Festival Calendar

List of 100 Festivals in Kenya

Festivals in Kenya
Most game parks in Kenya are never without a unique concentration of wildlife best seen in the early morning hours and in the evenings. In the recent decades, successive Governments have brought immense improvements to Kenya’s main road system. Good roads now link most of the major towns and regions. Roads within the many game parks, reserves and wildlife conservancies have also been improved tremendously. There are about 47 National Game Parks and Reserves and over 70 game sanctuaries that bring you to these superb wildlife spectacles.

100 Festivals in Kenya

Kenya is a land of many festivals.  In virtually every county, major city and town there is a festival of some kind bringing together callers of all ages and from all over Kenya and beyond, for recess, beer and skittles, and everything in between. There’s something for everyone in the 100 annual festivals and events in Kenya, from the traditional galas to the best outdoor fiestas. Some of biggest festivals of international fame are to be found at Lamu Island: Lamu Painters Festival, Lamu Food Festival, Maulidi Festival, Lamu Yoga Festival, Lamu Fishing and the massive Lamu Festival. In Northern Kenya, there are unrivaled traditional festivals the likes of Tobongu Lore, Lokiriama Peace Festival and Lake Turkana Festival. At the centre of it all, Nairobi, the melting pot, plays host to numerous vibrant urban festivals like Koroga Festival and the Blankets and Wine Festival.

Ajuma welcomes the world to Turkana Cultural Festival 2018

Cultural Diversity in Kenya

Much of the fascination, in studying the people of Kenya, is trying to establish which of all the types and variants of tribes may be said to be more closer to the approximate root-stem? and it has not been satisfactorily deduced.  The survey of tribes in Kenya, and East Africa in general, is one of consuming interest.  The variations are quite engaging. Take the Swahili of the Coast Region for instance whose vernacular has now spread throughout Eastern Africa and compare them with Kamba, Abagusii, Luhya or Kikuyu, all from the same Bantu subset. Better still, compare them to the Maasai, who on racial origin, build and language are far removed from the Bantu tribe and whose customs seem more reminiscent of the Zule and Swazi tribes of South Africa. Or again, take the tribes living around Mount Kenya that remain solidly confident, maybe because their languages are just a slight variation of the next. One may imagine in the hitcher and thither of the city life in Kenya, sending each person upon his or her own business, that these traditions have been covered up with inches of dust.  Only they have not.  Just past the horizon of city skyline are traditions burning brightly in the rural countryside.  Traditions which once spelled out life and death for the ancestors.

Festivals in Kenya
Between December and March the conditions are perfect for a hair raising glide across the wondrous Kerio Valley and Elgeyo Escarpment, in Elgeyo Marakwet County. Active Edge, found near Kerio View Hotel, is the adventure outfit that operates paragliding and lightweight glider craft tours over Elgeyo Escarpment and across the Kerio Valley. Take-off and top-landing takes place just 80 metres from the Kerio View Hotel, with the average trip lasting about 20 to 30 minutes.

Caution: Dates are based on when the festival was previously held, and may not reflect actual dates the festival will be held year to year.


