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Program Highlights1bruceriftvalley

  • Learn from your Kenya Gurus and local coaches You will be led by STRIVE Gurus and Kenyan coaches, all of whom are experienced travelers and athletes. They are very familiar with Africa and have the knowledge of Kenyan history and culture to help you get the most out of your trip.
  • Experience traveling through and training in the Rift Valley – the heart of the Kenyan running community and thought of as the cradle of humanity.
  • Interact with world-class athletes and coaches in Iten to learn secrets from the best that you can apply to your own running. Past encounters have included world record holders David Rudisha, Wilson Kipsang, or Vivian Cheruiyot.
  • Learn about some of the history of East Africa and visit the famous Kericho tea fields.
  • Finish your journey on a Safari to the Masai Mara and try to spot the Big Five and other marvelous sites.
  • Hike the second highest mountain in Africa – Mt. Kenya – a challenging but non-technical climb to 17,057 ft.!**


Note: All routes have been run and investigated by STRIVE staff to be sure of safety and ease of following

*Extra charge

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Nuts and Bolts

Dates: July 18 to July 31 (Flights from the USA would likely leave July 17 and return August 1)

Price: $3495 per person* + $995 per person for optional 4-day Mt. Kenya Summit excursion

Group size: 6-12

Staff: Two native English speakers with many years local experience, plus our local Kenya coaches, drivers, and tour guides.

Open to: All travelers, ages 13-65. All active activities are optional and always feature different levels of intensity.**

*Price includes: All lodging, meals as noted, non-alcoholic beverage with meals, domestic airfare and other ground transportation, excursion entry fees, professional guides to lead group activities and help organize free time, 24-hour-a-day support both on the ground and from the US based staff. Price is based on double occupancy; fees apply for single occupancy.

Price does not include: International airfare, visa charges, overweight luggage fees, snacks and beverages outside of meals, personal spending, massages and sports therapy services, internet or cell phone access fees, tips for additional assistance, or souvenirs. For those requesting single occupancy lodging, an extra charge of $495 would apply.

**NOTE: Are you the non-runner in a family of runners? You do NOT have to be a runner to enjoy the trip. We recommend that non-runners take part in the Mt. Kenya hike; however, if you want to stay at the HATC, there are plenty of options as well. During most of our runs, there will be an option to bike alongside runners, swim at the well maintained pool at the HATC, or ride in our private vehicle between sites, or simply use the time as free exploration time. The choice of athletic intensity is entirely up to you.


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Program Summary

Explore Kenya’s Rift Valley and Masai Mara as you follow in the footsteps of countless marathon champions in Iten and search for elephants and lions in the Mara Game Park. This trip is built for the traveler who wants to stay active and explore a new culture while also experiencing the sights of East Africa as more than a tourist. Experience typical traditions in Kenya while meeting locals and learning from your STRIVE Gurus who have worked in these communities for years.

Begin your trip in Nairobi – the nation’s capital – before flying over the Rift Valley to the town of Eldoret where you will take the final leg of your journey to Iten. We will spend most of our days and nights at the High Altitude Training Centre (HATC) where we will “run into” many professional runners and coaches as we run, bike and hike the hills of Iten.

A few day trips around Iten will give you a better idea of the beauty of the Rift Valley – the cradle of humanity. Explore the breath-taking views from the local forests as professional runners dart through the trees, a visit to the nearby giraffe sanctuary, and run the same routes as the world’s best endurance athletes.

After departing Iten, venture through southern Kenya as we get a taste of the fresh tea from Kericho and learn about the colonial history of the area.

Finally, embark on a safari to the world-famous Masai Mara Game Reserve with experienced, professional guides. Try to spot the Big Five – the lion, elephant, water buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros. Arrive back and Nairobi for a quick meal and clean up and head home with stories to tell your family and friends!

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Kenya safe?

  • Do I have to be a runner?

    No! While Kenyan culture is definitely runner-heavy, especially in Iten, we encourage people who are non-runners to be a part of our trips. We do suggest you enjoy physical activity and being outside. If you’re not a runner, we’d recommend taking part in the Mt. Kenya hike, which overlaps with 4 of the days that the running group will be in Iten. In general, you will definitely get more out of the trip if you enjoy being active, but if you want to use the group’s running/exercise time to just relax and explore, that’s fine too! There are enough activities, sights and good food to keep everyone happy and engaged.

  • Tell me more about the other exercise options

    At the HATC you will have access to a full length swimming pool and well maintained fitness center. The fitness center includes free weights, nautilus equipment, treadmills, ellipticals and other equipment. There is also a separate room that is dedicated to yoga and stretching which has classes a few times per week and is open to our guests throughout the day.

