‘Where Liana was from, you wouldn't go for a serious swim in a “creek.” You'd splash up to
your ankles while cupping your arches over mossy stones, arms extended for balance, though you almost always fell in. But everything in Africa was bigger. Emptying into the Indian Ocean, Kiliﬁ Creek was a river - an impressively wide river at that - which opened into a giant lake sort of thing.
As Lionel Shriver wrote in the eponymous story that won her the BBC National Short Story Competition in 2013, Kiliﬁ Creek is impressive. It is also beautiful. From the craggy cliﬀs that jut up its sides to the rushing waters that plunge towards the ocean, and the coves and beaches that dot its edges, there's plenty to feast the eyes on here.
The creek is spanned by Kiliﬁ Bridge – an imposing structure that towers over the water, so high that the masts of the yachts and sailing boats that cruise up and down the creek can pass beneath it. The bridge was built in 1991 and – at 420 meters – is the longest bridge in Kenya; before it was built, people wanting to cross the creek had to transport their cars and goods on a rickety raft attached by a chain to both banks.
On the southern side of Kiliﬁ Creek, Mnarani Ruins were once a great mosque and smaller mosque. Built in the ﬁfteenth century, the crumbling stone buildings have yielded to tangled branches and knotted roots, and make an evocative
and peaceful spot to stroll and picnic.
Distant Relatives Ecolodge opened in 2012. Operating on the happy principal that we're all distant relatives, the lodge has become a meeting place for all the adventurous along the Kenya coast. With a host of ducks, monkeys, dogs and guinea fowl strolling around their spacious grounds, and well- thought-out amenities like a pizza oven, bamboo showers,
eco-loos and Wiﬁ, the place is friendly and inclusive. Promoting alternative, sustainable and conscious lifestyles, the lodge grows its own fruit and vegetables, plants trees and organises permaculture courses. The team encourages people
to create their own small businesses, and puts visitors in touch with locals who organise dhow sailing, village tours, water sports, trekking, diving, jam sessions and more. New Years'
Eve parties here are what legends are made of.