Living in Kenya
The thought of moving to Kenya may only conjure images of magical safaris and rare wildlife for the uninformed expat. But those that come to the country to settle will find themselves in one of the most developed African nations.
American Women’s Association of Kenya
American Women’s Association (AWA) is a non-profit, charitable organisation promoting community services and development and volunteering opportunities in Kenya as well as providing social and cultural activities for our multi-national members.
Kenya Quilt Guide
A vibrant cosmopolitan group of around 130 women - and one man - who all love the art of quilting.The largest group is based in and around Nairobi where meetings are held monthly and an active weekly Workshop gives members the chance to meet and work on group projects. Smaller groups meet regularly at members' homes and offer each advice and support on their individual projects.
Helen O’Grady Drama Academy
The Helen O’Grady Drama Academy is truly international and Africa’s largest community-based drama school for young people from 5 – 18 years of age and adults. Students gain greater confidence and self-esteem while also developing verbal and acting abilities. And of course, classes are great fun, too!
Kenya Museum Society
A non-profit member's organization founded by palaeoanthropologist Richard Leakey in 1971 to support and promote the National Museums of Kenya (NMK), the custodian of Kenya's natural and cultural heritage. Proceeds from the KMS Museum Shop, activities and public programs such as the Know Kenya Course go into the KMS Grants Program which since 2000 has awarded the National Museums of Kenya amounts exceeding KES 10 million. KMS is a society run by volunteers who come in all colours, nationalities, shapes and sizes. What they have in common is a generosity of spirit and time, and an interest in Kenya, its peoples, history and culture.
Expats Residing in Kenya
This group is primarily for expats residing in Kenya. The group offers special travel deals and other privileges to the expat community residing in Kenya.
United Kenya Club
Offering country house right in the heart of Nairobi’s up town, the United Kenya Club aims to provide its members with unparallel services at an affordable price in an efficient, cost effective, sustainable manner and to the satisfaction of all the members and stakeholders.
Greensteds International School
Greensteds will deliver the highest standard of education for students from Kenya and students of other nationalities. It is our vision to provide a complete education which modern parents expect and feel is essential to prepare young men and women of vision and integrity who will be of service to their fellow human beings.
Curriculum: National Curriculum of England
Address: Greensteds School, Nakuru
Tel: +254 50 50770
From primary, through preparatory years to secondary school, Hillcrest Schools provide a unique, holistic educational experience that aims to nurture and mould children into confident, independent young adults that will be of tremendous value to any future university or place of work.
Address: Hillcrest International Schools, PO Box 24819, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 020 806 7783/4
International School of Kenya
ISK provides an exemplary education offering both the International Baccalaureate and the North American diploma. We prepare students within a culturally diverse community to become informed, independent thinkers and responsible world citizens.
Curriculum: North American
Address: International School of Kenya, PO Box 14103, 00800 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 720 639 363
Nairobi International School
To provide technology based education to students of all races, religions and nationalities, through a fellowship that carries with it, enormous choices and responsibilities, by giving opportunities to lead a life of learning through dedicated study, while committing themselves to personal growth, integrity, self-discipline and caring for each other, as “Creative Re-thinkers”, whether at NIS or elsewhere.
Address: Nairobi International School, PO Box 66831, 00800 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 020 215 4672 / 020 204 3146
West Nairobi School
WNS is dedicated to providing the highest quality of education in a caring and loving environment. We believe that your child was created for a purpose and we seek to prepare children mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually to fulfil their purpose. We strive for excellence in education offering the North American curriculum founded on biblical principles. We prepare them to be future global leaders and critical thinkers.
Curriculum: North American
Address: 18 Miotoni Lane, Karen, P.O. Box 1333, 00502 Karen, Kenya
Tel: +254 (20) 808 6290 / +254 703 610 394 / +254 733 610 394
Local News in English
Full name: The Republic of Kenya
Population: cc. 45 million
Capital City: Nairobi
Other Important Cities: Mombasa
Currency: 1 Kenya Shilling = 100 cents
Language(s): Swahili, English
Calling Code: +254
Internet TLD: .ke
Electricity: 240V 50Hz
Emergency Numbers: 999
Known as one of the world’s greatest tourism destinations, Kenya has a remarkable diversity of landscapes, wildlife and cultures.
