10 Peaceful Running Routes in Nairobi

Tranquil jogging trail
Tranquil jogging trail | © hpgruesen / Pixabay
Photo of Nandika Macharia
27 April 2018

Life in Nairobi is fast paced and can get stressful, just like any other city in the world. While recreation spots tend to have a high volume of people looking to relax, gyms have been making a killing as a neutral space where you can release the stress and tensions of the day. For those who love jogging, there are plenty of jogging routes that are safe to choose from. Each of them offers a different challenge and requires a moderate fitness level to be able to tackle. Below are a few you will definitely enjoy.

Karura Forest

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Karura run
Take a spin around the Karura jogging trail | Take a spin around the Karura jogging trail
Karura forest is a dense forest just on the outskirts of the city and if recharging and communing with nature is your thing, then you will love this spot. The forest is manned by park wardens and is therefore safe. It opens to the public at 6 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. and there is an entrance fee of Kshs 100. The jogging tracks are marked, so there is no chance of getting lost. As you jog, you can hear the chirping of birds and occasionally you might spot dik-dik or monkeys. There is a lot of emphasis on adhering to the rules and regulations of the forest, as they are designed to protect the ecosystem, so you have to comply.

Arboretum Park

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Jogging trail at the arboretum | Jogging trail at the arboretum

The Arboretum park is an excellent jogging nature trail that is absolutely safe and well maintained. The walking and running trail are clearly marked and it is not crowded. You will find it dotted with families and groups picnicking, as well as other joggers enjoying the terrain.


Natural Feature
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If you up for a challenge or perhaps are preparing for a longer run in the near future, then you will love the kabete route. The route gives you a sense of freedom as you run along the road on a footpath with nothing but clear skies above you, a cool breeze, and an expanse of coffee farms. The footpath keeps you well away from car traffic. It is predominantly a subtle climb that requires a moderate fitness level.


Hiking Trail, Natural Feature
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Joggers enjoying a peaceful, undisturbed route | Joggers enjoying a peaceful, undisturbed route

Runda estate was formerly a coffee plantation before becoming real estate. It is now a vast gated community with lavish ambassadorial homes and a neighbor to the UN headquarters in Africa. Jogging on the roads within the estate offers both an undulating terrain and length that will challenge your fitness level. There are almost no vehicles on the roads and the lavish homes, green lawns, and manicured hedges make for good scenery. The route is suitable if you are looking for a peaceful, undisturbed jog.


Hiking Trail
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Residential running
Residential areas are great for joggers | Residential areas are great for joggers

Although it could be classified as a moderate run, this route packs quite a punch. From Lavington shopping center, using Jame Gichuru Road towards Waiyaki Way will have you climbing a hill or three. If you still have some gas left to jog back to the shopping center, you will still have to conquer a gentler hill. The road is lined with a decent amount of flora and the footpath is made of marram. If you prefer an indoor setting, Jaffrey’s Sports Club in Lavington has a running track for joggers. Entry is free and so is using the track. The club is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is never crowded.


Hiking Trail
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Peaceful running trail | Peaceful running trail
Jogging in Kitsuru will have you winding through the inroads, undulating terrain seriously testing your mettle. Joggers will be on a concrete path along well-lit streets and there is a security guard at almost every home, making jogging, even at night, very safe. You can finish off with a trot to the scenic lake in the heart of the estate. Even though the route is within a residential area, it is very tranquil and serene.


Hiking Trail
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Solo jogging | Solo jogging

A jog in Westlands should start at the heart of the suburb running parallel to the Waiyaki way highway. The inroad is dotted mostly with residential homes and the terrain is flat, for the most part. It is a leafy neighborhood with little traffic, plenty of trees, and hedged fences. If you want to increase your endurance, try jogging to the neighboring Lavington, which is an uphill climb.


Hiking Trail
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Jogging trail
Running trail | Running trail

This route features a lot of greenery, so a jog through Kileleshwa is revitalizing and refreshing. It is leafy, has minimal traffic, and is lined with beautiful homes. The footpath is earthy, so a good shoe with proper traction is necessary. The distance is fair and you can always cut off your run to a distance that is commensurate to your fitness level.


Hiking Trail
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Muthaiga | Muthaiga

Muthaiga is a dream jogging location for jogging enthusiasts. Gated and serene with trees for shade, you can run at any time of the day and stay comfortable and safe. Traffic is only from residents coming in or out of their homes and the area has a speed limit, making it a very controlled environment. It is fairly flat but long and winding so you can really go the distance.