7 Things to Know Before Moving to Kenya

I could pretend to be an expert on all things Kenyan but you and I know that I would be lying.


Everything I know is based on my personal experience as a foreigner there. 


I moved to Kenya in 2012, with a dream. A dream that I could accomplish...


Fine, I will stop with the philosophical crap. I moved there to attend college.


Was it my decision? Well, I wouldn't say that exactly (my parents decided as all African parents do!)


Little did I know that Kenya would actually grow on me.

Honestly, I am silently praying for the public release of the African passport so that I can live there forever.


You know what? Forget the African passport! Tell Uhuru that when I retire, I am moving back.


I will admit that I am one of those few people who spend close to 4 years in a country and fail to learn the language. Am I ashamed? Yes, I am.


What's my excuse, you ask? Well, I clearly have none.

Who are these people I hang around with while I was in Kenya?


You guessed it, they were Kenyans. (Please find attached all their names and contact info :-)


Anyway, there are a couple of things that I wish someone had warned me about before I moved to Kenya. This would have reduced my culture shock period from 1 year to...3 months? Lol!


Without further ado...


1. First of all, healthy food is expensive. I know, you wouldn't expect this. The fast food industry has completely taken over. Thanks, Kenchic! You will spend less on a plate of french fries and chips mayai on any given day.


2. Loud music is the way of life here, especially on the famous matatus and buses. Actually, everything about these matatus and buses screams 'different'. (Feel free to google for details)


3. Kenya is probably one of the most hospitable countries in the world. In many countries, you try to fit in by speaking the common language. In Kenya, you do not need to speak Swahili to feel welcomed.


In fact, you will receive special treatment just because you don't speak Kiswahili. How amazing is that?


4. Unfortunately, quality clothes are way overpriced. I would advise any foreigner moving to Kenya to carry enough clothes to last them a while.


Kenya is not a shopping destination. Tourist destination? Definitely! (I must have bought 6 outfits in the four years I spent there.)


5. Let's talk about the weather. Even though it's mostly hot in Mombasa (beach weather), the Nairobi weather is something else, especially between June and August.


Boy, does it get cold in Nairobi.


Not winter cold, but really cold! This is probably the only country in East Africa where you aren't afraid to pull out your winter boots in broad daylight.


So much for tropical weather!


6. Safety concerns. This is a tough topic to discuss given what's happening around the globe. But we have to admit that security is a bit of a concern in Kenya.


You could get robbed at any time of the day, literally. One time, my friend's phone was almost stolen at 12 noon. 12 noon, for crying out loud. By the way, the thief had a knife. How crazy is that?




7. Nairobi is such as a social city. There are so many events to attend and so many cool places to hang out at.


Some of the 'must-see' events include Blankets and Wine, Party in the Wild (my favourite), Safaricom 7s, Motor rally events, to name but a few.


Karibuni Kenya!


P.S: Don't forget to share your Kenyan experience in the comment section below.

Share article on:

About the author

Hi, I am Angelica, a creative writer with a particularly intense interest in travel blogging.


After graduation, I started this blog to write about what I love to do...Travel. And occasionally, a few other topics.


On the blog, you will find travel tips, recommendations and imaginative stories. Hope you love to travel as much as I do. If not, this article may persuade you!


Oh, before you go on with your fab life, leave a comment below and subscribe to my mailing list. Cheers!

More from Travel