Marathons That Take Place in African Wilderness and Nature

If you are passionate about jogging and running, you can do so in Africa too! Although running and jogging isn’t as popular in Africa as in Western World, this doesn’t mean there are no marathons and awesome running events in the midst of African nature. 

Big 5 Marathon in South Africa – Run in The Wild Savannah

marathons africa big 5 marathon south africa

Definitely the wildest of all and not for sissies! Big 5 Marathon participants run among wildlife of the African savannah. There are no fences, just incredible nature and yes it can happen a game will cross your course or wildebeest in the distance roaming their way. The Big Five Marathon features a classic 42km marathon and a half marathon. Minimum age to attend is 18.

Maasai Mara Marathon in Kenya

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As the name suggests Maasai Mara Marathon is held in spectacular Maasai Mara National Reserve, more precisely in Lemek Conservancy, which covers approximately 17,000 acres in the Maasai Mara. Races include 21 km Half Marathon, 5 km Fun race, 5 km Corporate race and 5 km Local category.

Safaricom Marathon in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

safaricom marathons in africa lewa conservancy

Runners from all over the world gather at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy each year to take part in this incredible race. Participants can run the full Marathon, Half Marathon and Children’s 5km Race.The course is set on dirt roads that take the runners on a 13 mile route through the conservancy — across savannah plains, along river banks and through acacia woodland.

Kenya Wildlife Marathon


Starting its first time in 2016! Kenya Wildlife Marathon takes place on the very pristine wilderness of the Taita Hills Private Wildlife Sanctuary amongst wildlife and breathtaking views of Tsavo West National Park.

The sanctuary holds incredible views from the hill tops of the expansive landscape that extends into Tanzania providing magnificent views of the Pare and Uluguru Mountains in Tanzania. Even the awesome snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro can be seen during the run.

The complete week long package includes all meals, accommodations, game drives, cultural experiences, interaction with the locals, race entry and all transportation.

Rift Marathon Uganda


Running the Rift Marathon (full, half and 10k) is a trail run through spectacular scenery where the Great Rift Valley meets and the UNESCO World Heritage Rwenzori Mountains, near the beautiful town of Fort Portal.

Amazing African trails, stunning hills and excited local children to cheer you along – Running the Rift Marathon is truly the perfect African running experience.  100% not for profit with all proceeds going to a local charity working with disabled children. Created by runners passionate about running in East Africa.

Ethio Trail Marathon in  Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley


Ethio Trail Marathon takes place just 200 kilometres out of Addis Ababa in Abijatta – Shalla Lakes National Park. Marathon participants can choose between three different levels to run or hike: 12 km route, 21 km and 42 kilometers of 1200 m uphill level.

Kilimanjaro Marathon Tanzania

kilimanjaro marathon tanzania

14 years in a row, Kilimanjaro Marathon takes place in Moshi each year at the end of February of start of March. Marathon runners can choose three levels 42 km, 21 km or 5 km fun run. Kilimanjaro Marathon is also a qualifying event for Comrades race.

Victoria Falls Marathon Zimbabwe, Zambia

victoria falls marathon zambia zimbabwe

Victoria Falls Marathon starts outside the banks of Ilala Lodge entrance,  then crosses over the Victoria Falls Bridge, briefly into Zambia offering the social runner some of the most spectacular scenery in Africa, the route continues through the Zambezi National Park with some great views of the river, and ends at the Victoria Falls primary school.

Serengeti Marathon Tanzania

serengeti marathon tanzania

Dare to run along Wildebeest migration in Serengeti? If your answer is yes, then Serengeti Marathon is for you!  A part of marathon race – 4 kilometers of the running route –  takes place in actual Serengeti National Park on the west side near Ndabaka Gate. The rest of Marathon is held outside the park, runners will run through villages and pathways. Available runs to participants: full, half  marathon and fun 5km run.

Mauritius Marathon


Although more exotic than wild, Mauritius marathon is gaining its popularity each year and some proclaimed it as the most beautiful marathon in the world. Runners run through creolan villages and crystal-clear blue lagoons.

The Marathon race starts on the Saint Felix Beach, runs towards Riambel and then onto Le Morne Village, giving runners the opportunity to run along the most beautiful coastal road the island has to offer. Runners will run through typical coastal fishermen villages. Participants can choose 42, 21 and 10 km race.

top 10 marathons and running events in africa

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