  • 7th JanuaryKoroga Festival, hosted by Capital FM, is the popular bi-monthly music and art event that introduces new musical talent as well as the big wigs in African Music. Koroga prides itself in showcasing Africa through music and ‘putting Kenya on the map’. In July, 2019, the Koroga Festival hosted its 26th Edition at Tatu City, that treated 4,000 attendees to a beautiful Sunday afternoon filled with good food, fashion, and music.
  • 7th JanuarySumot Falls Festival brings together folks to the pretty Sumot twin Falls to celebrate culture, community’s talent, and nature. The Sumot twin Falls are found in the backwoods of Ossen, in Baringo County.
  • 13th JanuaryDiani Ngalawa Regatta is a lively community hosted festival that features a sailing race of ngalawas – local dug-out outriggers – as the main appeal. In 2019, it hosted its 6th Edition as the only event at the South Coast of Kenya that showcases traditional local culture. The star of the Diani Regatta Festival, as the fishermen come together to race their ngalawas, skillfully maneuvering them as they fly across the waves, is fun.
  • 25th JanuaryNairobi Restaurant Week is a festivity of Nairobi’s culinary scene with the best restaurants in Nairobi showcasing their finest three course offerings. In 2018, during the 5th Edition, more than 70 top eateries participated to give food lovers the chance to enjoy unique menus.
  • 27th JanuaryThe Great Grevy’s Rally is a fun way to carry out the national census of the endangered Grevy’s zebra (as well as for threatened game including reticulated giraffe) over a 25,000 km2 range spread out in four counties in Northern Kenya. This offers a unique chance for citizenry scientists to contribute towards the preservation of an endangered species during the count, and all you need is four wheels and a sense of adventure.


  • 2nd FebruaryAfrica Nouveau Festival is an annual 3days/3nights arts and music festival congregating creators, curators and fans of African “cool” from Africa and the diaspora within values of innovation, creativity, collaboration, identity and sustainability. Africa Nouveau ascribes to the Afrobubblegum philosophy that states that African art can be fun, fierce, fantastical and frivolous, with no other intended aim but to increase joy.
  • 3rd February Lamu Painters Festival brings together artists from Europe and East Africa for a celebration of Lamu’s traditional culture and beautiful landscapes. Lamu’s first Painters Festival was held in Feb. 2011.
  • 6th FebruaryWine, Chocolate and Cheese Festival showcases the best vintage and traditional wines paired with sublime cheese cuts and delicious chocolates, in an evening of treats and delightful tastings of wine, chocolate, cheese and more! And an opportunity to buy the things you try.
  • 9th FebruaryThe 10 to 4 Mountain Bike Challenge is held at Ol Pejeta Conservancy where bikers cycle from 10,000ft to 4,000ft above sea level, to raise money for conservation. The 2020 Tropic Air 10to4 will take place from 14th to 16th February kicking-off at the slopes of Mount Kenya and finishing on the savannahs of Borana Conservancy. Having started in 2002 as a very small mountain biking event, with just a handful of riders, it has mushroomed to involve over 350 competitors from across the globe. 
  • 10th FebruaryKakamega Bullfighting Festival, a heritage of the Idakho and Isukha Luhya Sub-tribes, is a riveting festival of the fiercest bullfighting, held each year at the Malinya Grounds. During the festival and presentation of 10 champion heifers to best performers, the charged hulking bulls and cheering crowd piece together an electrifying vivid fete.
  • 17th FebruaryEloko Music and Beer Festival held at the Purdy Arms in Karen, as an open air rock music event rigged with fine craft beer.
  • 25th February Safaricom International Jazz Festival showcases the best in emerging and acclaimed talent from Africa and beyond. “Since its evolution in February 2014, Safaricom Jazz Festival has evolved into an unmissable celebration of live music.” It prides itself in bringing together talented musicians from all over the world and it has played a significant role in nurturing the Kenyan jazz scene, making the genre more accessible to fans and bringing together music lovers for a good cause in great events.

Festivals in Kenya
There are two seasons for climbing Mount Kenya which, by and large, fall in the drier seasons – from December to March (when the South Face is in condition) and from July to early October (when the North Face is in condition.) Between January and late April, the north and western slopes of Mount Kenya National Park are closed and special permission from the Kenya Forest Department must be obtained to use the Burguret and Sirimon climbing routes to Mount Kenya.  


