Any fan of athletics is used to seeing Kenyan athletes picking up gold, silver, and bronze medals in long-distance running events. As well as being a great sporting nation, Kenya is also a breathtaking tourist destination. It is therefore unsurprising that sports tourism in Kenya is on the rise.
Kenya’s high-altitude, mountainous landscapes attract runners and cyclists from around the world. But he fun does not stop there, a host of other sports such as golf, water sports, and mountaineering have also grown in popularity among tourists.
“Sports tourism in Kenya has been on the rise over recent times,” said Michael Njogu, Deputy MD of Sense of Africa, East Africa.
“The Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon is an important annual event. Kenya also hosts the annual Safari Sevens, a premier rugby event; and the Kenya Open, part of the European Golf challenge – all of which attract a huge number of teams and fans alike,” he said.
If you are looking for a more active or adventurous type of holiday, here are some of the most popular tourism sports in Kenya, in no particular order, to help inspire your next trip.
Athletics Training in the Rift Valley
The high-altitude town of Iten, in Kenya’s Rift Valley, attracts both professional and amateur runners from around the world. The stunning location offers the perfect backdrop for a world-class athletics experience which will help raise any runner’s game.
Offering excellent facilities, expert coaches, tailored programs, and a supportive group of other runners, a trip to the Rift Valley will leave you in the shape of your life and provide unforgettable views and memories.
Cycling around Kenya
Cycling holidays have grown in popularity around the world. With spectacular scenery, challenging climbs, and megadiverse wildlife, cycling holidays in Kenya have followed this global trend and there are now numerous cycling clubs who organize and plan excursions.
Kenya has the perfect terrain for mountain biking but cyclists should be aware that the high altitudes make it a challenge, even for more advanced cyclists. There are also plenty of fantastic routes for road cycling.
Water Sports in Watamu
Watamu is one of the best places to practice water sports in Kenya. You can find opportunities to try out a wide range of activities including kite surfing, paddle boarding, sailing. It is also a fantastic place to surf in Kenya though surfing in Mombasa is more popular.
Aside from the facilities, the setting is phenomenal. The pristine beaches and the incredible coastal forest provide a beautiful setting. Watamu means “sweet people” in Swahili which truly reflects the relaxed atmosphere and way of life in this charming town.
Mountaineering in Kenya
Kenya’s high-altitude climbing routes pose a challenge for climbers of all levels of ability. Some of the higher peaks require advanced rock climbing skills but there are also some high peaks which can be reached without climbing. The highest point that can be ascended solely on foot is Point Lenana, which stands at 4,985 meters (16,355 feet).
The highest mountain in the country is Mount Kenya, which is the second highest mountain in Africa after Kilimanjaro. However, although it may not be the tallest, it could be the most beautiful. Jagged snow-tipped peaks, jaw-dropping glacial valleys, and beautifully diverse wildlife, make Mount Kenya a strong candidate for the continent’s greatest climbing adventure.
Golf in Kenya
Golf took off in Kenya in the 1960s and there are now over 40 golf courses in Kenya. However, the sport does have deeper roots in Kenya, the oldest golf club, the Royal Nairobi Golf Club, is more than 100 years old and it still holds the Kenya Open every year.
Kenya’s weather is ideal for golf all year round, no matter what season. Visitors can also go on golf safaris which combine the beautiful game with the magnificent scenery and wildlife of the surrounding areas. There is a huge golf community in Nairobi where a number of packages, including golf safaris and golf training in Kenya, are offered.