Folks 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 travelled to Kilifi in a bid to escape the realities of adulting.
My escape plan, which started off as a fantasy one slow Friday afternoon, led me to Kilifi Backpackers and Eco lodge or as many call it, Distant Relatives Kilifi. It was one heck of an experience. Here’s why:
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.
A boat sailing off 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 path down to the beach
Chasing sunrise on a gloomy morning
3. Friendly People
This place is called Distant Relatives for a legit reason. The people, 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 can’t quite find the words to describe my experience with the staff at the place.
I was craving viazi vya karai so one of the staff members took me to the village to get some. Read courtesy of Magunga Book Store
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 pricey side.
Garlic Jumbo Prawns with chips and Crab samosas (below) ordered off the menu
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!
The Lounge area
Amenities at the place
Bamboo Showers and Compost Toilets
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 fertilize the gardens; that’s why there’s so much greenery around. Big win for the environment!
I loved the Bamboo Showers! Whoever came up with this brilliant idea deserves an award.
Swimming Pool and Volley Ball Pitch
There’s a small swimming pool just outside the reception building in case you’d like to cool off during the day or take a dip at night. I quite enjoyed my night swims and taking breaks to sip on some Dawa. A volleyball patch where you can engage in an leisurely evening match with other guests.
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.
While at Distant Relatives, be sure to take a trip to Kilifi Creek and catch the local young men diving from high cliffs without a care in the world. Simply spectacular.