The country lies astride the equator on the eastern coast of Africa, and is a medium-sized country by continental standards. The climate is warm and humid at the coast, ranging to cool and humid in the central highlands. Although, in the north and east it can be hot and dry.
The landscape across Kenya is variable; from sweeping savannahs to tropical beaches and coral reef, dense equatorial forests to large snow- capped mountains… Which of course, all makes for great days out to explore! Plus as Africa’s original safari destination, the country attracts adventurers and travelers, and has been for many centuries.
Kenya is the home of Africa’s famous five – the lion, elephant, rhino, and leopard and buffalo, and is often considered the best place to see these five species in their natural habitats.
There’s plenty to see and do in the country on top of a safari. For example, the Gedi Ruins in the depths of Arabuko Sokoke forest, Haller Park in Mombasa, Fort Jesus – the UNESCO World Heritage Site – in Mombasa and the Nairobi National Museum.
Temporary Stay Visa
Passports must be valid for three months from date of entry and nationals of the following countries do not need visas to travel to Kenya:
Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Botswana, Brunei-Darussalam, Cyprus, Dominica, Ethiopia, Fiji Islands, Gambia, The, Ghana, Grenada, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Maldives, Mauritius, Namibia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, St Lucia, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Zambia, Zimbabwe
**If you are NOT a citizen of any of the above countries and you wish to enter Kenya, you must obtain a visa in advance to enter the country.
Applications from Nationals of the following countries have to be referred to Nairobi for approval: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, Tazikstan, Yemen, Stateless Persons. Persons falling under the above category are advised to apply at least three months before the proposed.
Up to three months from date of issue; Multiple-entry: up to 12 months from date of issue. Renewals (up to six months) or extensions can be made at Immigration in Nyayo House, Uhuru Highway, Nairobi or at Kisumu and Mombasa. The period of stay in Kenya can be given at the port of entry (maximum three months).
For a stay in Kenya exceeding 6 months, one must obtain a residence permit that can be delivered during the first stay, valid for one year. It must be renewed each time the work contract is renewed. The permit renewal can be valid for five years, each time.
There are multiple classes of entry permits depending on the work you will be doing (Class A to L) so check with your employer and the local Embassy to ensure you apply for the correct visa.
Department of Immigration
When you arrive in Kenya, you will probably stay in a hotel for the first few days. To get some more privacy you can consider a furnished apartment for the next few months. You will find a lot of possibilities around Nairobi. For a one-bedroom apartment or a small two-bedroom apartment it is usually around Ksh 60,000 per month. If you are going to stay longer, you might want to find a bigger apartment or a house. To help you find a place, you can look in TheExpatriate.org Notice Board, the daily Nation or Standard newspapers, Focus on Property (Ksh 60), the weekly ADmag (free, every Friday), notice boards in shopping centres/organisations, or go to some of the real estate agencies.
Remember to ask for availability of water, electricity and phone. These resources are scarce in some areas. Also, if possible try to talk to a prior tenant, in order to know some more about the place, area and landlord.
As a matter of precaution it is advised not to sign any documents before any work that is to be done by the landlord has been dealt with.
Real Estate Agencies
There are several real estate agencies around who are of great help in the search for a home. Usually, they are good at helping out with all the practical things. - contacts of Real estate agencies from the resources hub
Prices for housing
Apartments with 3 bedrooms are around Ksh 40,000 to 60,000 per month including 24h security of the compound. Maisonettes (or town houses) usually have a small garden and parking within the compound and go for around 40,000 to 80,000 per month. Houses with 3 to 5 bedrooms are around Ksh 60,000 to 150,000 per month, depending on location, size of garden, etc. For houses, the price does not include security. In Kenya it is advised to have 24h security. So you should add around 15,000 per month. for 24h security through one of the major companies.
