People travel for a variety of reasons. Some travel to explore new worlds; others to return to familiar places in search of memories of bygone days. Yet others do so in an attempt to find each other while others travel to escape. I traveled to Kilifi to escape the realities of adult.

The lounge area

My escape plan, which started as a fantasy on a slow Friday afternoon, led me to Kilifi Backpackers and Eco lodge; or as many know, Distant Parents Kilifi. It was quite an experience. Here’s why:

1. Serenity

When you are running away from the hectic city life, you need a place where you can completely detach yourself from the rest of the world. Distant Parents is nestled in a beautiful wooded area in Kilifi. It is a haven of peace in particular for those looking for a little solitude and calm. The whole place is so quiet except for a few monkeys or birds chatting during the day.

The footbridge to the beach

A boat going down at sunset

2. Enchanting sunrises and sunsets

The beach is just a 5 minute walk from the Backpacker’s. This means you can easily walk around to watch the sunrise and sunset, swim, or just sit by the beach and meditate. I spent most of my time at Distant Relatives, sitting on the beach, my eyes on the ocean. Extremely therapeutic!

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

Just an ordinary sunrise over the stream

3. Friendly people

This place is called Distant Parents for a legitimate reason. Everyone from the guests to the staff are so friendly for a minute that you’d be confused to think they’re family. The whole place exudes positive energy and good vibrations.

I told one of the staff how much I wanted Viazi vya Karai and he took me to a place where I could buy it from one of the ladies in the village. How nice?

4. It’s affordable!

Being a backpacker this place is extremely affordable yet comfortable and clean. There are dorms, safari tents, bandas, and private rooms to suit everyone’s needs. Check out the prices here. Dorms are actually very nice in case you have a group of friends and want to travel on a budget. There is a fully equipped kitchen and you can prepare meals for yourself and your crew. The dishes on their menu are excellent and not too expensive. You can consult the rooms and menu to know more.

The menu has a lot of seafood. Make sure to try the Samosa crab and king prawns.

5. Lots of fun activities!

The management of Distant Relatives organizes many fun activities that you can participate in; some free and some paid. From sunset cruises to snorkeling, village hikes and quiz nights. I didn’t engage in a lot of them because I just wanted to be alone. The quiz nights were so much fun. Make sure to catch happy hour!

You can enjoy drinks by the pool at night

Amenities on site

1. Bamboo showers and composting toilets

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

Being an eco-lodge, sustainable methods of waste disposal have been put to the test. There is a compost toilet which was quite interesting to use. It kind of makes you think you’re in one of those old England movie sets. Compost from toilets is used to fertilize gardens; that’s why there is so much greenery around. Great victory for the environment!

There is even a manual on the wall on how to use the composting toilet.

I loved the bamboo showers! Whoever had this brilliant idea deserves an award.

2. Swimming pool and volleyball court

There is a small swimming pool just outside the reception building in case you want to cool off during the day or take a dip at night.

How to get there

Distant Relatives is located in the land of Kilifi. Once in Mombasa City, you can either take a Matatu / Uber to the location or take the direct night bus to Kilifi City. From the town of Kilifi, choose a Bodaboda or Tuk tuk for backpackers. It should cost you between 100 and 200 Ksh per person. When booking, you can also ask the management to arrange a pick-up for you from Kilifi town or by boat for an additional charge.

Watching local boys dive tall corals into the ocean across the creek was quite fascinating


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