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Moving to Kenya

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Moving to Kenya? Expats talk about what you need to know before moving to Kenya.

Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance

What do I need to know before moving to Kenya?

Live in Kenya? Answer this Question

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Kenya, they said:

"Choose a safe neighborhood with many expats. Gated compounds with security and alarm systems are good," said another expat in Mombasa.

"Although Kenyans are generally good people, don't trust everyone. It's a very corrupt country. Oh, one more thing, don't be late to get home, car jacking and robbery at night are common," added another expat who made the move to Nairobi, the whole country.

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Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

How do I find a place to live in Kenya?

Live in Kenya? Answer this Question

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"Our employer Kaluworks provided us a well furnished apartment in an expat compound in Tudor," mentioned another expat when asked about moving to Mombasa.

"Was born here so I am somewhat familiar with the areas, but after so many years away, use someone local that you trust. Keep in mind "Help" is not free in Kenya, even when people are supposed to do their job," commented one expat who made the move to Nairobi, the whole country.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Kenya?

Live in Kenya? Answer this Question

"It's a spacious l 2 bedroom comfortably furnished apartment. This is the standard for most expats," commented one expat who made the move to Mombasa.

What is the average cost of housing in Kenya?

Live in Kenya? Answer this Question

If you are thinking about moving to Kenya, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Housing is around 30/35 thousand Kenyan shillings. It is the same or even lower than in my host country," remarked another expat who made the move to Mombasa.

"Higher, we paid $560 for a townhouse in a small town in Norway and now we pay 900 for an apt simply because of the area and locals jack up the price for foreigners," explained one expat living in Nairobi, the whole country, Kenya.

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

What should I pack when moving to Kenya?

Live in Kenya? Answer this Question

We asked people living in Kenya to list three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They responded:

"Food stuffs, but that is unrealistic since you can adjust quickly to local foods," said another expat in Nairobi, the whole country.

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What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Kenya?

Live in Kenya? Answer this Question

We asked people in Kenya if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!:

"Yes. A very friendly person taught me the local custom of calling a person by his surname instead of by his first name as a form of acknowledging friendship and honoring his bloodline. When she then called a person by his first name I asked why without thinking. I did not realise that I was putting her in a very bad spot as it blatantly highlighted a sensitive political situation," added another expat who made the move to Nairobi.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Kenya GuideKenya Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Kenya.

Kenya Forum Kenya Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Kenya on our Kenya forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Kenya Index Kenya Index
An index of all of our site's Kenya information.

Contribute to Kenya Network Contribute
Help others in Kenya by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Kenya.

Expat Healthcare Advice in KenyaHealthcare & Health Insurance in Kenya

Expats in Kenya offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Kenya.

Real Estate in KenyaReal Estate in Kenya

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Kenya.

Guide to Real Estate in KenyaGuide to Real Estate in Kenya

Advice for people renting and buying real estate in Kenya.

Kenya

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Kenya GuideKenya Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Kenya.

Kenya Forum Kenya Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Kenya on our Kenya forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Kenya Index Kenya Index
An index of all of our site's Kenya information.

Contribute to Kenya Network Contribute
Help others in Kenya by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Kenya.

Expat Healthcare Advice in KenyaHealthcare & Health Insurance in Kenya

Expats in Kenya offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Kenya.

Real Estate in KenyaReal Estate in Kenya

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Kenya.

Guide to Real Estate in KenyaGuide to Real Estate in Kenya

Advice for people renting and buying real estate in Kenya.

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