    Bikers will be provided with a well-maintained mountain bike with a helmet. We believe in safety first and helmets will be a requirement if you do decide to go the biking route. Choosing to ride a bike will not cost extra BUT we do need to know if advance if you will be biking so we can be sure to procure the bikes. If you are an avid biker please do let us know. As a biker, you’ll have the option to either accompany the runners (a very low intensity on the bike) or bike on your own.

  • What’s the weather like?

    The weather in the Rift Valley of Kenya is consistently temperate during July. Due to the high elevation it does get very cool at night and in the early mornings. On a cold morning/evening, it wouldn’t be unusual for the temperatures to be in the low to mid 40’s. Please make sure that you pack accordingly if you are a person who typically gets cold easily. The good news is that it’s does tend to clear up during the middle portion of the day and so the temperatures rise rapidly and approach the mid-70’s most days. The key to a trip in Kenya is layers. You’ll inevitably be chilly in the morning, sweating around lunch and then cooling off again around dinner time. Just come prepared with the right clothing and you’ll do just fine. If you have questions about packing, be sure to email us!

  • Do I need any Vaccinations?

    We at STRIVE cannot give advice about what vaccinations you should or shouldn’t have but we can certainly point you in the right direction about the best course of action. We recommend scheduling a visit with your physician who will be able to advise you on the vaccinations they would recommend for a trip to Kenya. We also encourage our participants to visit the CDC Website on Health Information for Traveler’s to Kenya.

  • Will I be able to do laundry?

    Yes! There will be at least 2 opportunities to do laundry during your trip. Laundry in Kenya is very cheap and comes back dry and folded but could take a few days as the weather is very wet and there are no dryers. Expect to pay somewhere between $1-3 per pound of clothes. Kenyans tend to charge more for jeans because they are difficult to wash by hand. Your guides will help with finding local Kenyans to help with the washing, or you can wash by hand the Kenyan way!

  • How intense is the athletic component of the trip?

    It’s as intense as you want it to be. We cater to all levels of runners or athletes and we will never ask you to do more than you feel comfortable doing. We might have some people who run 10 miles a day and we may have others who do some yoga in early AM and spend the rest of the morning exploring the new town and immersing themselves in Kenyan culture!

  • What happens to my luggage during the athletic activities of the day?

    The HATC is very safe and has locked security gates and keys to your rooms. We encourage everyone to lock their money and passports in their luggage if possible (if you already have TSA locks on your luggage that would suffice) so that when your rooms are being cleaned there is no potential for theft. That being said, we have had absolutely NO PROBLEMS with theft by the maintenance or cleaning staff in the many trips we have done to Kenya.

  • Do I need to speak Swahili or Kalenjin?

    Kenya’s national languages are both Swahili and English. However, English is usually a Kenyan’s THIRD language, after their “mother tongue” (culture dominant language), then Swahili, followed by English. So, while you can get around with English, you will certainly pick up a few phrases that will help you communicate during your trip. Being able to communicate with people in a foreign country will always enhance your experience. We will take care of any communication issues you may have and we’ll be happy to give you a crash course in Swahili if you are feeling particularly adventurous. Greetings are very important in African culture, so the very basics in saying “Jambo” (hello), “Asante Sana” (Thank you), and “Hakuna Matata” (no problem!) are very important and go a long way to showing Kenyans that you care. We will be staying in a “Kalenjin” dominant area so you also might want to learn a few greetings and “Thank you” (kongoi) in that language as well. More on that when you arrive!

  • Is Kenya friendly for people with dietary restrictions (gluten intolerance, vegetarian/vegan, etc.)?

    The places we visit will all have plenty of options for people with dietary restrictions. Delicious vegetarian options abound at the HATC and other places we visit. Your group leaders will be vigilant about checking with kitchen staff to be sure your options are available. Keep in mind, that just like in the United States the more restrictive your diet is the more difficult it will be to find places to eat. Simply let us know what are your dietary restrictions and we’ll plan accordingly.

  • Is the water in Kenya safe to drink?

    The tap water is not potable in Kenya. Purified water is available through the HATC while we are staying in Iten. Bottled water and Steri-Pens (water purifers) will take care of the rest of your hydration needs on your trip.

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Program Itinerary

For those interested in the optional Mt. Kenya Add-On Hike, this will take place in place of days 1-4 below. Click here for the Mt. Kenya Days 1-4.


Day 0Arrival in Nairobi

In the evening, be greeted by our experienced STRIVE staff who will be anxiously awaiting your arrival in Nairobi. Take a short taxi ride to a nearby hotel for a relaxing meal and night of rest. Watch closely and you may be able to see the giraffes from a nearby game park as we drive to the hotel!

Lodging: Strand Hotel or similar
Meals: Dinner

*Note: you can choose to arrive on the morning of Day 1 if the flight is more convenient. Please contact us with any questions about arrival logistics. We’re happy to accommodate as many special requests as we can.


