Recommendations for Visiting Iten

Posted on Posted in Kenya, Running

Here are recommendations for visiting Iten. Although I had a great experience regardless, bringing these items as well as taking advice from the locals made me feel at home.

  1. Arrange to have your Kenya visa ahead of time. I obtained my visa in New York, but an easier option is securing one online:
  2. It might not hurt to see a travel specialist regarding vaccinations. Personally, I didn’t receive the yellow fever vaccine before visiting Iten. The altitude is high enough and Iten is quite clean. Do not worry about contracting any diseases. However, I do recommend scheduling an appointment with a health professional.
  3. Drink from bottled water. My guide told me to not drink the water unless I was Kenyan. Tap water works for bathing and brushing teeth, but play it safe with hydrating. Some athletes actually became ill during my stay. I would also recommend bringing an electric kettle travel set.
  4. Bring an international plug adaptor to charge your electronics.
  5. Be prepared to wait awhile to go places or do little things. The lifestyle in Kenya is very relaxed compared to other parts of the world. I never experienced delays when meeting with other Kenyan athletes. However, keep in mind this common saying: “You say meet at 1. They come at 1:59. It’s still 1.”
  6. Carry the local currency to make purchases (Kenyan Shillings). Use an ATM Machine at the airport or in town to procure the currency. For American currency, the ATM machines will provide a better rate of exchange.
  7. Ask permission to take photos of the athletes. Some world-class runners guard their privacy and homes.
  8. Bring your own sunscreen. It’s really hard to find in Kenya.
  9. Carry a cheap phone and purchase a Kenya sim card to make calls. Obtaining a sim is easiest at the airport.
  10. Bring the right gear, including the right shoes. I’d recommend trainers or trail shoes for good grip on the running paths in Iten. Also, donate your gear at the end of your stay. The athletes will really appreciate it.


Previous posts about my trip to Kenya:

My Last Day: Revisiting Nairobi

My Last Full Day in Iten: Meeting Abel Kirui

Life Lessons from Kenyan Culture

Kenyan Style Running

Singore Forest & Visiting Helah Kiprop

Speedwork at Kamariny & Thursday Fartlek

Eldoret, Kenya: Shoe4Africa and Imani Workshop

Lessons Learned Exploring Kenya

St. Patrick’s High School: Athletics Kenya Cross Country Series

Iten, Kenya: Home of the Champions

Nairobi, Kenya: The Arrival

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