  • 1st March – The 10 day Mount Kenya Festival, in Nanyuki, roisters everything that Mount Kenya has to offer from scenic technical climbing, trekking, fishing and biking to help support conservation and community development around the magnificent mountain. Previously run as Mount Kenya 3 Peaks Challenge, it was re-imagined in 2018 to make it more fun and inclusive, adding events like film nights, tree planting and live music.
  • 3rd MarchWatamu Fishing and Marlin Championship is one of the distinguished fishing events in Kenya that attracts avid fishermen from far and beyond for the three day fishing derby. A cash prize of 80% of the entry fees collected is awarded for the biggest Marlin caught over 400 lbs.
  • 3rd MarchShika Foam Festival organized by Sensory Experiences Marketing aims at promoting sponsored brands and engaging consumers.
  • 8th MarchFirst Lady’s Half Marathon, that’s run on International Women’s Day in support of the “Beyond Zero” campaign, has a noble aim to reduce maternal and child mortality in Kenya. The 4th Edition was run on 10th March, 2019, with four classes of events ranging from the 21 kms run to the 2 kms walk, and re-branded as the Beyond Zero Half Marathon.
  • 18th MarchLamu Yoga Festival is a showcase of the body, the mind and spirit connection through meditation and yoga; with classes for early birds and for moonlovers. Lamu Yoga Festival offers five days of yoga with 25+ teachers, 150 yoga classes and workshops in Shela, Lamu, and Manda.
  • 23rd MarchBarclays Kenya Open is Kenya’s premier professional golf tournament and part of European Challenge Tour. In 2016, the 48th Barclays Kenya Open was held at Karen C. Club, moving to Muthaiga Golf Club in 2017 – 18, before making a return to Karen Country Club in 2019.
  • 27rd MarchNairobi Film Festival is a celebration of films, aimed at growing the cinema going culture in Nairobi, as a useful means of fostering the growth of a healthy film industry in Kenya. The screenings and events are a strong debunking of the myth that Kenyans are not very interested in consuming local content, but rather are just starved of good examples of it.
  • 30th MarchKisumu International Carnival, in Kisumu City, is an annual ten-days outdoor festival held around the Easter Holiday weekend.


  • 7th AprilFiri Festival layed-on by Eastleigh Community in Nairobi, largely inhabited by the Somali, is a showcase of Eastleigh’s diversity and culture. Some of the activities during Firi Festival include cultural dances and poems from diverse Somali and non-Somali communities, and expos.
  • 7th AprilLamu Food Festival intermingles culinary activities with cultural entertainment as visitors taste and test the unique cuisines to be found on Lamu Island. During the event, traditional cooks, contemporary chefs and street food vendors from across Lamu County and Kenya set up side-by-side along Lamu’s oceanfront to feed revelers and also to compete.
  • 8th AprilSafari Rally, the annual motor-sport that totally dominated East Africa at Easter time, was first run in April 1953 on country roads and bush tracks. After a long absence, Kenya is on course for a return to World Rally Championship Circuit. In 2019, the Safari Rally kicked-off on July 5.
  • 19th AprilTobongu Lore, or welcome back home, is a festival aimed at unifying the residents of Turkana, promoting tourism, and showcasing cultures. It’s traditionally held at Ekalees Centre in Lodwar Town, Turkana County. In 2019, Tobongu Lore was suspended due to the dreadful famine in Turkana County and Northern Kenya but is set for a comeback in 2020.
  • 21st AprilX-treme Expo is a unique outdoor event designed for both exhibitors of gaming equipment, outdoor technology and adventure lovers.
  • 21st AprilMicasa Sucasa meaning “my home your home” is a festival for everyone to enjoy fun, food, music, urban culture, dance, fashion and to hook up, hangout and laugh. In 2017, it was held at the Uhuru Gardens.

Festivals in Kenya
Yearly, between April and May, the large swamps around Lake Victoria become a dominant breeding ground for scores of bird species. Among the most notable species seen are the breeding colonies of cranes, herons, storks, cormorants and the egret, which are among the umpteen of swarms that flock the Kisumu Bird Sanctuary that is unofficially tagged as the areas around Dunga Hill and Beach.


