Runners will delight in this active tour of Kenya. The itinerary features three nights in the small town of Iten, known as the "Home of Champions," a safari in the country's best wildlife reserve, and a few days to relax on Diani Beach. You'll spend an afternoon watching Olympic athletes and elite marathoners train at Kamariny Stadium, enjoy a hot air balloon ride over the Mara River, and swim in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.

Highlights

  • Hone your long-distance running skills while exploring Kenya's diverse landscapes
  • Watch world-class athletes training in Iten
  • Spot exotic wildlife in the stunning Maasai Mara National Reserve
  • Relax on the sand and swim in the Indian Ocean at Diani Beach

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Nairobi  Nairobi
Day 2 Tour the High Altitude Training Center  Iten
Day 3 Visit Kamariny Stadium Iten
Day 4 Go for a High-Altitude Run in Iten Iten
Day 5 Transfer to Maasai Mara National Reserve Maasai Mara
Day 6 Enjoy a Safari in the Maasai Mara Maasai Mara
Day 7 Relax on Diani Beach Diani Beach
Days 8-9 Explore Beaches and Forests Diani Beach
Day 10 Depart   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Nairobi 

A view of the city buildings in Nairobi
A view of the city buildings in Nairobi

Welcome to Kenya! The country is home to diverse wildlife, spectacular lakes and savannas, mountainous regions, and the famous Great Rift Valley with its volcanic crater mountain. It's also home to some of the world's greatest marathon runners and athletes.

You'll begin the trip in Nairobi. You can spend the afternoon and evening resting or use the time to explore the city's famous flea markets before dining in an authentic Kenyan restaurant. There are also several museums worth checking out, like the impressive National Museum or the Railway Museum.

Day 2: Tour the High Altitude Training Center 

Great Rift Valley landscape
The rolling green landscape of the Great Rift Valley

Catch a one-hour flight to Eldoret, one of the largest cities in Kenya, then drive another hour to Iten. A remote small town, Iten is best-known for being the center of Kenyan middle- and long-distance running. Colm O'Connell, an Irish missionary nicknamed the "Godfather of Kenyan running," started a training camp here years ago. Several young athletes have won Olympic gold medals under his guidance.

After lunch, you'll tour the High Altitude Training Center (HATC). Founded in 2000 by professional long-distance runner Lornah Kiplagat, the center draws both elite and recreational runners from across the globe. You can swim a few laps, lift weights in the gym, or simply relax as you adjust to the altitude.

Day 3: Visit Kamariny Stadium

Future gold medalists use Iten's trails to perfect their running talent
Runners training in Iten

Join a local running group for a jog before dawn. Later, you'll visit Kamariny Stadium to watch athletes training on a dirt track beside an elementary school. See if you can pick out the Olympic medalists and championship marathoners at work!

Plan your trip to Kenya
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Go for a High-Altitude Run in Iten

Improve your skills from Kenyan professionals
Kenyan track and field athletes

Begin the day with an early-morning run, taking advantage of the altitude, an ideal climate, and great trails to hone your running skills. You'll continue to be immersed in the HATC's training culture, learning about the psychological elements of training that contribute to athletes' success, like being disciplined and having a positive attitude.

If you have time in the afternoon, consider visiting a nearby village to discover more of the Rift Valley province. Try ugali, a filling meal made from cornmeal and served with cooked vegetables like kale. Another local specialty to try is mursik, a popular beverage of fermented whole milk stored in a special gourd. 

Day 5: Transfer to Maasai Mara National Reserve

Giraffe and stunning Masai Mara landscape
A giraffe in a stunning Masai Mara landscape

In the morning, you'll travel by car to the Maasai Mara National Reserve. One of Kenya’s best wildlife reserves, the park sees some of the most spectacular animal migrations in the world. Every year, over a million animals, including wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle migrate from the Serengeti in northern Tanzania across the Mara River and into Kenya. The migration takes place between late June and September. During this crossing, hundreds of animals are swept away by the fast-moving Mara River, and others are killed by African crocodiles, meaning only the fittest make it all the way to Kenya.

Day 6: Enjoy a Safari in the Maasai Mara

Early morning hot air balloon ride in Masai Mara
Early morning hot air balloon ride in the Maasai Mara

On today's safari, you'll see a range of animals in the wild. You might witness a lion killing, a cheetah chase, or elephants grazing. You'll also have the option to go on a hot air balloon ride over the Maasai Mara, taking in breathtaking vistas and enjoying unique perspectives of the park. Make sure your camera is ready — you'll have great photo opportunities of the wildlife below. 

Day 7: Relax on Diani Beach

Transfer from Masai Mara to Dinai Beach
A small plane on the Maasai Mara airstrip

Today you'll fly to Diani Beach, a stunning resort town on the Indian Ocean. Characterized by extensive stretches of white sandy beaches and lush forests, Diani Beach attracts a diverse crowd. Discover this natural paradise for yourself, swimming in the ocean or just relaxing under a beach umbrella.

Days 8-9: Explore Beaches and Forests 

Stunning Diani Beach
Beautiful skies over Diani Beach

Spend the next few days enjoying Diani Beach. Stroll along the dazzling coast, explore crystal-clear waters, go snorkeling, or try kitesurfing. Check out nearby Kaya Kinondo, a sacred forest, and the 16th-century Kongo Mosque. Enjoy a picnic lunch under the baobab trees before visiting monkeys undergoing rehabilitation at the Colobus Conservation Center

Day 10: Depart Diani

The blindingly white sand beach of Diani
A quiet section of Diani Beach

The trip has come to a close. Go for one more walk on the beach before catching your domestic flight back to Nairobi. Safe travels!

More Great Kenya Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Kenya? Check out this 10-day Wildlife and Beaches Tour or try the "Big Five" Safari Experience.

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.

Map

Map of Running Experience in Kenya - 10 Days
Map of Running Experience in Kenya - 10 Days