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KilifiLonga 2015 - Wed 25 February to Sun 1 March 2015

Tango Festival in Kilifi, Kenya, Wed-25-Feb to Sun-1-Mar 2015

Tango on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya!

KilifiLonga 2015, from Wednesday 25 February to Sunday 1 March 2015—in the middle of a cold European winter, 4 tango nights in the coastal town and creek of Kilifi in Kenya, hosted by Distant Relatives Eco-Lodge and Backpackers! Dance under the big sky of Africa, along the Indian Ocean, basked in a warm see breeze, to the sound of great traditional tango music, a Milonga every evening caressed by the ocean breeze, in Baires style, with a different DJ each night, take advantage of daily workshops with passionate international tango teachers -- Alex y Natalia Lipsky (Lviv, Ukraine), with us again this year; with Ivan y Toby (Kilifi, Kenya), respectively of Tingel Tangel and Yoga fame; with Patamango's own Mario y Marion (Nairobi, Kenya), guilty of introducing and nourishing Tango in Kenya -- and meet the enthusiastic and growing tango community in Nairobi and other places in East and Central Africa.

KilifiLonga 2015 is being organized con mucho gusto by The Patamango Association, a non-profit association of passionate volunteers with the mission of developing Argentine Tango culture in Kenya, in collaboration with Distant Relatives Eco-Lodge and Backpackers.

KilifiLonga 2015

Please help us spread the word! For example by responding to the facebook event, and if you so wish to then share it, and invite your friends.

General Daily Programme

February gets quite warm in Kilifi (min of 23 to max of 31℃) but our dance floor at Distant Relatives Backpackers is a outdoors garden deck nicely airy by the Kilifi Creek.
  • The entire morning is free to relax, beach, siesta on private terrace, by the pool, enjoying the garden/farm, snorkel, kite-surf, sport fishing, visits, excursions, fresh seafood lunch at some of the excellent restaurants in Kilifi, privates w. Alex y Natalia, Ivan y Toby, Mario y Marion, etc.
  • As luck has it, experienced Yoga instructor Toby is currently in Kilifi and she has agreed to offer a daily morning Yoga Session (9:00 am - 10:00 am, Thursday to Sunday, free, by donation) for anyone who is interested (styles will be Acro, Vinyasa Flow, Yin, but please tell if specific preference). Also, mat shortage so if you can, please bring your own yoga mat!
  • 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm: Workshop (Beginner-friendly Open Level).
  • 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm: Workshop (Open Level).
  • Free to relax, sundowner, dip in the ocean, rest, dress up for the evening, etc.
  • (6:15 pm - 7:15 pm: Primeros Pasos - tango class for total beginners, Tue to Sat, by donation.)
  • 7:30 pm - late: Dinner/Milonga. Included in accommodation at Distant Relatives Backpackers (for all others cost is 1500 Kes).
Specific Programme
Tue 24 Feb 6:15 pm - 7:15 pm Primeros Pasos (by donation) Ivan y Toby
Wed 25 Feb 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm Tango Essence: Rhythm, Elegance Mario

4:30 pm - 5:45 pm Connection! To Self Ivan y Toby

6:15 pm - 7:15 pm Primeros Pasos (by donation) Ivan y Toby

7:30 pm - late Dinner Milonga Musicalizador: Mario
Thu 26 Feb 9:00 am - 10:00 am Yoga: Acro (by donation) Toby

3:00 pm - 4:15 pm The Free Leg Principle Mario y Marion

4:30 pm - 5:45 pm Connection! To Partner Ivan y Toby

6:15 pm - 7:15 pm Primeros Pasos (by donation) Ivan y Toby

7:30 pm - late Dinner Milonga Musicalizador: Mario
Fri 27 Feb 9:00 am - 10:00 am Yoga: Vinyasa Flow (by donation) Toby

3:00 pm - 4:15 pm Tango apilado – embrace, connection, walking, energy Alex y Natalia

4:30 pm - 5:45 pm Connection! To La Milonga Ivan y Toby

4:30 pm - 5:45 pm Milonga: different manners of walking playfulness Alex y Natalia

6:15 pm - 7:15 pm Primeros Pasos (by donation) Ivan y Toby

7:30 pm - late Dinner Milonga (expect a musical surprise) Musicalizador: Alex
Sat 28 Feb 9:00 am - 10:00 am Yoga: Acro (by donation) Toby