  • 6th MayKite Festival hosted by Nairobi Polo Club is all about fun, family and, of course, kites. It brings together kite fliers and kite makers.
  • 6th MayThe Mugie Annual Rangeland and Pastrolist Show at the Mugie Conservancy is a celebration of the cultural diversity found in Laikipia County. It includes livestock competitions, braai and traditional dances. “The First Annual Rangeland and Pastoralist Show was attended by over 600 people – communities from Samburu, Baringo and Laikipia Counties. The initiative was started with the aim of sharing techniques in animal husbandry and rangeland management with pastoralist groups”. 
  • 11th MayFaraja White Water Rafting Challenge hosted by the Savage Wilderness Camp in Sagana, makes a splash with a difference to raise money for Faraja Cancer Trust that relies entirely on the generosity of individuals and companies in order to make the brutal cancer journey manageable, practically and emotionally, for their growing list of clients.
  • 31st MayKilifi Longa Tango Festival hosted by Distant Relatives Eco-Lodge in Kilifi, is a week long extol of old ways tango. The festival is put together by the Patamango Association – with world class passionate tango maestros – on a mission of developing the Tango culture in Kenya.


  • 2nd JuneRhino Charge is a yearly off-road race, testing offlanding skill in a unique event that raises funds for the conservation of the almost extinct and endangered rhinos. Entrants are required to visit the 13 guard points scattered over approximately 100 km² of rough terrain within a 10-hour period. The next Rhino Charge event is scheduled for May 31, 2020.
  • 9th JuneThe Annual Wildebeest Migration of close to 1,500,000 wildebeests (and other wildlife species) into the Masai Mara Ecosystem in Narok, from Serengeti, is so well known to warrant any introduction here.
  • 14th JuneCake Festival is the annual event that treats the public to the different cakes and desserts that are available in the market! Proceeds go to charity. In 2018, over 75 bakers, 15 sponsors and almost 4100 guests took part. Entry guarantees an open tab for as much cake as you can eat.
  • 30th JuneSafaricom Marathon hosted by Lewa Conservancy is a marathon like no other in the world, as it is run through the open, wildly beautiful plains thriving with a great concentration of wildlife. The 20th Edition of the Safaricom Marathon was held on June 29, 2019, with three primary races: 5 kms fun-race, 21 kms half and the 42 kms full marathon.  

Festivals in Kenya
Between June and August, 1.5 million wildebeest arrive at Masai Mara National Reserve (and surrounding area) from the Serengeti National Reserve in search of pasture. This spectacle also coincides with the Humpback Whales migration, as one of the majestic animals in the ocean searches for warmer waters. These can be spotted at Kisite-Mpunguni Marine National Park and Reserve in Kwale.


  • 6th JulyMawimbi Festival, in Diani, is a high-energy sporting fete for first-timers and pros alike. Activities include sport fishing, surfing and kite-boarding. The 3-day Mawimbi Festival aims to offer greater access to water sports and related tournaments, and do so on an affordable budget.
  • 16th JulyDesert Wheel Race, a flagship tourney of NONDO, has set its efforts on influencing and shaping an inclusive society that is devoid of many forms of discrimination, and with mutual respect for all humanity. It was begun in 2012, in Isiolo County, and since grown in leaps and bounds. In 2018, during the 7th Edition, 78 participants from 27 Counties of Kenya took part in the Desert Wheel Race; thus crowning it as one of the greatest and most unique sporting gala for people living with disabilities in Kenya.
  • 21st JulyThe Mwea Marathon first run in September of 2009, and retaining its traditional starting point at the Mwea Secondary School, has become an integral part of the community in Mwea, in Kirinyaga County, owing to the spurring role it plays in enriching lives of the young men. It has three competitive races – full marathon (42 kms), half marathon (21 kms) and short marathon (10 kms). There is a 5 kms family fun-race too.
  • 28th JulyWatamu Rugby Festival literally takes the “sport” to the beach where many teams battle it out in the 3-day fun rugby tournament.


