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Distant Relatives


Distance Relatives banner

All images © Distant Relatives and Babalwa Tom

Located on the Kenyan coast near the ancient coastal own of Kilifi (midway between Mombasa and Malindi), Distant Relatives is a backpackers lodge that's also an experimental model of environmentally and socially conscious living.

The name “Distant Relatives” comes from their goal of bringing people together to learn and share, and build positive and long-lasting relationships, based on community values and sustainable practices - we are all distant relatives after all!

Owner-managed and run, the lodge was initially a homestead that has been renovated and refurbished, nestled between the village of Fumbini, a community-owned forest, and the stunning Kilifi Creek.

Backpacker Pool

The lodge accommodates guests in dormitories, family and group rooms, en-suite private rooms, and safari tents, while camping is also available.

Dorm room 

With its own private beach, restaurant and outdoor pool, a commitment to ecological living and its close proximity to some of the Kilifi’s most important conservation areas, such as the Kuruwitu Marine Sanctuary, the Ruins of Mnarani and the Arabuko - Sokoke Forest, Distant Relatives is a haven for eco-tourists.

View over coast of Kenya, Distant Relatives Rickety wooden bridge over water


What makes it eco?

  • Responsible management of waste and resources¬†- applying the ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ philosophy to preserve resources, landfill space, energy and emissions.
  • Organic waste is composted or fed to the animals
  • Water is conserved and reused - greywater from sinks and showers used to water banana, papaya and passion fruit orchards, and rainwater is collected
  • Wood used for furniture is up-cycled from old boats, driftwood or alien species
  • Compost toilets
  • Natural building combining local and traditional Swahili designs - buildings are constructed around trees, cement used is minimal
  • Glass bottles for building and light shades, tyres used for retaining walls
  • Use of LED and energy-saving lighting
  • It's fully incorporated with the community and holds fundraising events for projects focused on permaculture design and sustainability
  • Partnership with like-minded companies such as Wild Living, an organisation that works on sustainability projects that result in the generation of sustainable incomes for local communities.

Eco toilets, Distant Relatives

Click here to read a blog post for more information about Distant Relatives.

Distant Relatives Quick Facts

Accommodation type:

Backpackers Lodge (private rooms, dorms, safari tents or camping)


About 2.5 km from the coastal town of Kilifi, Kenya and 58 kilometres from Mombasa. It is between the village of Fumbene, a community-owned village and the Kilifi creek. It is off the main highway connecting Mombasa to Malindi

GPS Coordinates:

S-3 37 17.613 E39 50 05.313


Singles, couples, families and groups


Private banda from 3000 - 8000 Kenyan shillings, private rooms from 2000 - 5500 (rates depending on number of guests and season), safari tents from 1500 - 2500 (single or double), dorms 1000 year round, camping 500 per person.


Green in Africa Eco-Rating

To be rated


All linen provided, except for camping guests


No. It is warm throughout the whole year

Meals available

Breakfast, lunch and dinner served for your own cost


Yes. There are house dogs


Walking/hiking, snorkelling, deep sea or fly fishing, dhow sailing, water sports, village tours, diving, herbal medicine tours, volleyball, bar-hopping, bonfires, horse riding and cycling tours, game safaris, sky diving, traditional dinners and local restaurants


+254 770 885164 or +254 787 535145



Visit Paradise at Distant Relatives - A Blog Post by Babalwa Tom

Return from Distant Relatives to Eco-friendly Africa Travel

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Hi, my name is Melissa and I created this site together with photographer Christopher List to help spread awareness about green lifestyles and travel, so everyone can learn how easy it is to live in a sustainable way. Enjoy!

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