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KilifiLonga 2018 - Wed 30 May to Sun 3 June 2018

Tango Festival in Kilifi, Kenya, Wed-30-May to Sun-3-Jun 2018

Tango on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya!

KilifiLonga 2018, from Wednesday 30 May to Sunday 3 June 2018 — 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 world class passionate tango maestros Dante Culcuy & Verónica Vázquez (Oxford and London, UK), back with us in Kenya for a 3rd time -- both Dante and Verónica are already veterans of the international teaching and competition circuit (see more on their their impressive accomplishments in the Maestros section below). Plus, meet the enthusiastic and growing tango community in Nairobi and other places in East and Central Africa. All workshops will be facilitated by Patamango's own Mario (Nairobi, Kenya), "guilty" of introducing and nourishing Tango in Kenya.

KilifiLonga 2018 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.

Please help us spread the word e.g. by responding to the facebook event, and to then share it, and invite your friends.

KilifiLonga 2018


General Daily Programme

June is almost the least warm month in Kilifi (min of 22 to a max of 28℃) but our dance floor at Distant Relatives Backpackers is a very airy and covered outdoors garden deck just above the Kilifi Creek.


General Programme

Wednesday to Saturday

  • All morning: 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 with Dante y Verónica, etc.
  • 3:00 pm - 4:20 pm: Tango Workshop (Open Level) -- Mario (Wed, Thu); Dante y Verónica (Fri, Sat)
  • 4:30 pm - 5:50 pm: Tango Workshop (Open Level) -- Mario (Wed); Dante y Verónica (Thu, Fri, Sat)
  • 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Primeros Pasos (Tango class for total Beginners) -- Mario (Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat)
  • 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Free to relax, sundowner, dip in the ocean, rest, dress up for the evening, etc.
  • 8:00 pm - late: Dinner/Milonga. Included in accommodation at Distant Relatives Backpackers -- for all others cost is 1500 Kes (Dinner/Milonga) or 500 Kes (Milonga only).


  • 10:30 am - 11:50 am: Tango Workshop (Open Level) -- Verónica y Dante


Specific Programme

Wed 31 May 3:00 pm - 4:20 pm Tango Workshop: Beyond Elegance: Secrets of the Walk

4:30 pm - 5:50 pm Tango Workshop: Continuous Vals Turns

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Tango Class for Total Beginners Mario

8:00 pm - late Dinner Milonga Musicalizador: Mario
Thu 1 June 3:00 pm - 4:20 pm Tango Workshop: Everything is a Cruzada -- the Free-leg Principle Mario

4:30 pm - 5:50 pm Tango Workshop: Technique Principles
Verónica y Dante

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Tango Class for Total Beginners Mario

8:00 pm - late Dinner Milonga Musicalizador: Dante
Fri 2 June 3:00 pm - 4:20 pm Tango Workshop: Milonga Verónica y Dante

4:30 pm - 5:50 pm Tango Workshop: Vals Verónica y Dante

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Tango Class for Total Beginners Mario

8:00 pm - late Dinner Milonga with:
 Raices in Concert
 Live demos by Maestros Verónica y Dante
Musicalizador: Mario
Sat 3 June 10:15 am - 11:15 am Permaculture Tour of Distant Relatives! Barefoot Solutions

3:00 pm - 4:20 pm Tango Workshop: Giros with lapices & enrosques Verónica y Dante

4:30 pm - 5:50 pm Tango Workshop: Connection with your partner and communication Verónica y Dante

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Tango Class for Total Beginners Mario

8:00 pm - late Dinner Milonga Musicalizador: Dante
Sun 4 June 10:30 am - 11:50 am Tango Workshop: Playing with the free leg Verónica y Dante


Participation Passes

  • Single Workshop, drop-in: Any single Tango Workshop drop-In: 1500 Kes
  • Day Workshops: The 2 Tango Workshops on any 1 Day, Pre-paid: 2500 Kes
  • Combo 5 Workshops: Any 5 Tango Workshops, Pre-Paid: 5000 Kes
  • Combo 5+ Workshops: Any 5 or more Tango Workshops, Pre-Paid: 5000 Kes + 1000 Kes per additional workshop
  • All Workshops: All 9 Tango Workshops, Pre-Paid: 8000 Kes
  • Single Intro, drop-in: Any single Tango Intro Class drop-in: 750 Kes
  • Combo Intros, Pre-Paid: 500 Kes per class (up to 4 classes)
  • Offered with Workshops: Anyone doing any Workshop is welcome to join as many of the Intro Classes for free
  • Permaculture Tour: by direct donation to the tour guide
  • Nightly Dinner/Milonga: 1500 Kes (Dinner/Milonga) or contribution of your choice (Milonga only) (per evening, if not staying at Distant Relatives Backpackers)


Additional Notes

  • Duration of all festival Tango Workshops is 1 hour 20 minutes and are at Open Level.
  • Duration of Tango Intro is 1 hour.


The Maestros


Dante Culcuy

Dante Culcuy

Dante is a young Argentinean professional Tango dancer, teacher and choreographer. He has been dancing for 15 years and performed in prestigious milongas in Buenos Aires and International Tango Festivals such as: Mallorca Tango Festival, Porto International Tango Festival, Oxford Tango Festival, Karlsruhe Tango Festival and Nairobi Tango Festival among others. He has travelled to more than 20 countries in Europe, South & North America, Asia and Africa. In 2015 he has been a cultural UK ambassador presenting Argentine Tango at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara, Mexico with Aurora Orchestra and Miriam Orcutt as his partner. At the moment he is the director of the Northern Tango Academy and the Oxford Tango Academy in England, making it one of the biggest Tango Schools in Europe and bringing professional Tango couples from Argentina to work with him every year. He has also performed alongside with the well-known Aurora Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Melingo, Tango Sonos, Tango Siempre and Carismatico Orchestra. He is described by his students as a very charismatic dancer with a personalized methodology of teaching that he has develop in all his Tango career.