10:15 am - 11:15 am Permaculture Tour of Distant Relatives! Teresa

3:00 pm - 4:15 pm Vals rhythm, combining linear and circular movements Alex y Natalia

4:30 pm - 5:45 pm Connection! To El Tango Ivan y Toby

4:30 pm - 5:45 pm Tango musicality, rhythm vs melody, different orchestras Alex y Natalia

6:15 pm - 7:15 pm Primeros Pasos (by donation) Ivan y Toby

7:30 pm - late Dinner Milonga Musicalizador: Alex
Sun 1 Mar 9:00 am - 10:00 am Yoga: Yin (by donation) Toby


  • Duration of all festival workshops is 1:15. Suggested contribution per workshop (not included in the accommodation) is 1000 Kes for pre-agreed sessions and 1200 Kes for drop-ins
  • The Primeros Pasos series of 1:00 hour classes are intended for total beginners and are being offered free (donations accepted) by Ivan y Toby.
  • The Connection! series of workshops is a four-part course for all dancers (from beginners to experienced) to explore, expand and play in the dynamic of tango. No matter your level, you will deepen your connection to yourself, to your partner and to the milonga... the goal is to develop more the knowledge of our self and of dance, enjoying each single step together with a new happy awareness.
  • There are 2 simultaneous workshops at 4:30 pm on Friday and Saturday!
The Maestros

Alex and Natalia Lipsky (Lviv, Ukraine) are founders of the Argentine tango and folklore school LeoTango as well as the flamenco school La Peña Flamenca de Lviv. Keeping special attention on musicality, they treat dance as a dialog between partners, with other dancers, as part of the orchestra. Their addiction to tango has also made them travel worldwide–they participated as teachers and performers of Argentinean tango and folklore at festivals in Ukraine, Netherlands, Spain. Alex is also a professional guitarist. It is a real pleasure to have them with us again this year!

As luck has it, Ivan y Toby, respectively of Tingel Tangel (Napoli) and globetrotting Yoga fame, are currently based in Kilifi, Kenya! Ivan Ziccardi is an architect, photographer, writer, singer and a passionate for every art of body expression, such as theatre and dance. He started to evolve his passion for tango in 2003, when he visited Argentina and Uruguay. Back in Italy, he then managed for some years one of more renowned alternative Milongas in Italy: the Tingel Tangel in Napoli. There he involved himself in the international tango network Sulle Rive del Tango, having the privilege to study tango with Sara D’Ajello Caracciolo, and to be teaching partner of the argentine dancer Nina Borrelli. Continuing to study in Spain and Holland, he cooperated in the organization of the renowned international Tangoneta festival and the Taboe Tango Camp, sharing his knowledge with teachers and students from Argentina, Columbia, Spain, Italy, England, Greek, USA, Russia and every other part of world. After a little period spent travelling between Europe, Cuba and North Africa, he arrived in Kenya and started to develop different cultural projects on the coast. Toby Israel, besides mastering and teaching Yoga in many of its forms, has taught many forms of dance, including salsa, swing and belly dance, and loves to share her passion for movement with others. She encountered tango in 2011, and has loved it ever since. She studied in the USA with Elizabeth Seyler, and was very excited to discover a tango community here in Kenya.

Mario y Marion (Nairobi, Kenya) are two of the drivers behind the Patamango Association, founded in 2010 by Mario Ruggier himself on arrival to Kenya and discovering a total inexistence of Argentine Tango activity and culture. Having danced tango all over Europe, while based in Geneva, already for a decade at that time he found this was simply unacceptable, so he immediately organized the first Milonga in the history of Kenya on Sat 22 May 2010 and has never looked back, and with the help of so many others over time he sustained a Milonga in Nairobi virtually every week since then. Who he owes his holistic Tango teaching philosophy and style to is not all clear -- necessity, surely, but maybe his degrees in Mathematics and Contemporary Dance also have something to do with it. Marion Munga, a Designer of Afro-inspired jewellery and accessories, as well as danseuse éclectique par excellence, with an envious facility to dance, as well as to teach, pretty much every social dance out there, with salsa, kizomba, cha cha cha, meringue, bachata, and now Argentine Tango, being amongst her fortes -- all with the grace and fluidity of the Afro salsa queen that she has come to be known as.

