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Kenya Events

Kenya Open Golf Tournament

Founded in 1967 and part of the European Challenge Tour since 1991, the Kenya Open is usually held at Muthaiga Golf Club or Karen Country Club (both near Nairobi). The competition has been won by well-known golfers such as Seve Ballesteros, Ian Woosnam and Trevor Immelman.


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Mombasa Carnival

The highlight of this annual festival in Kenya’s main port town is a colourful parade that starts in Moi Avenue and ends outside historic Fort Jesus. There are also local bands and traditional dancers, plus stalls selling crafts and food. The carnival is a great celebration of Kenya’s traditional and modern culture.


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Samburu Maralal International Camel Derby

An annual highlight for the small Samburu town of Maralal (set on the desert verges some 250km north of Nairobi), is the Camel Derby, which has been going for more than 20 years. The event includes races aimed at professional camel handlers, amateurs, and first-timers. It’s a fun weekend, and not taken too seriously by anybody involved.


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East African Safari Classic Rally

First run in 1953 (when Kenya was still a British colony) to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and now held biennially, this eight-day motor rally follows a course of about 5,000 km (3,100 miles) all over Kenya. There are especially good vantage points to watch in the Rift Valley where the cars go charging up and down the escarpments.


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Milad-un-Nabi Festival

A religious celebration to honour Prophet Mohammed’s birth, this is celebrated all along the Swahili Coast with a combination of solemn prayer and entertainment. Celebrations are particularly colourful in Lamu, with performances of Swahili song and dance, dhow and donkey races, plus bao (ancient board game) tournaments. It usually falls once a year, moving back 11 days annually, but will take place twice in 2015.


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Rhino Charge

First run in 1989, this off-road 4×4 endurance rally is staged on the Laikipia Plateau. Competitors must visit all of the control points along the course within the allocated driving time of 10 hours, and the one with the lowest mileage is the winner.


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Rift Valley Festival

Established in 2010, this diverse contemporary music festival is held over three days on the shores of lovely Lake Naivasha, a couple of hours west from Nairobi. The festival is a showcase for musicians and DJs across Kenya and elsewhere in Africa, though it also usually features a few acts from further afield.


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Lake Turkana Cultural Festival

The Lake Turkana Festival takes place in the lakeshore town of Loiyangalani. The 10 ethnic groups of the Lake Turkana region – El Molo, Rendille, Samburu, Turkana, Dassanach, Ghabra, Borana, Konso, Wata and Burji – demonstrate through song and dance their unique differences and traditions. An underlying goal of the festival is the promotion of peace between these fascinating tribes.


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Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration

The annual migration of two million wildebeest through the cross-border Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is one of the world’s most compelling wildlife spectacles. A highlight is the crossing of the Mara River in the Masai Mara, which is teeming with hungry crocodiles waiting for their annual feast. The wildebeest movements vary from one year to the next but they usually arrive in Kenya in August and leave again in October.


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Lewa (Safaricom) Marathon

A fund-raising event to support conservation, the high-altitude marathon attracts runners from all over the world, including world-class Kenyan long-distance runners. Regarded to be one the world’s toughest marathons, it is run within a game conservancy that forms part of the wildlife-rich Laikipia Plateau. Helicopters are used to keep an eye out for animals on the course.


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