  • 3rd AugustKenya Music Festival, first staged in April 1959, is the longest running music festival in Kenya and perhaps the most cherished guardian of cultural diversity. So much so, that every President of Kenya so far has been the Patron of this institution that carries a national outfit and outlook. In 2018, it enacted the 92nd Kenya Music Festival edition. It is run through competition starting from the local level to get entry to the national level – a structure that allows for as many learners as possible to participate in the competition.  At the national level, a most spectacular 14 days of performances, over 150,000 participants wow the judges and the audiences through folksongs and dances from all communities of Kenya.
  • 18th AugustMekatilili wa Menza Festival begun in 2010, is a four day festival celebrating Kilifi’s exciting cultures, that pays homage to the legendary heroine Mekatilili wa Menza. This includes a cultural night held at Malindi Marine National Park, cultural dances, food exhibitions at the Magarini Cultural Centre, and festivities at the Mekatilili wa Menza Site.
  • 18th August – The 3-days Tharaka Festival held at Ura-Gate of Meru National Park is an extol of Tharaka culture and their neighbours: Somali, Borana and Kamba. The event aims to undertake, sensitize and empower campaigns geared towards the conservation of nature and its restoration.
  • 24th AugustMaralal International Camel Derby held in the tiny town of Maralal, in Samburu County, is a great social event and the major event on the Maralal Calendar. Now a major calendar event in Kenya, that showcases the diversity of not only the varied cultures but the unexplored tourism and other economic opportunities in Northern Kenya, it held the 29th Edition in 2018 at Yare Camel Camp. The stars of the festival are a 10 kms camel race and the fun ‘triathlon’ of running, biking and camel riding.
  • 25th AugustArt and Beer Festival, at Ngong Racecourse, combines art exhibitions with on-site brewing, performing artists and fashion shows.
  • 26th AugustKalacha Cultural Festival, an iniative of the Kivulini Trust, brings together 11 communities from Northern Kenya to the back of beyond little town of Kalacha, found at the edge of the Chalbi Desert, for a 2-days thrilling cultural extravaganza. The 7th Edition was held in 2018.
  • 27th AugustTurkana Festival is the well-liked annual festival that celebrates cultural diversity of Northern Kenya, staged at Loiyangalani in Marsabit County at the shores of Lake Turkana. It features a wide range of cultural performances, trade expos and excursions. “Borana, Burji, Garee, Elmolo, Dassanech, Gabbra, Konso, Rendille, Sakuye, Samburu, Somali, Turkana and Wata Tribes of Northern Kenya – gather in their thousands, in finest traditional garb, to dance and sing. – Rough Guides (L. Turkana).

Festivals in Kenya
Historically, the largest congregation of flamingoes arrive at the Kenya’s Lake System in the Rift Valley – Lakes Turkana, Logipi, Baringo, Bogoria, Nakuru, Elementaita and Magadi – when the lake’s water are low: between August and early October. At which time, the lakes are marked by a pink epic line formed by millions of flamingoes. Withal, all these lake maintain a sizeable population of flamingoes year round. These migrate from one lake to another based on the algae levels. Lakes Bogoria, Nakuru, and Elementaita are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These cover 32 km2 and are home to varied bird species.


