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The most common sports in Nairobi are football, cricket, tennis, rugby, horse riding, cycling and running. One way to relax after the weekday grind is to go to the gym or field, and the weather is ideal for people who love the outdoors. We’ve compiled a cool list of places to get active, so you have no excuse.
Most football matches in Nairobi take place at Nyao Stadium. Two of the biggest club teams in the country are Gor Mahia or AFC Leopards, and everything tends to grind to a halt when they square off against each other. The national stadium also has a track for athletics, a gymnasium, and a 60-meter (197-foot) pool.
Nairobi City Council owns this arena in east of the city. It was the first stadium in Kenya and it hosts many local football matches.
Thika Road, the main road leading to this stadium is always gridlocked on match days because of the buses and cars ferrying noisy sports fans. It is fun to watch league games, but the rowdy crowd could be a turn-off for anyone worried about safety, because there is no predicting what will happen. It’s probably best not to take any valuable items along to the popular fixtures.
Members only, Nairobi Club was started in 1901 and remains one of the oldest sports clubs in the country. It is located in Upper Hill, which is about 5 minutes from the Central Business District. The facilities include a gym, tennis court, hockey field, squash court, bowling spots, aerobics center and a swimming pool.
The Panari Hotel is a perfect venue for ice skating. It has an enclosed 32-by-12-meter space (105-by-39-foot), with temperatures at -25°C (-13°F). The charges are very affordable, at KSh700 (US$7) for kids and KSh900 (US$9) for adults. If you’re in the mood for something different, the hotel also offers lessons in ice hockey.
Places to run include Limuru, Karura Forest, and Nairobi Arboretum, to name a few scenic spots. Most hiking and biking routes also double up as running paths too. There are many marathons in Kenya, and the proceeds from entry fees usually go to named causes. Some of the races worth looking into are the Safaricom Lewa Marathon, Standard Chartered Marathon, Mater Heart Run and the First Lady (Beyond Zero) Marathon.
The Rugby Football Union of East Africa’s ground houses the national team, and its vision is to make Kenya a top rugby nation in the world. Amateur teams, including local schools have access to their facilities. The Impala Ground is another local favorite.
Because of the beautiful weather, Kenya has some great golf courses and sometimes, you can even see some wonderful wildlife as you play. Of the country’s about 40 active golf courses, 10 are for championships. You will find people playing golf at different spots such Thika Greens, Vetlab, Muthaiga Golf Club and Royal Nairobi Golf Club. The Kenya Open Golf Championships happen at Muthaiga.
Two great venues in town for tennis are the Impala Grounds and Karura Forest.
Parklands’ facilities include a gym, massage rooms and squash courts. Guests and members of the club can also play cricket, tennis and swim in the pool. To join, you must know a current member, who submits your details. The application then goes through a committee who decide if you make the cut. Find their membership fees here.
Most of the schools in Nairobi have fields for different sports and it’s worth looking at ones near you and to find out if they grant access to members of the public. The international schools generally all have large sports fields, as do Kenyatta University and the United States International University.
Check out our guide to biking clubs and spectacular places in Kenya to cycle.