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Where To Run In Kenya

Kenya is known around the world for its incredible runners, making it an obvious place to go for runners who want to train with the best. But where should you start if you’re looking for where to run in Kenya?

From the capital city of Nairobi to Mount Kenya, the second tallest mountain in Kenya, there are plenty of ideal places to get your training runs in while you’re traveling in Kenya. More than just a training ground for amazing endurance athletes, though, Kenya is a country full of possibilities. 

The diverse wild animals in a natural landscape are well protected and sit shoulder-to-shoulder with tribes such as the Swahili and the Maasai. This provides a perfect place for marathon runners to carry out their training as they enjoy the natural green vegetation while catching a glimpse of Africa’s top wild animals in their home.

Today we’re sharing an overview and guide to running in Kenya, including running in Nairobi, to help make sure your next trip here is full of great runs.

Running in Nairobi

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya, and likely the first place you’ll set off for your Kenya running adventure.

The environment around the Kenyan Capital, Nairobi, provides a number of interesting running destinations. 

These Nairobi runs include:

  • Kibera – Kibera, the biggest slums in Africa, as well as other monuments which would remind you of the country’s previous struggles
  • Green City Park – In Nairobi city itself, the Green City Park is the best place for you to explore
  • The Nairobi National Park – Take a walk to the outskirts of the town to watch Africa’s best wildlife in The Nairobi National Park. The Kenyan Wild Life Community has put remarkable efforts into conserving the natural environment, this has led to many animals returning to the country. 
  • Ngong Hills – The beautiful jewel around the crown of our running paths in Kenya is the Ngong Hills. Not only was humanity found in this Valley, but it is also where the most successful runners usually undertake their training. Here, you will carry out your training with the most experienced runners, enjoying the incredible views of Nairobi City.

Kenyans are well known for long-distance running, especially the Kalenjin community, who have emerged the champions in marathon races for many years. This community has a great passion and is physically fit to perform different running races countrywide. 

If you’re like us, you’ve dreamed of testing yourself throughout Kenya. While the elevation training will come, don’t forget to enjoy some run exploration while you’re in Nairobi. Most Kenyan tours combine the two for a marvelous and unforgettable experience.  

Where to go trail running in Kenya?

Trail running is the perfect sport that seems excellent and would help us explore the outdoors sight-taking features we have in Kenya. Trail running means exploring your running careers in the wild. It could be in Savannah plains, forests, or along the mountains.

The terrain is well-trodden as in Ngong Hills or marked well like in Karura forest. A steep ascent of about 1000m could also work well; a perfect example is running up Mount Kenya or the Aberdares. We have listed down some of the best locations conducive for running.

Karura Forest

Karura Forest is a great place to run in Kenya, and likely the first you should consider when looking for a place to start your trail running journey. In fact, it’s just a 20-minute drive from Nairobi. The trails here are well curated with minimal elevation gains. Minor inclines and a few rugged areas will give you a better experience running on uneven grounds.

The forest environment will give you a breathtaking look that motivates you. While you’ll be running at high altitudes, hopefully the trees nearby will give you the oxygen you need.  The forest environment will give you the best feeling and energy to climb and manage the rough terrain.

Elephant Hills

It will take you one and a half hours from Nairobi to arrive at this place, the top hiking spot in Kenya. Elephant Hills is one of the best training sites for you if you are looking to perform speed hikes up to the peak of Mount Kenya. 

Njabini Gate is the access point for this trail. You will find this hiking place gradual until you arrive at the Bamboo section 5 Kilometers away at the point Desperado.

The Elephant Hills Trail slopes evenly as mountain vegetation changes to heather when approaching the tail, which is 8 kilometers away. Towards the peak, you will find uneven ups and down, and the hill will have minimal elevation. 

Running Up Mount Kenya: Chogoria Classic

This is the most exciting trail to run up the heights of Mount Kenya. 

You are first welcomed by the Chogoria gates, where the trail surpasses the moorland with a clear sight of Mugi Hill’s blessing. This is where your Mount Kenya run starts. On the other side, the Road End Camp occupies the central point of Gorges, where you can run along the ridges to get the most impressive sights of Hindes valley on one side and the Gorge below on the other.

Climbi higher toward the water stop views of Vivian Waterfall as it falls from the lake Michaelson and the prominent peaks Lenana, Batian and Nelion provide the most beautiful sight for you.

The Mintos camp is where the summit bid from this trail starts at 4.5 heights below Point Lenana at 4500 meters above sea level. The route takes a steep ascent as you approach the peak in Simba Tarn Camp and maintains its altitude until Point Lenana. From this point, you will have a close view of Point Batian and Nelion.

Ngong Hills

The gates at Kin Baridi in the Kiserian area is the starting point to the main entrance of the Ngong Hills. If you want a real trail running challenge, this combination of seven hills is a perfect beginning for you. It offers incredible scenery, which you will enjoy as you shape your running career.

Best Run Training Camps in Kenya


Whenever any conversation around long-distance running is had, Iten is the first place that comes to mind. 

It is a preferred choice for most runners because it has a massive community of runners who train there regularly and also a wide accommodation options available in the region. 

Those options range from the low economy single rooms with shared bathrooms and pit latrines outside, guest houses with added comfort and high-value accommodations like Lorna’s High Altitude Training Centre and the Kerio View Hotel for those with the financial capacity to afford them.

If you’re interested in taking your run training here, be sure to read our breakdown of the best running training camps in Kenya.


During the rainy season, the roads in Iten become so muddy that, at times, the training camps have to take their athletes to other areas for training. They have to find transportation means to accommodate these changes. 

However, Kapsait is at a much higher altitude and is not affected. It is primarily because the type of soil in this area offers better drainage. It is a good area of choice for those who train during the rainy season and do not want to spoil their runs.


It offers a wide range of foods and options for accommodation. But unlike the smaller towns here, it is usually hard to come over a large training group; this is because most training groups in this area are small and are primarily located in estates. It includes estates like Kapsoya, Elgon View, Junction, Kimumu, etc.

Kapsabet and Nandi Hills

Since the areas share proximity, they are used jointly to create a vast training camp. You will run in tea plantations in these camps and enjoy an extensive view of extensive tea bushes. The roads are well kept and maintained by the tea factories. In Nandi, the trails are primarily on hilly terrain, as the name suggests. 

Nandi is also not affected by the rainy weather due to the good natural drainage of its soil. There is also a vast range of accommodation options in these two areas.

Final thoughts on running in Kenya

Kenya produces the best long distance runners every year.  There are many other runners who want to know the secret behind the Kenyan runners. If you are getting ready for a marathon season, the best place to carry on your training is running across the highlands of Kenya. 

Though there are certainly interesting places to run in Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania, runners who want an established running community will choose Kenya. You would be privileged to interact with the best athletes who would guide you in your running career. 

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