Fairmont Fairways: Kenya

Where The “Game of Kings” meets the “Kings of Game”


Undoubtedly the home of golf in Northern Africa, and home to the second-oldest national championship, Kenya boasts the largest GDP in central Africa. Whilst still producing the tea and coffee that were the traditional backbone of the economy, thanks to improved air links the country has seen massive growth in supplying fresh flowers to Europe. In addition, the country has seen a huge expansion in the technology sector and has gained a reputation as the “Silicon Valley” of the continent, with many high-tech companies like Google, IBM and others having their regional headquarters in Nairobi.

It is immediately clear how advanced the take up of technology has been locally.

Everywhere one looks there are signs for M-PESA, which is a mobile phone-based money transfer, financing and microfinancing service. More simply put, everyone pays for goods and services using his or her mobile phones and cash usage is plummeting.

Against this backdrop, it’s no surprise that a growing middle class are taking to golf and Nairobi has several great tracks to choose from. Most clubs are “members only”, but the Fairmont concierge will be able to sort you out. In general, weekends are obviously trickier and also every club, it seems, holds competitions on a Wednesday afternoon, so avoid if you can.