  • 2nd SeptemberBlankets and Wine Festival celebrates Kenya’s urban culture through art, music, dance, cuisine, fashion and fun sports.
  • 7th SeptemberEast African Arts and Culture Festival, more proper JAMAFEST, is an event hosted on a rotational basis by Partner States of the East African Community to showcase cultures and arts. Its 2nd Edition was hosted by Kenya, in 2016, at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, and then moved on to Kampala, in Uganda, for its 3rd Edition in 2017. The next will be hosted by Tanzania.
  • 15th SeptemberThe Chemususu Dam Marathon held in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County, aims at raising awareness on conservation of the Chemususu Dam. In 2018, 1,000+ runners registered for the 5th Edition.
  • 15th SeptemberTo Hell’s Gate in a Wheelbarrow is the thrilling, exhilarating and fun-full event held within the Hell’s Gate National Park with support from KWS. The event has not been staged since Sept. 2015.
  • 21st SeptemberLokiriama Peace Festival is hosted every year on World Peace Day to commemorate the day when elders from the Turkana Tribe of Kenya and Matheniko Tribe of Uganda buried their weapon and opted for peace in the region after decades of ruthless wars. The festival, which also involves tribes from Ethiopia and Sudan as well as pastoralist tribes from Northern Kenya, is held in the remote village of Lokiriama in Turkana County, near the boundary with Uganda. Here, a monument is erected where the weapons were buried, and is the star piece of the fest.
  • 23rd SeptemberConcours d’Elegance is one of the star events in the Kenyan Motorsport Calendar uniting classic car enthusiasts from all over Africa. It is traditionally held at the Ngong Racecourse, in Nairobi.
  • 27th SeptemberStorymoja Festival is a gathering of creatives and critical thinkers – great minds in Kenya, regionally and beyond – aiming to stimulate interest in reading. During the festival a handful of publishing houses and book outlets display and sell a wide range of good reads for all ages. There is also story telling for kids and book reviews for older readers.
  • 29th SeptemberNdakaini Half Marathon was first run in 2004 toward the conservation of Ndakaini Dam, and is still centered in this goal.
  • 30th SeptemberEarth Dance Nairobi is a part of the famous Earth Dance simultaneously held in over 100 cities around the world united with a common peace vision. This is traditionally held at the Ngong Racecourse.


  • 1st OctoberSlum Film Festival is a community-based annual film event featuring stories from and by the people living in urban slum areas.
  • 2nd OctoberMagical Kenya Travel Expo, a high profile exhibition hosted by the Kenya Tourism Board to bring together all the players in the tourism industry, will hold its 9th Edition in 2019. MKTE expo creates an important and influential platform for tourism-networking and business transactions, and for the public to learn more about destinations in Kenya.
  • 6th OctoberGlobal March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions is a yearly walk with the main goal of raising global awareness about the plight of wildlife. The procession marches through Uhuru Highway and Langata Road, ending at KWS HQ. “This global movement calls upon governments, civil societies, grassroots communities and all stakeholders to be proactive with the goal of guaranteeing the survival of elephants, rhinos, and lions.”
  • 13th OctoberAnnual Goat Derby held at the Leisure Golf Resort in Diani includes ten races, where the goats are the stars of day. They run a circular racetrack in front of excited owners and cheering crowds. All the proceeds go towards community projects. In 2018, it held the 5th Edition.
  • 20th OctoberDiani Beach Music Festival hosted by Forty Thieves Beach Bar is an open invitation to enjoy the nightlife at Kenya’s ace beach.

Festivals in Kenya
Between April and May, and between November and December, the rivers in Sagana have the highest levels of water – soon after the long rains and short rains. It is a perfect destination for adventure-makers to enjoy rafting along River Tana, with grade 3- 5 rapids. The outfits here also tap into other rousing interests like bungee jumping, mountain biking, rock climbing and boarding.


