Golf is one of the most popular pastimes on the planet and for good reason. Nothing beats playing a round of 9 or 18 holes with your buddies while the sun shines. The sport makes for a great excuse to get outdoors, stretch the legs and workout muscles that you don’t normally use in daily life. Lovers of the game will be pleased to know that Kenya is a great place to tee off – home to a range of courses that merge beautifully with the surroundings.
If you plan on visiting this East African country and would like to dabble in a bit of golf on your holiday, we recommend getting in touch with Explorer Kenya who have a wonderful tour on offer called Golf Safari in Kenya. This epic 10-day adventure not only includes stops at the country’s best golf courses but also breaks in between to marvel at the wildlife of Masai Mara on game drives. Not many golf trips can deliver that unique experience.
Why book with Explorer Kenya? Well, that’s simple. A perfect record of over 1,000 5-star reviews on Tripadvisor and more than 100 on Google can’t be wrong. Glowing testimonials like these pay tribute to the tour operator’s excellent logistical and organizational skills, and knowledge of local hotspots that take tourists out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. With their main office in Nairobi, guests are looked after from start to finish.
What Makes Kenya a Unique Golf Destination
Masai Mara National Reserve is the world’s most famous game park and the majority of foreigners who come to Kenya want to see its wildlife in some way, shape or form. The country also boasts the second tallest mountain in Africa called Mt. Kenya (which you can climb), volcanic craters and lakes, a plethora of sandy beaches running along the Indian Ocean, equatorial jungles, and pulsating cities such as Nairobi and Mombasa.
With so many places already on the radar of travelers, it’s no surprise that the 35 or so golf courses in Kenya have been overlooked. The sport isn’t new to Kenya though. The oldest golf society in the country is located at the Royal Nairobi Golf Club which was founded back in 1906. Yet, it wasn’t until 1967 – with the inaugural Kenya Open Golf Championship – that the sport really began to flourish and with that more golf courses were built.
Most of the courses are set beside national parks or game reserves, making a golf vacation combined with safaris ideal. So if you have already tried the best golf courses in the US, a vacation in Kenya will give you the chance to explore uncharted territory! Some courses here even have mountains as backdrops or the comforting breeze of the Indian Ocean cooling players down from the heat. The sheer diversity of views on offer at each course means golfers will never get bored as they go from one green to the next.
Although it can get warm in Kenya, especially in February/March, the sun typically shines everyday and very rarely do golf days get canceled due to bad weather. The rainy season does bring about some precipitation but this usually occurs closer to night time. Another advantage of choosing Kenya for your golfing destination is that fees are less expensive than places like Asia, Europe or North America – so it’s not reserved for only the wealthy.
Details of Explorer Kenya’s Golf Safari
The Golf Safari kicks off in Nairobi with a round of 18 at the championship course Windsor Golf and Country Club, situated 45 minutes drive from the airport. This is the first activity after arriving in the capital, and being picked up by the friendly team at Explorer Kenya and dropped off at the Windsor Golf Hotel. The club is surrounded by lush greenery and coffee plantations. You will feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Nairobi.
After the round of golf at Windsor, guests are invited for lunch at the resort and then the afternoon is free for leisure. Whether you want to take a dip in the pool, lift weights at the gym or have a game of squash – the property is yours to enjoy as you see fit. Dinner on Day 2 is reserved for the Carnivore Restaurant where all sorts of meats are roasted on Maasai swords over a charcoal pit. It’s quite the sight to witness and the flavors are sublime.
Following breakfast at Windsor the next day, you check-out of the hotel and drive through the Central Highlands en route to Mount Kenya Safari Club. The club has exquisite facilities including elegant buildings, luxurious cottages, stunning lawns and a cheeky little 9-hole golf course that intersects the equator. There will be time for lunch on arrival and a relaxed round of golf, before settling in for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 4 sees guests head across the Great Rift Valley to Lake Naivasha and then to the Great Rift Valley Lodge. The views on offer here are nothing short of spectacular – sunset in particular being a special time. Now that you have warmed up on the previous two courses, golfing at the 18-hole Great Rift Valley Lodge will be a nice challenge. Resident wild animals might pass by a fairway or two. Just give them space and you will be fine.
The fifth day gives avid golfers another chance to tee off at the Great Rift Valley Lodge, however the highlight is taking an afternoon boat ride on Lake Naivasha and to Crescent Island (a secret island on the lake). An array of species will greet you on this excursion – birds, hippos, giraffes and monkeys being the most common. Day 6 brings you to Masai Mara National Reserve where even more abundant wildlife can be seen up close.
At this point, guests take a break from golf to immerse themselves in the reserve with Ashnil Mara Camp as their base. Game drives take you to spot big cats and there are extras that you can book like Maasai village visits. The memories created at Masai Mara won’t be forgotten in a hurry. Finally, the tour comes to an end back in Nairobi. A final round of golf can be played at Windsor, and potentially a visit to traditional markets, prior to departure.
A Few Tips for Playing Golf in Kenya
The truth is that everyone can enjoy a golf safari in Kenya, even if you aren’t a skilled player. Professionals and beginners alike will revel in the mix of golf days and nature/wildlife excursions. You might be heading to Kenya on a business trip, with your family who are all golf fanatics, or it could be a nice way for couples to get a little R&R while sightseeing. Whatever the reason, the Golf Safari with Explorer Kenya will be a once in a lifetime experience.
If you do decide to book this tour then there are a couple of important things to know before you go. Golf is a great game but you need to be prepared. Make sure you pack decent walking or golf shoes, comfortable clothes, camera equipment and binoculars for the game drives. For those who want to bring their own clubs, you should get in touch with the airline beforehand to check what luggage arrangements need to be made.