No matter where you are staying in Kenya it is advised that you have 24 hours security on your premises. It is possible to hire guards (ascaris) yourself, but there are several security companies that offer 24h security service. By using a major company you save yourself a lot of trouble if a guard is sick or going on leave etc. Also, the companies can install alarm buttons in strategic places around the house and for the guard. If the button is pressed, assistance will arrive within minutes, as the companies have cars placed all over residential areas.
Cars and Drivers Licenses
In Kenya, traffic is on the left hand side. The paved roads are usually full of potholes, and are pretty hard on the vehicle, and many expatriates go for the 4wd cars with high clearance. You rarely need the 4wd, but if you also plan to visit the National Parks on your own, you definitely need the high clearance! Just driving around town it is nice to be seated high so you can overlook the road, and better push your way forward in the peak hours of traffic.
With your car, you should at least have third party coverage. If the car has any value, driving the Kenyan roads, you should consider getting a comprehensive insurance. Most companies will give you a discount if you have an alarm system or a mul-T-Lock installed. Some companies will also give you a discount on your personal car, if they are covering the cars of your company.
It is not recommended to go to ANY small insurance broker in the telephone book. Some insurance companies have a reputation of doing all they can to NOT pay the insurance amount.
Through Automobile Association of Kenya it is possible to get assistance (24h).
Nairobi: 72 03 82 / 72 31 95. Mombasa: (011) 49 24 31.
The public transportation in the major cities is based on buses, and the feared mini-buses, called matatus. Feared because they drive like crazy, and are often involved in accidents. Both kind of buses have numbers and follow certain routes around. Buses come around approx. every 20-30 minutes and stop at designated bus stops, whereas matatus go when they are full of passengers and will stop to pick you up/drop you off wherever you like along the route. In town, buses and matatus are cheap - Ksh. 5 to 50 depending of the distance you are going, and time of day (most expensive during peak hours).
There are several taxi companies around Nairobi, as well as a lot of small one-car enterprises (any car parked with a wooden sign on the roof saying "taxi"). The private cars are cheapest, but in some areas of town and especially in the dark hours, it is recommended to use one of the major companies.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, formerly called Embakasi Airport and Nairobi International Airport, is Kenya's largest aviation facility, and the busiest airport in East and Central Africa. Kenyatta airport is located in Embakasi, a suburb to the south-west of Nairobi, Kenya. The airport is situated 15km from Nairobi's Central Business District, and at the edge of the city's built up area. The Mombasa Highway runs adjacent to the airport, and is the main route of access between Nairobi and the airport.
In the major cities the water is treated, and you can drink the water after filtering it through a filter. In other places, or if you are on safari, it is recommended to bring bottled water, boil it, or use hydroclonazone tablets.
Malaria is a problem in many parts of the country, but not in Nairobi. So, if you are staying in the city, you don't need to use any medication. If you are going out of Nairobi for a longer period it is advised to use some sort of preventive medication. But there is malaria resistance in many parts, so the best prevention is to wear long-sleeved clothes, use mosquito repellent, and sleep under a mosquito net.
It is required to have a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever, and it is recommended that you be immunized against cholera, typhoid, and hepatitis A.
The private hospitals are generally well equipped, and are staffed by personnel of international standards. Government hospitals in all areas suffer from chronic shortages.
Address: 701 Bosler Avenue, Lemoyne, PA 17043
Tel: 717 730 6706
The Nairobi Hospital
Address: The Nairobi Hospital, Argwings Kodhek Rd, PO Box 30026, G.P.O 00100, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 020 284 6000
Kenyatta National Hospital
Address: Hospital Road, Upper Hill, 00202, Nairobi, Kenya
The Nairobi Women’s Hospital
Hurlingham | Adams | Ongata Rongai | Kitengela | Nakuru
Tel: 0703 081 001
The Karen Hospital
Address: Karen Hospital, Langata
Tel: 0726 222 001
Address: Tenwek Hospital, PO Box 39 – 20400, Bomet, Kenya
Tel: +254 202 045 542
You can find an extensive list of contact details for doctors across Kenya here: www.kenyandoctors.com