  • 2nd NovemberSafaricom Sevens rugby tournament run by Kenya Rugby Union brings together enthusiasts from across the globe for a great weekend of premium rugby. It involves 16 top teams from the world over.
  • 3rd NovemberMombasa Festival is a celebration of Swahili culture through dance, music and performances in open concerts along the street of Mombasa. It’s a pleasant setting to enjoy the much-loved Taarab Music, one of the oldest in Africa, which blends music from around the continent and is christened as “the music that makes the heart fly”. Other highlights include food stalls and performances by local and international musicians.
  • 3rd NovemberSigalagala Festival by Nairobi GoDown Arts Centre recognizes the value of women in arts, celebrated in music and visual arts.
  • 3rd NovemberLamu Fishing Festival brings along the best anglers from the Coast Region of Kenya for a great fishing derby, with a cash prize.
  • 10th NovemberLaikipia Cultural Festival reunites the 15 different communities from Laikipia County as one to salute their cultural diversity.
  • 13th NovemberJumia Black Friday Festival is a month of all out discounted deals and giveaways run by Jumia, Africa’s No.1 Online Store.
  • 16th NovemberLamu Cultural Festival is a week long extol of the Swahili culture through music, art, sailing, donkey racing, and much more.
  • 17th NovemberSawa Sawa Festival is a multi disciplinary platform where local artists, poets, acrobats, dancers and international artists meet.
  • 17th NovemberAAR Health Kenya Trees for Health is an annual and open invitation for a tree planting day, held at the Ngong Hills Forest.
  • 21st NovemberRusinga Island Festival is an annual celebration of the vibrant cultures, and all things goods, in Western Kenya particularly of the Abasuba People who inhabit Rusinga Island where this festival is held.
  • 24th NovemberEast African Classic Safari Rally held since 1953, it pushes man and machine to the limit over 1,000 kms of bush and track.
  • 24th NovemberNairobi Fashion Week focuses on strengthening and promoting unique and creative African inspired designs, fabrics and accessories. Its 5th Edition (2017) hosted by Fatumah Asha – the famed Ugandan designer, was held at the KICC Nairobi and welcomed designers, models and exhibitors from over seven countries for three days of fashion.
  • 24th NovemberKilimani Street Festival is a casual outdoor fete with fun, food, drinks, kid area and vendors dealing with art and fashion.


  • 1st DecemberTsavo Run hosted at Taita Hills Widlife Sanctuary is a multiple-activity event run over 84 kms within the wildlife rich sanctuary, with a 10 hour cutoff. It’s conceptualized as a 14 man fun relay event that’s coordinated and managed electronically from the race centre. Price giving and the awards ceremony take place at their Gala Night held after the race.
  • 8th DecemberKisumu Fashion Week is one of the fastest growing exhibitionist platform for the fashion industry in Kenya and in East Africa.
  • 8th DecemberDiani Beach Festival aims is to showcase to the fine undertones of the internationally-famous Diani Beach holiday destination.
  • 11th DecemberLamu Triathlon at Lamu Archipelago is a fun way to challenge yourself by swimming 800 meters, biking 12 kms and running 7 kms. It is best-known for its sea swimming leg across Manda Chanel, from Manda Island to Shela Village. Other highlights include the wife-carrying event, and cycling to Kipungani. It is one of ten popular festivals in Lamu.
  • 12th DecemberMaulidi Festival is a century-old celebration of the birth of the Muslim prophet, Mohammed, done through dances and many special foods. “The month-long celebration of Maulid climaxes in a three-days festival organised by religious leaders and the National Museum of Kenya. The festival brings visitors and pilgrims to Lamu from far for its recitals of praise poems, music and dances, calligraphy and art exhibits, dhow and donkey races, swimming competitions and finally a fun parade or zeffe that winds through the alleys of Lamu, lined by cheering crowds.”
  • 15th DecemberKimalel Goat Auction held near Marigat, it brings together farmers, politicians and travel enthusiasts to enjoy a rich cultural passage and nyama choma. It is famous for mind boggling transactions in record time. In 2018, Kenya’s Deputy President William S. Ruto, the chief guest, sold 2,590 goats in 15 minutes, with each goat trading at Sh 10,000 – totalling to Sh 25,900,000. On his part, Ruto bought 1,000 goats worth Shs 10,000,000. Apart from goat sale, Kimalel is also awash with exhibits and dances from over 30 groups from Tugen, Pokot, and Ilchamus Tribes.
  • 26th DecemberMaragoli Cultural Festival held in Mbale, it is the biggest festival in Vihiga. It is a showcase of Maragoli and Luhya cultures.
  • 31st DecemberHakuna Matata Festival held on new years eve in varied locations, it is a music fete with a message of peace and good vibes.

