Distant Relatives: Backpacker’s Hostel in Kilifi

Staying at the Distant Relatives Ecolodge & Backpackers

Cheap hostels and lodges are by far the best accommodation choice for Backpackers and budget travelers around the world. Other than being inexpensive, they offer a sense of community and a meeting place for people from all over the world. Searching for the best hostels can be tiresome, especially given that there are so many options to choose from.

The Kenyan coast is one of the best destinations in Africa and has attracted a number of affordable accommodation facilities for backpackers and travelers.

During my backpacking trip along the northern coast of Kenya, I stayed in 2 hostels.

Tulia House – Mombasa Backpackers

I started my journey in Nyali, Mombasa, and stayed at Mombasa backpackers (Tulia House). This is definitely the best hostel/ B&B to stay in while backpacking or traveling to Mombasa on a budget.  A couple of friends I met on the train from Nairobi to Mombasa were staying here as well.

Mombasa Backpackers

Distant Relatives Ecolodge & Backpackers

The following day I hitch-hiked to Kilifi town and then headed to Distant Relatives Ecolodge & Backpackers. By the time I arrived at the main gate, I already had the impression that I was going to have a great time there.

The lodge is located in Kilifi between the Giriama village of Fumbini and the emerald-blue waters of Kilifi Creek. If you are traveling by public means from Nairobi, Malindi, or Mombasa, alight at Pwani University and take a Tuk Tuk or motorcycle (BodaBoda). Ask the driver to take you to Distant Relatives Ecolodge. It is only about 2 km from Kilifi-Malindi road so don’t panic!

Distant relatives Kilifi Backpackers

Accommodation facilities and charges

At Distant Relatives Ecolodge & Backpackers, you have a choice of different types of accommodation to suit your budget. The options include Camping in your own tent, shared dorm rooms/hostels, safari tents, private rooms, and Bandas.  Irrespective of your preferred choice, you still get to enjoy all the other communal facilities at the lodge. The prices are affordable and fluctuate depending on the season.

Distant relatives Kilifi Backpackers

Bar and restaurant at Distant Relatives

They have very good food. Whether you want a Kenyan style or prefer international cuisine you will get it. The bar is always stocked and you get to meet very nice people as you enjoy a cold Tusker.


Chill out places and lounge

They have a quite large lounge and chill-out rooms. Inside the lounge, you get musical instruments, darts, billiards, and a Foosball table. You will also find sunbeds, sofas, and couches by the swimming pool.

Distant relatives Kilifi Backpackers

Showers and Eco toilets at Distant Relatives

Probably the most amazing thing about this place is the Ecosystem. All the toilets are Eco-friendly and water-less composting. The communal showers are built-in bamboo. Whether you are staying in private rooms, tents, or dorms, this is something you should try.

Bamboo shower

Fun Activities at Distant Relatives

Distant Relatives Eco-lodge & Backpackers is full of fun. The community made of staff and travelers is amazing. Inside the lounge, there is a board where you can see all the activities happening every day. These activities and events include but are not limited to, Yoga lessons, movies, Dhow sailing, a bonfire, and a full moon party at the beach.

You can also play volleyball on the sand-covered field or go swimming at the beach and see the magnificent bio-luminescence in the evenings with your new friends.

Visiting nearby Giriama villages for a Mnazi is also an experience worth having.


If you are visiting Kilifi anytime soon, head to Distant Relatives for a night and experience a home away from home.