Glamping has grown tremendously in popularity over the last few years with glamping spots popping up all over the world. But I magine being able to experience wildlife and nature at its finest at Kenya’s first and only glamping spot , without having to compromise too much on the little luxuries we like to gain from a holiday. At Sieku Glamping in Laikapa Kenya, Kenya’s only Glamp, owner and experience curator, Rob Wood and his partner have thought out all the finer details of what makes glamping a truly memorable experience . This, in addition to experiencing being completely off the grid, truly immersed in a world of natural rhythms, the ebb and flow of raw wilderness is what makes Sieku truly special.
Sieku Glamping in Laikapa Kenya is part of a 33 acre piece of land that boasts breathtaking panoramic scenery and views including Mount Kenya. It’s also situated next to the world heritage site Ngara Ndara forest which is well known for it’s free roaming elephants and picturesque waterfalls. Days are spent wondering this vast stretch of land, which overlooks a private conservancy that has the Big 5. The tipi and bell tents at Sieku are bespoke, hand made and luxuriously kitted out for the Sieku glamper. There are no tents to erect or sleeping bags to roll out. Double beds, feather pillows, and cotton sheets are all provided by the Sieku team.
And if this not glorious enough, organic soaps are at the glampers disposal, and fresh cut indigenous flowers adorn each tent. Even their open air showers and loos offer spectacular views. What more could we want from a unique African glamping adventure?
We chatted to Rob about the Sieku story and what makes it truly unique travel desintation:
Q: Where are you from and how did you come to be in Kenya?
A: I’m Rob Wood, the owner of Kenya’s first and proper glamping experience, Sieku Glamping. Im originally from the UK but have been lucky enough to call Kenya my home since 2005. My girlfriend and I came to Kenya for a short stint of work but never managed to leave this incredible country. People and landscapes got under our skin quite quickly. We got married here, our kids were born here and we’ve lived in Kenya longer than anywhere else (since I was a child) ,and so its more home than anywhere else I know.
We’re keen travellers and have spent a lot of time roaming around various parts of the world, Africa and across Kenya. We spend a lot of time camping in the bush, and over the years like many people do, we reckon we’ve got camping in true comfort and style down to a good practical art. There s no fuss and frills, just doing camping well, and much of this is part of the honest ethos behind sieku glamping.
A: We were lucky enough a few years ago to stumble across a piece of land with views that literally made me stop in my tracks. It was early one clear morning in late 2013, and Mount Kenya behind was out in all its glory, and on all sides were more hills, but due north were incredible views over some conservancies towards northern Kenya where I could see mountain ranges I know well in Samburu county 100kms away. Six months later I became the proud owner of this little piece of land.
This little piece of land became a bolt holt to escape from Nairobi with family and friends at weekends. Over time we added a mess tent, toilets, showers and the like, and kept a bell tent in the store all with the idea that we could jump in the Land Cruiser on a Friday afternoon without having to pack anything and in a few hours we’d be camping in real comfort.
Sieku Glamping essentially created itself from this simple notion only 7 months ago. Friends of friends went to stay, and their feedback was great, so I thought I’d see if others might be interested in visiting. Within a week, we had more guests and more great feedback and it’s all grown at great speed from here and we’ve been hectic finalising many things at the camp while being fairly inundated with guests.
Our concept is pretty simple: we offer a unique, bespoke and exclusive experience (Kenya’s first and only glamp) to small groups of guests that is completely different to other options in Kenya. We provide an experience that is affordable to many but which offers a wholesome touch of rustic luxury that most people would only ever associate with an expensive lodge. If you can afford it, Kenya has some incredible places to stay and visit. We have world-beating lodges and safari camps. But if you don’t have the money, then you can either go camping in a bad tent and no experience (not everyone’s favourite) orstay in a dreary, low-end hotel (not everyone’s number one choice either). We offer a real middle ground of higher-end, special accommodation with a unique experience that’s affordable, and I think this is why we have been so popular.
Q: One thing you cannot glamp without?
A: Hammock and a good gin and tonic, with loads of ice and limes and lemons with a big vista to get lost in. Loads of fairy lights also make glamping feel alive. Big cushions for lazy days under trees.
Q: The best time of year to visit is…
A: Definitely January to March. By this time, the rains have finished and so everything is green and lush all around. Wildflowers are out and all the other trees and plants are alive. The air is also thinner and clearer and so you have incredible views of Mount Kenya and many other mountain ranges pretty much all day, which makes the views from Sieku even more breath-taking than during other times of the year.
Q: What wildlife will I be able to see at Sieku?
A: From Sieku you’re going to see a lot of wildlife. We’re lucky to be surrounded by loads of conservancies and protected habitats that have the Big 5 in them as well as loads of other special wildlife of different shapes and sizes. I personally think it’s sometimes that smaller wildlife that’s as exciting as the bigger stuff, or even the wildlife you can’t see that’s the most exilherating. At Sieku we can often hear prides of loans groaning and grunting for much of the night which is undoubtedly one of the best sounds of all time.