Festivals in Kenya
Everything about Lamu Island seems unique. Its natural beauty and laid back style attracts travellers eager to experience the mystique of the ancient dreamy island. And nowhere perhaps are its exotic ways better displayed that in its 10 annual festivals. The Festivals of Lamu are Lamu Painters Festival (February), the Shela Hat Festival (February), Lamu Yoga Festival (March), Lamu Food Festival (April), Eid-Ur-Fitr (June), Lamu Cultural Festival (November), Lamu Fishing Festival (December), Lamu Triathlon (December), El-Maulid Festival (December) and New’s Years Dhow Race (January). The offer a lens to its awe.

In the Spotlight

The Rhino Charge Annual Festival

Festivals in Kenya

The Rhino Charge 

“The Rhino Charge is the liked annual off-road motorsport competition held in Kenya in which entrants are required to visit 13 guard posts scattered over 100 km² of rough terrain within a 10 hours period.”  The Rhino Charge which was conceived to raise funds for the construction of Aberdares Fence was first run in 1989. On February 4th, 1989, 31 vehicles entered the foremost event to officially support the effort of saving Kenya’s endangered rhino. Although the race raised only Shs. 250,000, the enthusiastic drivers would probably have been glad of any excuse to take on the 13 guard posts across the vast 100 km2 rough terrain. 

1. A Tradition of Excellence

There have been a number of great motor sport events in Kenya, which have had mixed success of their own, notably of the now absent legendary World Rally Championship, WRC. Certainly, the Rhino Charge has been a resounding success, that it raised a remarkable Kes. 148,000,000 in its 2016 event alone. The Rhino Charge has evolved in various ways probably not envisaged by its founders and is now regarded by many as the ultimate off-road event in Kenya.

2. A Different Kind of Race

The Rhino Charge differs from many motoring events in that speed in not a necessity, it is won by covering the shortest possible distance over a trackless terrain.  Each team consists of not less than two and not more than six people, including the drivers; with participation limited to a maximum of only 65 teams in the basic interest of minimizing environmental damage. Unique to the Rhino Charge is that the precise race location is kept secret until a few days before the event so that competitors don’t go on sneaky reconnaissance missions. Initially, the more cash you could put up, the more likely you were to get a place but, in 2016 the rule for entry was changed to an unerring first come first served basis.

3. Memorable Teams at the Rhino Charge

Since Car 5 entered the Rhino Charge in 1989, the team has raised a staggering amount of KES 116,073,282. – etnnews. 1980 saw the participation of the first all-girls team in the Charge. Captained by C. Amstrong, the pink-in-charge run a memorable and determined race, being most unlucky not to win in their debut race. “Despite not winning, the team was awarded a Ken Kuhla Memorial trophy after helping out another team whose car rolled and run out of fuel,” BD.

4. Organizing the Rhino Charge

Normally run in May – June, it is organized by the Rhino Ark Charitable Trust and is only open to vehicles with 4 wheels with a maximum weight of 3,000 kgs.

5. Success of the Rhino Charge

The installation of the 400 kms electric fence Aberdare Electric Fence that was a partnership between Rhino Ark, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Forest Service and the local communities was an outstanding success. Rhino Ark and the Kenya Government provided the funds while KWS oversaw its construction. The purpose of the electric was to bring harmony between nature and the local communities, and to protect the ecosystem. Following the fences at Aberdare and at Mount Kenya National Park, Rhino Ark embarked on the Eburu Forest project; kicking off with a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment in 2012 followed by the construction of the electric fence starting in March 2013. The entire perimeter fence was completed in November 2014. Complementary to the fence, this project is undertaking other initiatives like raising awareness among the communities about the need to conserve their forests and wildlife.

2017 Rhino charge – Be part of the spirit!