Popular sports in Kenya

Kenyan athlets

runners training © stefanedberg/Flickr

Kenya’s diverse nature makes it one of the most visited countries in Africa. But it is not only lions and buffaloes that attract people to Kenya: the country is also known all over the world for its talented athletes. Football, running and rugby are among the most popular sports in Kenya. Whether you are interested in practicing some sports during your Kenyan vacation or you simply want to learn more about Kenya and its culture, this article is a good place to start.


Kenya vs Nigeria

football spectators Kenya ©Lukas/Flickr

Football (or soccer) has become very popular in Africa in the latest years, and Kenya is no exception. 2010 was the first year when a World Cup was hosted in Africa, and the event proved beyond doubt the value and popularity of African football. Kenyans take football matches very seriously, and they come together and cheer ever time their national team Harambee Stars has a match. If you are interested in football, the best thing would be to go to Moi International Sports Center in Nairobi and watch a football game live: the atmosphere is unique.

Long distance running

It is hard to compete with Kenyan athletes in terms of long distance running: they are simply the best. Kenyan athletes have dominated the major international races for years, especially the 3000m competition. No one knows exactly what is their secret, but many of these super-athletes are the descendants of a Kenyan tribe known as Kalinjin. Paul Tergat, Pamela Jelimo, Catherine Ndereba and John Ngugi all all famous Kenyan long distance champions (although some of them specialize in marathons).

Kenyan athlets

runners training ©stefanedberg/Flickr


Kenya’s vast wilderness areas and grass lands make it very suitable for rallies. Several such competitions are hosted annually by Kenya. One popular race is the Rhino Charge, in which 4×4 crews drive through Kenya’s rough terrain. Another race is the East Africa Rally Safari, organized in collaboration with Tanzania – the event attracts a lot of spectators, as well, due to the scenic landscape and the vintage cars that take part in the competition. It is worth mentioning that both these races are open to the public and represent charity events.


There are many other popular sports in Kenya, but the last one that I would like to mention today is fishing. Fishing is among those privileged sports in which both rookies and professionals can take the same pleasure.

big catch

fishing in Kenya ©FieldsportsChanneltv/Flickr

People living on the Kenyan coast have been practicing fishing for centuries, if not millennia. And many coastal hotels and resorts will most likely organize fishing trips for their guests. But the unique fauna of Kenya’s territorial waters also attract plenty of salt water fishers, anxious to explore new territories and techniques.


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