Verónica Vázquez

Verónica Vázquez

Verónica was born in Buenos Aires, and her interest for tango awoke at the early age of 12, when she began attending to milongas with the company of her aunt. And it was with her aunt as well, that she went several times to the Alvear Theatre, where she watched Miguel Angel Zotto´s show, “Una noche de Tango¨. That experience moved her in such a way, that the day she began the secondary school, she suscribe for the Tango Workshops taught by Alba Ferreti and Mauricio Seifert. From that moment her life became inextricably bound up with tango and the milonga. She keeps treasured moments of this time: Performing with school partners at Akarense milonga, teaching for the Fragata Libertad´s crew, or even the milongas Almagro, Niño Bien and Sunderland, packed with great dancers, living legends of this dance, each one of them with their own style and way of expressing their feeling towards this dance. In 1999, she continued her training as a dancer attending to classes and workshops with different masters such as Gloria and Rodolfo Dinzel (Dinzel Studio), Sebastian Arce and Mariana Montes, Nito and Elba (Club Gricel), Gloria and Eduardo Arquimbau, Gavito and Maria Plazzaola (La Galeria del Tango). The following years, she included in her career knowledge on ballet and jazz dance, eutonia and stretching by biomechanics. She even took lessons in other dance forms, such as Folklore, Ritmos Latinos and Rock & Roll. After many years regularly going to milongas, in 2009, she began her professional career with well-known masters as her mentors: Sebastian Achaval and Roxana Suarez, Silvio La Via, Gabriel Angio and Natalia Games. Many other dancers and teachers contributed to her technique and understanding of tango as a language and helped to build her teaching methodology. In 2011, she began dancing with Alejandro Beron, with whom she made several performances in many milongas in Buenos Aries, such as Club Sunderland, Salon Canning, Club Villa Malcolm, Club Fulgor de Villa Crespo, Centro Region Leonesa, Centro Cultural Torcuato Tasso. They taught lessons in Tango, Vals and Milonga in schools like Estudio Mario Morales, Escuela Argentina de Tango, Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires, Abrazando Tango, Salon Canning. Together they performed at the Farewell Homage to Mariano Mores, held in Monte Grande (Buenos Aires. Province) Their work continued abroad, teaching lessons, workshops, seminars and performing in many milongas and European festivals in Spain, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Poland, Bulgaria, Greece, Russia, Ireland, Hungary, UK. Among them: First Moscow Tango Festival (Russia). March 2014 Tango Festival Biezenmortel (Netherlands). April 2014 Benidorm Tango Festival (Spain). April 2015 2nd Patras Ionian Tango Festival (Greece). May 2015 3rd Sofia Tango Festival (Bulgaria). May 2015 In 2012 and 2013 were finalists in Tango, Milonga and Vals in the Campeonato Metropolitano de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, and achieving the 2nd place in Milonga, and the 3rd place in Vals. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, they were finalists in the Mundial de Tango, Categoria Salon.


Mario “patamango” Ruggier

Mario "patamango" Ruggier

Born and teened in sunny and peaceful Malta, then spending first a university decade in Vancouver, Canada followed by a longer professional decade in the Geneva region, Switzerland, during which time he danced tango all over Europe. On arrival to Nairobi, Kenya in March 2010 and discovering the simply unacceptable total inexistence of Argentine Tango activity and culture there, he immediately organized the first Argentine Tango Milonga in the history of Kenya on Saturday 22 May 2010, along with the creation of the Patamango Association for Argentine Tango [], and has never looked back. With the help of many others over all this time he has sustained a Milonga in Nairobi virtually every week since then, along with innumerable special Argentine Tango events, ranging from many collaborations with and performances for the Embassy of the Argentine Republic to Kenya, to memorable special Milongas with live music, to establishing the novel once-monthly Niñolonguita! Sunday afternoon brunch all-family Milonga event, to the creation of six International Tango Festivals on the Kenyan coast. 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.


Accommodation at Distant Relatives Eco-Lodge

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 with preference given to couples.

Accommodation Type 1 Person 2 Persons 3 Persons 4 Persons
Private Banda
total of 11 available, 1 double bed and 1 bunk bed, ensuite toilet & shower
4700 3700 3400 3200
Private Room
total of 4 available, 1 double bed, ensuite shower
3700 3200

Safari Tent
total of 5 available, 2 single beds or 1 double bed
2700 2450

2 dormitories, each sleeping 8 pax in 4 bunk beds

your 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 2017 programme; any extras not mentioned. Towels and simple natural small soap bars are provided -- note if you bring your own soap or shampoo 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 please reserve early and you get preference if you reserve as a couple!


How to Reserve your Accommodation

To ensure a room at Distant Relatives Eco-Lodge and Backpackers, and to get the lowest rate possible, please reserve prior to Monday 14 May, 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 (arrival day, departure day)?
  • Do you know who you would like to share the banda/room/tent with? Single or double beds?
  • Do you need to have a cab organized to pick you up from Mombasa Airport (or elsewhere) and to take you to Distant Relatives? If so, please specify exact time of arrival and flight number plus any companion travellers.

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 to then share it, invite your friends!


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/whatsapp us on +254 715 357 507.