresh and tasteful with hand made furniture, kilim carpets, woven mats and sheep skin rugs. Each tent has its own distinct style and feel. All beds have comfy feather duvets and pillows for a night of pure blissful sleep. I can assure you I slept like a baby for the two nights we were there. I would suggest keeping the zips shut when evening comes to avoid letting bugs in, but on hot afternoons you could unzip and roll up the sides.
The Touareg tent we stayed in had its own private little garden, drop down loo with wash basin, swings and a hanging bed to laze on as well.
The main living area is in the large mess tent where you’ll also find the kitchen, dining table and a double bed as well! The kitchen is fully equipped with a gas hob, pots, pans, cutlery and crockery. However, you must bring all your food items & condiments. And don’t forget ice to keep the necessary items cold (no fridge but there’s plenty of cooler box space). There’s also a Cookswell Jiko oven for roasts and baking cakes. And all your washing up will be done by lovely Sania so no need to worry about that!
Sieku also has the option of getting in a chef who can prepare the food you bring if you just want to relax and not think about chopping and cooking.
The top garden surrounding the mess tent is filled with a wide range of plants and trees, there’s also a large picnic table in the garden and a fire pit with safari chairs. The fire gets lit most evenings by Letambin the night guard, but since we were only a group of 2, we were happy with the log fire in the mess tent.
The bottom garden is where the tents are, there’s also a communal bonfire pit here, shaded picnic bench with a BBQ and petanque court to the side. As you walk down this garden you’ll find another shaded chill out space with lounge sofas and hammocks to take in the breathtaking views of Borana Conservancy due North, as well as the back of Lewa conservancy to the North East.
Oh man.. the outdoor shower is life! It’s so liberating to be butt naked out in the open with endless nature views. Each day Legei (Sieku Manager) asks what time you’d like to shower and he will prepare a hot shower for you. The shower is a bucket supported with ropes and can take up to 20 litres of water, which is actually quite a lot for one person. Water is quite scarce in the area so do use it sparingly at all times.
There’s also another long drop loo in this area. This one has a view, just like the shower. A third loo is at the back of the mess tent.
Sieku glamping is an eco-friendly place and all of the lights around are D-light solar lamps and lanterns. They are pretty bright so walking around is easy at night.
My favourite times at Sieku
Do not sleep in! 6:30AM is the best time of the day at Sieku. Watching the sun come up, rays penetrating through the skies and feeling that first warmth of the day is absolutely magical. It’s the most calm and serene time of the day. Also, early mornings are your best bet of getting a good view of Mt. Kenya. We were lucky to have clear blue skies on our second morning there and enjoyed views of the mountain till about 9AM.
Golden hour.. need I say more? Watch the colours change over Borana, the distant hills becoming silhouettes. This is your reward of a day well spent at Sieku. There is just something special about the lighting at this time.
3. Night time
There isn’t much light pollution around Sieku so you can just imagine how starry the sky gets at night. If you’re into star gazing then you’re in for a treat. Also, the fairy lights in the tents and around go on and the ambience is to die for. Cosy up by a fire and enjoy the night.
There is PLENTY to do at Sieku Glamping
- Play a game of petanque
- Grab a pair of binoculars, be patient and game watch from the bottom garden. There’s chances of spotting elephants, giraffes, zebras and buffalos. The BIG 5 are actually right below you.
- Just chill. Really, just enjoy all the amenities at Sieku and relax. There’s also a few walks you can go on with Legei.
- Take a trip to Mukogodo forest view point which is 23kms from Sieku. Gorgeous views from here of the back of Lewa, Samburu, Mathews Mountain and Mount Ololokwe
- You MUST visit the Ngare Ndare forest, recently granted UNESCO world heritage status. Personally, this is one of my fave places in the country because of the clear blue pools fresh from the mountains.
- If you’ve got some time then take a longer trip down to Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs National park.
Costs and Booking info:
You can book Sieku Glamping on AirBnB here.
For the amenities and views you get, Sieku is pretty affordable.
Weekdays: 5000/- per double per night ($50)
Weekends: 6000/- per double per night ($60)
For each booking there is a 1500/- ($15) one time cleaning fee. The great people at Sieku are also pretty flexible on costs for larger groups.
You can reach them directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +254 718 929 022.
Optional Chef: 4000/- per day
Quite pocket friendly eh? The glamp fits 14pax comfortably now. Sieku works on an exclusive basis so whether you’re a group of 2 or 14, the place is ALL yours!
Sieku is now a superhost on AirBnB and I’m not surprised. Rob (owner) is one of the most hospitable and helpful hosts I have ever spoken to, indeed a super host. He was available from Day 1 and prepped us on how to get there, what to bring and what to do whilst there. Also, the Sieku staff were so friendly and made our stay absolutely comfortable.
Anyways, that’s all folks! I don’t think I was able to do the place justice with my words, pictures or video so you’re going to have to go check it out for yourself. There’s so much more to the experience but I’ll let you wait and find out. I promise it’s totally worth it, so book it now and take all your friends! I can’t wait to go back!