When thinking Golf, naturally Kenya doesn’t come to mind. The African country is more renowned for its wildlife and safaris. But with its magnificent scenery, lush landscapes, and temperate climate year-around, golfing in Kenya boasts some of the most spectacular golf courses in the world.
In fact, in 2008 Kenya was named the World’s Best Undiscovered Golf Destination. This tribute came from the International Golf Travel Writer’s Association. Aficionados of the sport can find 40 courses spread throughout the country. 12 of these courses are 18-hole, and 10 of them have been designed for championship events. And with travel packages combining safaris, beaches, spas, and world-class resorts, golf holidays in Kenya make for extraordinary experiences.
The oldest course is the Royal Nairobi, which was founded in 1906. Since then, courses have sprung up at resorts across the country. You can play splendid beach clubs that overlook the expanse of the Indian Ocean, and equatorial greens that meander at the foothills of Mount Kenya. At The Mount Kenya Safari Club, you will find 9 holes that are actually open to the elements of the African jungle. While playing you may spot gazelles, monkeys, or even a curious giraffe.
If leisure is more your style, then visit the Kenyan coast. Golf is a way of life at The Leisure Lodge Golf Club in Diani Beach. This 18-hole course runs over 6000 meters, and is home to the Diani Beach Masters. The club’s facilities include a driving range, putting green, chipping green, and practice bunker. An in-house snack bar serves meals throughout the day, and there are private showers on site. With 85 bunkers, tree-lined fairways, and several water hazards, this par-72 course offers some of the most challenging golfing in Kenya.
The Great Rift Valley is certainly one of the world’s most magnificent settings. At the heart of the valley, Erburru, or the bush, is home to The Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort. A quick drive from Nairobi, this resort is home to one of the most breathtaking courses in Africa. Set on the slopes of a dormant volcano, most holes offer views of the mountains, lakes, and plains that dominate the region. With its sweeping vistas, this championship course is among the best in Kenya. To spend some time here you can stay in one of the three-story Longonot Villas. Each villa has three bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and views of the surrounding valley.
Another of the golf resorts in Kenya is the Vipingo Beach Golf Resort near Mombasa. This 2,500 acre estate is built around two 18-hole championship courses. Designed to USGA specifications, The Baobab Golf Course at Vipingo Ridge is a spectacle in itself.