Day 1 – Nairobi to Iten2iten-home-of-champions-sign

Have breakfast and then head out for your domestic flight. Enjoy the beautiful view as you fly over the Rift Valley to the “City Of Champions.” Stop for a few minutes to see the town of Eldoret on your way to Iten, the “Home of Champions.” Arrive in time for a healthy lunch at the HATC followed by a quick tour of the camp. Settle in; then, take a walk to the local dirt track. Stop to see some of the work in which STRIVE has been involved at a local school. Discuss your endurance, strength, flexibility and other fitness goals with a local coach or STRIVE staff to begin getting the most out of your time in Kenya.

Lodging: HATC
Meals: B,L,D (with optional morning and afternoon teas, coffee, cocoa with bread and PB/Jam)
Workouts: Walking or short run to acclimate to altitude


Day 2 – Iten3stpatssign

Breakfast followed by guided runs or bike rides around the area to familiarize yourself to the main routes. Stop by historic St. Patrick’s High School which many professional runners and olympic medalists have attended. Learn more about the Iten community and what makes it the “Home of Champions.” Spend the afternoon swimming in the pool, doing core work in the gym, or going for a run, walk, bike, or hike.

Lodging: HATC
Meals: B, L, D (with optional morning and afternoon teas, coffee, cocoa with bread and PB/Jam)
Workouts: Morning endurance, afternoon cross training


Day 3 – Iten

Enjoy getting to know Iten town by walking through the local
market. Spend daytime relaxing or doing exercises of your choice. Hear from a local sponsored runner and visit some of the runner “camps” to see the typical life of an aspiring runner. Dinner will be had at sunset at the Kerio View Restaurant, looking over the Rift Valley.

Lodging: HATC
Meals: B, L, special D (with optional morning and afternoon teas, coffee, cocoa with bread and PB/Jam)
Workouts: Morning endurance, afternoon cross training


Day 4 – Iten5kenyanfartlekrun

If you feel ambitious, you can brave the famously challenging Kenyan fartlek training run at 10am with many well-known Kenyans in attendance. A minibus will be available for those who just want to ride along. After lunch, a relaxing afternoon spent recovering for the run might be in order!

Lodging: HATC
Meals: B, L, D (with optional afternoon teas, coffee, cocoa with bread and PB/Jam)
Workouts: Morning endurance, afternoon cross training


Day 5 – Iten

Explore your favorite running or biking path on your own or 6robwithvivianworkout in the gym. Check in with a running coach about your seasonal or long-term goals as an athlete. Spend our afternoon at a local Kenyan home having tea and learning a little of the local language and customs. Q & A with local running coaches and learn about local training methods.

Lodging: HATC
Meals: B, L, D, afternoon tea as described; Mt Kenya group will have dinner at Sunset at Kerio View
Workouts: Morning endurance, afternoon cross training


Day 6 – Iten

Enjoy a relaxing morning to help prepare for a long run
tomorrow. Take a walk through the “enchanted” local forest outside of Iten. Test your ability to bargain as the local market is in full effect with all the locals out looking for a deal.

Lodging: HATC
Meals: B, L, D (with optional morning and afternoon teas, coffee, cocoa with bread and PB/Jam)
Workouts: Morning endurance, afternoon cross training


Day 7 – Iten

Enjoy an abbreviated breakfast, followed by a mid-morning long run, bike or hike. Spend the afternoon relaxing and getting clothes washed, catch up on mails and social media, etc.

Lodging: HATC
Meals: short B, L, D (with optional morning and afternoon teas, coffee, cocoa with bread and PB/Jam)
Workouts: Morning endurance, afternoon cross training


Day 8 – Iten9giraffes

After your morning workout head out for the day to the giraffe park. Enjoy a beautiful hike to see these graceful creatures in their natural habitat. Have lunch at a nice Indian or Irish restaurant in Eldoret. Visit a local creamery for some fresh ice cream. Do some shopping at the “Imani Workshop” where HIV positive women find acceptance through employment while exploring their passion in artistry and business.

Lodging: HATC
Meals: B, special L, D
Workouts: Morning endurance, afternoon cross training


Day 9 – Iten

Enjoy the spectacular views as we take a 10gorgesday trip down into the Rift Valley. Visit one of the local sites where “spirits” are said to live deep in a gorge. As we return, are you game for a challenging run back up the long winding road to Iten? How far can you go?The length of the run will range from 1-13 miles depending on your fitness…or just take in the view from the van as the others sweat their way back! The afternoon will include plenty of free time to spend the day saying “Kwaheri” (goodbye!) to the town of Iten, your new Kenyan friends, and the staff of the HATC. You are now part of the running community of Kenya! Prepare for your departure by getting your bags packed for a real adventure – on Safari.

