People travel for various reasons. Some travel to explore new worlds; others to go back to familiar places in search of memories of days long gone. Still, others do so in a pursuit  find themselves while others travel to run away from themselves.  I traveled to Kilifi to escape the realities of adulting.


The lounge area

My escape plan, which started off as a fantasy one slow Friday afternoon, led me to Kilifi Backpackers and Eco lodge; or as many know it,  Distant Relatives Kilifi. It was one heck of an experience. Here’s why:

1. The serenity

When you are running away from the busy city life, you need a place that you can detach from the rest of the world completely. Distant Relatives is  tucked away in a nice forested area in Kilifi. This is a haven especially for anyone searching for some solitude  and quiet. The entire place is just so quiet save for some chattering monkeys or birds during the day.

The walkway down to the beach

A boat cruising down at sunset 

2. Enchanting Sunrises and Sunsets

The beach is just a 5 minute walk from the Backpacker’s.  That means you can conveniently walk down to catch the sunrise and sunsets, go swimming or just to sit down by the beach and meditate.  I spent most of my time at Distant Relatives, seated on the beach, staring at the ocean. Extremely therapeutic!

The sun makes an appearance to disperse the moody clouds at dawn

Just an ordinary sunrise at the Creek 

3. Friendly People

This place is called Distant Relatives for a legit reason. Everyone,  from the guests to the staff are just so friendly for a minute you’d be confused to think they are family. The entire premise reeks of positive energy and good vibes.

I told one of the staff guys how much I was craving  Viazi vya Karai and he took me  to a place I could grab some from one of the village ladies. How sweet? 


4. It’s affordable!

Being a backpackers, this place is extremely affordable yet comfortable and clean.   There are dorms, safari tents, bandas and private rooms  to cater for everyone’s needs. Check out the rates here. The dorms are actually  really nice just incase you have a bunch of friends and want to travel on a budget.  There’s an equipped kitchen and you can whip up meals for you and your crew.  The meals on their menu are excellent and not too much on the pricy side. You can check out the rooms and menu to find out more.

The menu has lots of sea food. Be sure to try out the Crab Samosa and King Prawns 

5. Lots of fun activities!

The management at Distant Relatives organizes lots of fun activities that you can engage in; some for free and others at a fee.  From sunset cruises, to snorkeling , to village hikes and quiz nights. I didn’t engage in a lot of these because I just wanted to be alone. The quiz nights were so much fun though. Be sure to catch the happy hour!

You can enjoy Drinks by the pool at night 

Amenities at the place

1. Bamboo Showers and Compost Toilets

One of the bathrooms in the Private Banda. Notice the use of makuti and old tires as building materials

Being an eco-lodge, sustainable waste disposal methods have been put to test. There is a compost toilet that was quite interesting to use. Sort of makes you think that you are in one of those old England movie-sets.  The compost from the toilets is used to fertilise the gardens; that’s why there’s so much greenery around. Big win for the environment!

There’s even a manual on the wall on how to use the compost toilets 

I loved the Bamboo Showers! Whoever came up with this brilliant idea deserves an award.

2. Swimming Pool and Volley Ball Playground

There’s a small swimming pool just outside the reception building  in case you’d like to cool off during the day or take dip at night.There’s also a volleyball patch where you can engage in an leisurely evening match with other residents.

How to get there

Distant Relatives is located in Kilifi Country . Once you get to Mombasa town, you can catch a Matatu/Uber to the place or take the direct night bus to Kilifi Town. From Kilifi town, pick a Bodaboda or Tuk tuk to the backpackers.  It should cost you between Ksh.100-200 per person. On booking, you can also ask the management to organize a pick-up for you from Kilifi town either by Boat at a fee.

Watching local local boys dive from high corals into the ocean on the other side of the creek was quite fascinating