Accommodation at Distant Relatives Ecolodge

There is quite a variety of accommodation options at Distant Relatives Backpackers that should hopefully meet the needs of every budget (and you are of course free to choose to arrange to stay anywhere else you like in Kilifi)! Variable double or single bed setup may be arranged for banda and rooms. All the specially-negotiated prices below are in Kes and per person per day, sharing as indicated, and on dinner-board i.e. includes dinner + 1 beer/wine/soda & milonga, and rooms will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis (see accommodation options for details on each of the accommodation types listed here).

Accommodation Type 1 Person 2 Persons 3 Persons 4 Persons 5 Persons
Private Banda
7, ensuite toilet & shower
4200 3200 2900 2700 2600
(extra bed)
Private Room
4, ensuite shower
3200 2700 2700
(extra bed)

Safari Tent
5, 2 single beds
2700 2450

communal, 2 x 8 single beds

own tent

Excluded in the prices above: all expenses of a personal nature, such as drinks and gratuities; Tango workshops/activities added to the KilifiLonga programme; any extras not mentioned. Towels and simple natural small soap bars are provided -- note if you bring your own soap and shampoo or soap please ensure it is bio-degradable! Drinking water is available at cost.

Please also note that in the interest of having gender-balanced milongas we reserve the right to wait-list and/or limit further individual registrations from either gender! So either reserve early or ensure to reserve as a couple!

To ensure a room at Distant Relatives Eco-Lodge and Backpackers, and to get the lowest rate possible, please reserve prior to Monday 9 February, by answering the questions below and then validate the reservation by making a payment of 5000 Kes as non-refundable deposit--that may be made in cash (in person to any one of us) or by m-pesa to 0715 357 507.

  • Your full name
  • Your gender
  • What level of experience as a tango dancer do you have? As leader or follower?
  • Which of the 4 nights do you intend to stay
  • Do you know who you would like to share the banda/room/tent with? Single or double beds?

Should you wish to extend your stay at Distant Relatives, please arrange with them directly.

Then please do not forget to help us spread the word by responding to the facebook event, and if you so wish to then share it, and invite your friends!

Travel options Nairobi-Kilifi

See the Distant Relatives' Getting here instructions. Travel to Kilifi, from Nairobi or from elsewhere, is entirely for you to arrange as you prefer. Some suggestions and starting points below:

Fly to Mombasa

  • Kenya Airways - many daily NBO-MBA flights
  • From Mombasa Airport take a cab or tuktuk to town and take a fast transfer matatu to Malindi (getting off at Kilifi)--these take only 10 passengers (instead of the usual 14) and make no stops, leave frequently (whenever they fill up, seems just about every 10 mins), at a cost of around 500/- per person. Once in Kilifi take a tuktuk (usually 100/- per short ride within Kilifi) to Distant Relatives (or tell driver the second left after Seahorse Lodge).

Direct Coach

  • Dreamline - daily Nairobi (Accra Rd) departure at 07:30 pm, check-in at 7:00 pm, arriving in Kilifi at 5:00 am. 1400/- with Tues/Wed/Sat overnights on offer for 1300/-.
    Tel: Nairobi 0702444422 / Malindi 0703805050 / Mombasa 0716000100.

Other options include coaching to Mombasa and then matatu to Malindi, or of course driving privately (please inform us if you plan to do so maybe others can carpool with you!).

Terms and Conditions

All visiting participants are required to take travel insurance that includes health insurance (there are limited facilities in Kenya's public hospitals).

The organizers cannot assume any responsibility in damage, loss or theft of any of your belongings.

Your visit to Kenya... should you need any help or suggestions, how to organize, for before and/or after the festival, please do not hesitate to let us know, it will be our pleasure to help make your visit to Kenya as complete and enjoyable as possible!

Tango DJ's, musicians, instructors

If you are a Tango DJ or Musician or Tango Instructor, and you believe you may be able to help us add depth and variety to our workshops, milongas or any other tango activity, for the benefit of the young but growing local tango community, please do talk to us about the possibility of collaborating with us.

Contact details

For any further questions you may have, please email us at or call us on +254 715 357 507.