Lodging: HATC
Meals: B, special L, D (optional afternoon tea)
Workouts: Morning endurance, afternoon cross training


Day 10 – Iten/Kericho11equator

Early morning workout followed by a quick breakfast and our departure from the Home of Champions. As we travel south we can grab a quick “selfie” at the equator crossing. We will arrive in a colonial hotel in Kericho, known as the “tea district”. Learn the history and the importance of tea growing in Kenya as we visit and go for a run along the plush rolling hills of Kericho. Be sure to charge up your mobile devices for our Safari!

Lodging: Tea Hotel or similar
Meals: abbreviated breakfast, L, D, and PLENTY of tea options!
Workouts: Morning run, afternoon run or hike


Day 11 – Kericho/Masai Mara12masaivillage

After an “English breakfast” we will continue our journey south as we arrive at the Masai Mara in the afternoon, in time for a tour of a typical Masai Village. Learn about local Masai customs as you sit inside a house made of, you guessed it, cow dung. Shop from amazing local artists to support the local economy. Enjoy a cup of tea before heading out to your evening game drive or optional run at sunset. Come back to a hearty nighttime meal with local dancers showing off their jumping ability. Enjoy some amazing star gazing after the lights go out at 10pm!

Lodging: Sidai Camp or similar
Meals: hearty breakfast, L, D, afternoon tea
Workouts: early morning run and/or evening run


Day 12 – Masai Mara13lion

“Safari’ is the word in Swahili meaning “journey.” And Safari we will! Lights come back on at 5am in time for you to grab your camera for a morning game drive. See lions hunting for their daily protein source as we continue our drive through the park to see the rest of the “BIG FIVE.” Lunch will be had at a safe distance from the cats under a tree in the park. Stop by the river separating the Mara from the Serengeti where crocodile await wildebeest making their yearly migration. See the hippos basking in the sun relaxing after their nighttime munching.
Lodging: Sidai Camp or similar
Meals: hearty breakfast, L, D, afternoon tea
Workouts: Evening run or walk


Day 13 – Masai Mara/Nairobi14cheetah

Enjoy another shot at seeing a “morning hunt” as we spend one last morning in the park. Later, head out of the park to Nairobi where we will stop for a short time at a hotel to repack bags and shower before heading home. Enjoy a meal and stock up on locally produced coffee at a Kenya favorite “Java House” before heading to the airport for a goodbye to your trip-mates and your flight home.

Lodging: repacking in Nairobi, then catch some Zzzzz on the plane!
Meals: B, L, Goodbye Dinner!
Workouts: Rest – enjoy your last day in Kenya!


Day 14 – Home!

Arrive back home and tell all of your friends about your amazing STRIVE Trip!


Alternate Days 1-4 For Mt. Kenya Option


Day 1 – Nairobi to Merunithifallsbest

Early morning breakfast followed by a drive to the lower part of Mt Kenya, Chogoria town and then proceed to Meru Mount Kenya Lodge (Chogoria Bandas). You will be ascending up the mountain roads through an ancient forest. After lunch you will enjoy a short hike through the beauty of the surrounding parkland. You will enjoy a warm shower at this point, followed by dinner in front of a log fire.

Lodging: Meru Mt. Kenya Lodge (or similar)
Meals: B, L, D
Workouts: Hiking and possible short run


Day 2 – Meru to Lake Ellis Campsite

After another early breakfast, a two hour hike through the moorland and more forested areas to reach the amazing Nithi Falls. Take a moment to take in the scenery at the falls, before proceeding to Lake Ellis which will be “home” for the next two nights. Have lunch and a relaxing afternoon by the lake before retiring for the evening and dinner. This will give you time to acclimatize to the altitude.

Lodging: Camping in tents along Lake Ellis
Meals: B, L, D
Workouts: Hiking and possible short run


Day 3 – Lake Ellis to Kiringo Summitmtkenyagorges

A six hour hike today makes it one of the most tiring yet rewarding of the trip. We will shoot for the flat-topped summit of Kiringo with a great view of some of the main peaks. We will have a picnic lunch along the route. Dinner and overnight at camp.

Lodging: Camping in tents along Lake Ellis
Meals: B, L, D
Workouts: Hiking and possible short run

Day 4 – Lake Ellis Camp to Mugi Summit to Iten

Before the break of dawn our last hike will enable us to catch the sunrise as we grab a cup of tea at the summit of Mugi. Take in some amazing views here as the dark silhouettes of Batian, Nelion and Lenana become warm terracotta coloured peaks dotted with snow and ice.

Our time on the mountain ends with breakfast and with our safari vehicles picking us up and taking us back to Nairobi in time to catch our domestic flight to Eldoret. We will make our way to Iten via private vehicles where we find ourself at the “Home of Champions” staying at Lornah Kiplagat’s famous High Altitude Training Centre.

Lodging: HATC
Meals: B, L, D
Workouts: Hiking


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