We get tons of questions from prospective students and parents, so we’ve tried to list some of the most common questions and answers below. Still have a question after reading? We’d love to answer – don’t hesitate to contact us!


  • Is STRIVE-Kenya only for runners?

    Athletes from any sport of any level are welcome to come and will have plenty to do to train for their particular sport. Our locations feature full size swimming pools, plenty of fields around, weight rooms, and more. Since most sports involve running and aerobic endurance, doing a daily run (especially at altitude) can be of great benefit. In addition bikes are available to provide a different type of exercise if you’d like to come along on a group run, but don’t actually want to run!  If you are a cheerleader, baseball player, soccer player, etc, we find the Kenyan kids love learning a new sport and you could help teach them as part of your community service! Particularly if you followed the Little League World Series, Uganda had a great national team… even though baseball is almost non-existent in Africa. One summer we taught wiffle ball and the Kenyan school kids ended up beating us!

  • Isn’t it too hot to run in Africa in the summer?

    This is a common misconception as it’s often much hotter in most parts of the US in the summer months. The locations we select in Kenya are at altitude, which means that the temperatures are generally very comfortable – most often in the low to mid 70s during the daytime – and can be pretty chilly in the mornings and evenings. It can also be cold if you hit rainy weather. We’ll send you a detailed packing list before departure, but layers and quick drying clothes are key items.

  • Is Malaria a Problem?

    Generally no, because of the altitude in our main locations. However, mosquito nets are available at all of our Kenyan accommodations and, since we will also be traveling on safari, where malaria could be present, you should plan to discuss the best course of action for your child with his or her physician.

  • How Safe Is Kenya?

    Traveling internationally (or even domestically) always carries certain risks and Kenya is no exception. Students should take every precaution when traveling to be aware of their surroundings and to make sure that the group leaders know where they are at all times. That said, STRIVE participants have never experienced any robberies or felt threatened during past programs in Kenya. As a company, we take student safety extremely seriously and have practices in place, which we review regularly, to maximize student safety for all programs. In our planning process we specifically search for locations which will allow our students to enjoy their experience but avoid potential trouble areas or popular tourist hangouts. In Nairobi, we stay in a low profile hotel which is not part of a tourist chain but which is gated and secure, with 24 hour security. In Iten, the HATC is located directly next to the regional police headquarters. Iten is a very small town (population of approximately 5,000) with a small community feel, where people are incredibly friendly and look out for one another, so crime is rare. Before signing up for a program in Kenya however, you must be aware that the state department has had a travel warning for Kenya in place since 2008 (click here for more). The warning primarily focuses on areas of the country far from our programs, but the warning is in place for the country as a whole. You must be comfortable with this before applying for a Kenya program. Please contact us if you have additional questions.

  • Do I need any specific items for the Safari?

     Not really, you will still want to have a decent camera, sunblock, hat…  It is relatively dry at the Mara when we are there but if it does rain you have already been prepared for it in Iten.  Those safari enthusiasts might want to buy a safari hat and/or boots while in Kenya.

  • What animals will I see while on Safari?

    While we can’t guarantee you will see anything in particular, we usually see plenty of lions, elephants, zebra, giraffes, wildebest. More difficult to spot are leopards, panthers, rhinos, or seeing the Migration/Crossing.  

  • Is the water safe to drink?

    Tap water is not safe to drink in Kenya. Bottled water is readily available and boiled, purified water is served with all meals at the HATC and at other places we stay. If you want extra water, it might be worth investing in a SteriPen (click for more info)– a device which uses UV light to kill the nasty stuff in tap-water that makes you sick. Our group leaders and many STRIVErs have used these on tap water in Africa and had no problems with illness.

  • Will I meet Kenyan runners?

    Yes! You are very likely to meet Kenyan runners, some of whom could have world records to their name and you will see them on the trails and at the track all the time. In past years, STRIVE students had the opportunity to meet World record holders Lornah Kiplagat, David Rushida, and Vivian Cheruiyot, among others.

  • What immunizations are required/recommended?

    In addition to the full set of standard US vaccinations, some participants decide to get the Yellow Fever shot, as Yellow Fever is present in parts of Kenya, although not generally in the areas STRIVE visits. Malaria is also an issue when at lower altitudes where STRIVE students will spend 3 or 4 days. For the most current immunization recommendations, please consult with your doctor and check the Center for Disease Control website at


Want more on STRIVE-Kenya?

Read an overview of the STRIVE-Kenya Program
Explore a sample itinerary
Check out our in-country accommodations
Read some Frequently Asked Questions about STRIVE-Kenya
See what some of our past participants had to say in our testimonials page
Ready to Apply? Click here!
Still have questions? Contact us!