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Living in Nairobi: Things You Need to Know

Nairobi City

With a well-established community of international expats, Nairobi keeps drawing skilled labor from across the world. Having a multi-ethnic population of nearly four million, Nairobi is Kenya’s largest city and is a melting pot of various cultures. It is both traditional and modern – the multi-ethnic societies with blended cultures and a rich past make it very traditional; on the other hand it is up there with the rest of the world’s trends and technology which makes it modern enough for any tourist to enjoy this city to the fullest. If you are searching for a job in Africa and are to become an expat in Nairobi, then be ready for a varied experience.

Nairobi is home to several local and international business organizations. Some of the prominent ones include Coca Cola, Nokia, Siemens, General Motors and Google. The United Nations regional headquarters is also located in this city. Those looking to relocate to Nairobi will find that this city is an ideal location because of the free market and the presence of multinational companies. The government has, over the years, encouraged policies that enhance business growth thus creating an amicable ambience for locals as well as foreign nationals.

English is the official language but Swahili and many other dialects are spoken.

Visa conditions

A single journey entry visa is required by all persons intending to visit or live in Kenya. Regular visitors may be issued a multiple journey visa. This type of visa is approved by the Principal Immigration Office and is granted for 6 to 12 months.

Citizens of the European Union, Japan, USA and Canada can obtain visas at the point of entry.


The working week is 45 hours. International expatriates working for non-profit agencies such as the U.N. have very high salary in relation to local living standards. In Kenya, there is no fixed minimum salary.


Employers have to deduct income tax from employees’ pay. Individuals also have to declare any business, rental, interest, employment and commission income. The tax rate varies from 10 to 30%.


Nairobi is the perfect African city to live in for expats with families. They can admit their kids to one of the International Schools in the city that boast an International curriculum.

Some of these schools are Hill Crest International School, Brookhouse School, Braeburn High School, the International School of Kenya, Nairobi Academy, Rosslyn Academy, Strathmore School, Urafiki Carovana Primary School and Webzz Educational Centre. Most of these schools have the British Curriculum but some even have the IGCSE Curriculum.


There are many plush neighborhoods that Nairobi offers to expats.

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