There are more than 40 golf courses around Kenya, from Nairobi, to Naivasha, to the sunny coast. Whether you are a business traveller looking to strike a deal on the links, or a leisure tourist wanting to soak up the Kenyan sun, there’s a course for you. Here’s a selection of the best golf courses in Kenya, ranging from pay-and-play to exclusive membership-only clubs.
Karen Country Club, Nairobi
Located on Karen Blixen’s historic coffee estate, KCC is set amid lush indigenous forests, gorgeous pools, and wetlands teeming with birds, butterflies, and flowers. Monkeys, warthogs and bushbabies may make an appearance on the course, which is challenging enough to have hosted the Kenya Open. The 19th hole offers a lovely panoramic view over four tees, three greens and five fairways. The club also offers a 300m driving range, and a putting green.
Limuru Country Club, Nairobi
Set amid tea fields 30km from downtown Nairobi, LCC’s 200 acres of broad, sweeping fairways feature magnificent indigenous trees and thousands of beautiful birds. It’s most famous hole is the par-5 3rd hole, which views over the tea plantations and down to the immaculate green, which is bordered by a dam and rock gardens festooned with exotic flowers.
Vipingo Ridge, Kilifi
Vipingo Ridge, which is located 100 kilometers from Mombasa, is Kenya’s newest golf course. Set in an expansive, lush 2,500-acre estate, it affords unbeatable panoramic views over the ocean and interior of Kenya. The 18-hole, 72-par course was designed by Wimbledon champ David Jones and built according to USGA standards. Unpredictable winds and a variety of water features make this an exciting course which will challenge visitors for decades to come.
Sigona Golf Club, Nairobi
This 18-hole, par 72 course has been delighting and frustrating golfers since 1938. Its hilly Kikuyu-grass fairways are widely regarded as among the lushest, most beautiful, and most exacting in eastern Africa, featuring challenging bunkers, immaculate greens, and all manner of wildlife and birdlife. Sigona is located 25 minutes from Nairobi along the Nairobi-Naivasha road.
Nyali Golf and Country Club, Mombasa
Nestled on a hilltop in the heart of the beach resort neighborhood of Nyali, this 18-hole course is famous for its vervet monkeys and lush Madagascan Flame trees. In addition to some of the fastest greens in Kenya, Nyali also features a six-hole par 3 junior course, the only one of its kind in Kenya.
Leisure Lodge Beach & Golf Resort, Diani
Widely regarded as one of the best and most challenging courses on the amateur circuit, Leisure Lodge was built in 1998 from thousands of hectares of coastal scrubland in what was one of the biggest construction projects in the Kenya coast’s history. The course features 88 bunkers, a giant lake on the 15th hole, and a smaller lake on the 18th teeming with fish and water birds. The Diani Beach Masters was held here.
Muthaiga Golf Club, Nairobi
This 18-hole course, located at the edge of the Karura forest in an affluent Nairobi suburb, is among the most beautiful and challenging in the country. The Kenya Open is hosted at Muthaiga every year, and has been won by golfers such as Ballesteros, Woosnam and Immelman who went on to become Masters champions.
Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Course, Naivasha
In addition to breathtaking views, incredible birdlife and beautifully-contoured greens, this majestic 18-hole course offers a 654-yard, par-5 17th hole which is considered one of the longest and trickiest in the country.
Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club, Nairobi
Built on a former coffee estate, this Tom Macauley-designed course is set into 200 acres and incorporates stands of virgin forest. The 73 bunkers, plus numerous lakes and streams offer challenges for serious players, and two of the greens are completely surrounded by water. It is considered by some to be Kenya’s very best course, and is designed to championship levels. The colonial-style hotel on site is a must-see as well.