Ola good people!
I don’t understand what has been happening, I have developed this bug called procrastination and it seems to be taking over my life but I am way much better than this. This post has been in the archives for a while but here it is now, the full expose on Kilifi.
Turn up travel organised an amazing trip to Kilifi a while back and I just had to be part of it. What I loved about the trip is that we got to travel with the last old train before it was decommissioned to welcome the new SGR ( Standard Gauge Railway). Despite us taking 14 hours to get to Mombasa, the train ride was amazing, it was full of great memories from hangovers to karaoke moments, amazing views and new friends.
Anytime I travel I always love checking out the hotel I’d be staying at, it gets me psychologically prepared for what is to come. When I checked out Distant Relatives I was excited to find that it was an eco lodge, I had never stayed in an eco lodge before and I didn’t know what to expect. We were lucky to travel with our friend Chandni, she had stayed there before and prepped on us what to expect but truthfully I didn’t fully get it.
I don’t know if it was the fatigue from the train or the humidity in the air, but once we arrived at Distant Relatives I felt like I was home. Despite the pictures I had seen on their website, I still thought it was your normal hotel with concierge and valet parking but it wasn’t. It’s very rare for you to get to a hotel and feel like you’re home, you always feel like you’re a tourist.
Right from the reception which doubles up as a bar to the service to the accommodation everything felt very unique. The check in process was very fast, we didn’t spend more than 10 minutes checking in.
The best drink you can have once you arrive is a cold dawa. I don’t know if it was the size of the drink or how cold it was but that drink was to die for. For anyone going there you have to try the dawa.
I think Distant Relatives is a place everyone should visit; it changes your perspective and makes you appreciate nature even more.
When it comes to accommodation, there are several options. There is camping, dorm, safari tent, private room and the private banda, the cost for this varies from Ksh. 600 for camping to Ksh. 6000 for the private banda. The longer you stay the cheaper it is. You can check their website for more details.
We stayed in a banda and I absolutely loved it, it was very spacious and comfortable. Imagine showering while listening to the leaves sway and the birds chirp, that’s exactly how I showered everyday while I was there thanks to the outdoor shower. The washroom is what I came to understand as Eco friendly, they don’t use water instead they have saw dust that you pour after using the toilet. At first I was a bit skeptical that perhaps the toilet would stink but quite the contrary, there was no much difference with the normal loo.
I loved the fact that there was the option of getting food from the main lodge kitchen or making your own meal. If you aren’t a fan of cooking, you can order food from the lodge kitchen, which is very tasty. But if you enjoy cooking or you are on a very tight budget, they have a separate kitchen that has utensils and cutlery so all you need are the ingredients. This is the option we went with considering we were on a tight budget. I finally understood when Chandni had told us to carry ingredients. This option is a great way to bond with the rest of the guests.
There are several things you can do to enjoy your stay there. There are various board games, a pool table, darts, they have guitars, they have a swimming pool, there is a volley ball pitch, they have a lounge that you can borrow and exchange books from, you can go for walks on the beach, you can go for sun-downers, you can take boat rides to wherever, you can go snorkeling and all this is organised by the lodge.
If you want to tour Kilifi, the mode of transport is tuk tuks or boda bodas which the lodge can organize for you.
Distant relatives is the place to stay while in kilifi, it is very chilled and homely. If you want a place to get away from the hustles of life or a place to rediscover yourself, or a place to get your creative juices, it is definitely the place to be. We met people who had been there for more than two weeks, trust me once you get there you will understand why.
We extended our stay by two days; it’s that kind of place that makes you forget home, the kind of place that makes you one with your chi.
With the SGR (Standard Gauge Railway) in place it becomes easier to get there. Nairobi to Mombasa is 4 hours then you take a cab from Mombasa to Kilifi which is about an hour away.
They also have different activities for different days, there was pizza Fridays which we sadly didn’t get to experience. There is always something to do at the lodge.
In all honesty, every day is a party when you’re at Distant Relatives.
Kilifi has great culture and people and amazing cuisine. Once you have checked in, go around the town and villages, you will be amazed what you will find.