I’m a serial backpacker.
Consumed by wanderlust as I am, it’s the only way I can satisfy my desire to see the world without breaking the bank.
But once in a while, I like to go all out and sleep in beds as opposed to in sleeping bags.
My daughter, of course, finds the backpacking experience terribly exciting and often asks me when we are going to sleep on the floor again!
My visit to Tetura Luxury Camp in Murang’a County was one of those breaks from the norm where I wanted to glamp and not camp.
Glamping is a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.
My last-minute booking is surprisingly fruitful (I had tried booking a couple of other camps in Nakuru and Naivasha to no avail) but later I realise it’s because the camp is only a year or so old plus it’s the third week of January so not many people are really looking to holiday.
The first thing I notice about Tetura Luxury Camp is that the names of the tents are inspired by Kenya’s major dams like Sondu, Kindaruma, Turkwel, Kamburu and Masinga.
I’m curious about the decision and I ask the reservations manager why this is so.
“The owner used to work at Kengen,” she answers simply, offering a smile that remains consistent throughout our stay.
My daughter and I incidentally get assigned the Turkwel tent which is reminiscent of a family childhood trip to Turkwel Lodge in Turkana County whose memories I treasure to date.
The camp is built in a 10-acre farm in a former colonial ranch at Maragua Ridge.
It comprises of spacious rooms with the capacity of 30.
The concrete walls and canvas roofs with a modern bathroom (which are thankfully not tiled, because tiles are a known health hazard, but are made of non-slip concrete floors) are the perfect blend between modern hotel room and a tent. The conservation-conscious camp uses solar for lighting and water-heating.
The kitchen uses biogas produced from pig droppings.
Two geese “guard” the camp area and my daughter delightedly runs circles around them.
We request a farm tour where the camp grows mangoes, lemons and vegetables, which are also used in the kitchen.
I forgot to mention that mango juice and fruits are served throughout your stay by the courteous and friendly staff.
Prepare for a mango high, if there is such a thing.
My daughter is delighted with the sight of chicken, turkeys, goats and cows. The farm has an open area and an outside kitchen where guests can camp.
Tetura is right next to Maragua River and guests can take a morning walk and sit by the benches. I don’t know about you but I find the sound of a flowing river soothing.
We also visit Thingira Cultural Village, which is an eight-minute drive from the camp.
Word of caution: you may want to visit there as a group as you will derive much more value from the trip as the promised cultural dancers and elders only come when you go as a group.
The cultural village helps visitors travel over a hundred years back to learn the ways of the Bantu. One can also visit their crocodile farm.
They also have a number of tortoises.
At Thingira Cultural Village, we also meet Tiger, a monkey who operates from a cage. He looks at us curiously and my daughter engages him in a chat while trying to feed him. There is something quite saddening about it’s tiny cage and I ask whether he is ever let out of his cage. Our guide says No.
We finally make our way back to Tetura where a most sumptuous dinner (and mango juice) awaits us. The next day, we are treated to what I can only term as a “more than you can eat” breakfast.
We had to carry some away for the short journey back to Nairobi.
Tetura Luxury Camp is definitely a place to come back for a longer stay especially if you just want to “get away from it all”.
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