Kenya is located in the eastern part of the African continent. It is located in the equatorial belt and has a population of nearly 50 million. Its capital is Nairobi, which together with Mombasa, a large port on the Indian Ocean, is one of the two most important cities in the country. It is in Nairobi that most expatriates from different parts of the world are currently living. Ultimately, the city is a melting pot of different cultures. There are many races, both from indigenous tribes and from the large expatriate community that lives here.
Nairobi The city has about 4 million inhabitants, most of whom are from different parts of the country, others are foreigners. People of different races and origins live well together here, as there is practically no form of racism. Nairobi is also the only capital city in the world with a national park within the city, Nairobi National Park, where you can see lions, elephants, cheetahs and other wildlife.
The biggest problem in the capital is traffic. There are too many cars in the city for the existing road infrastructure, everyone drives a car or travels in bus (the famous matatus, so full of energy and vitality). Traffic jams are commonplace, getting stuck in traffic is a regular occurrence, and it’s a major constraint for anyone who has things to do. A trip that normally takes 15 minutes without traffic can take up to three hours. The traffic is terrible. People are forced to plan their day around traffic jams. This enormous volume of traffic is also the cause of severe pollution.
As for social relations, the people, including the police, are hospitable and sympathetic.They are friendly, tolerant, smiling, accommodating, hopeless optimists, and always ready to help. Both because of the cheerful and friendly nature of the people and the fact that one of the official languages of the country is English, it is very easy for foreigners to make new friends.
Compared to many Western cities, the cost of living here is lower, but living in Nairobi is more expensive than elsewhere in the country. The real estate sector, in particular, has grown rapidly in Nairobi. Most people consider real estate the best form of investment. As a result, houses are expensive and rents are high for most Kenyans. A one-bedroom apartment can cost $300 a month in a good neighborhood. And the cost goes up the closer you get to the center. You can also find apartments for $30, but I do not recommend viewing for the faint of heart.
As far as health is concerned, the situation is quite serious. No one would dare to trust the public health system, which has nothing to do with the services we are used to: lack of medicines, lack of food and even lack of machines. Therefore, it is essential to use private health care. In Nairobi there are several private clinics of good quality. Public schooling also leaves much to be desired.
The crime rate in the city is high, and violent robberies and assaults are frequent. The police are trying to increase surveillance in the city, but it is still not enough. However, it must be said that there are few cases of xenophobic attacks. On the other hand, the weather in Nairobi may surprise many, as it is characterized by a pleasant spring feeling most of the year.
The job market offers few employment opportunities. In addition, corruption and nepotism in the distribution of jobs put many truly qualified people out of work. As a result, it is difficult to find a skilled job in Nairobi today. This is true regardless of qualifications. On the other hand, if you are looking for a low-skilled job, for example as a waiter, bartender or in any other service sector, you have no chance.
On the other hand, as one of the most economically important places in the whole of Africa, Nairobi is an interesting destination for those who want to start their own business. However, keep in mind that you will face high production costs, bureaucracy, unreasonable taxes and pervasive corruption.
Living and working in Nairobi – pros and cons
Living in Nairobi, pros
- Fantastic weather
- Great market to do business
- Perfect mix of urbanization and country life
- Everyone knows the English language
- Friendly people and easy integration
Living in Nairobi, cons
- Crazy traffic
- Not quite cheap cost of living
- Crime and insecurity in some areas
- Poor cleaning
- Poor services
Living and working in Nairobi, conclusion
I would describe Nairobi as a rough but energetic, bustling, chaotic city with some very rich neighborhoods and some extremely poor neighborhoods. Dangerous, but not so dangerous that it would be impossible to live there. There are many poor people and street children, but also expensive cars, restaurants and luxury hotels.
It’s the only real megalopolis in East Africa. And it attracts millions of people from the poorest regions of the country and Africa, but the life that awaits them in one of the many gloomy slums will not necessarily be better, except for the lucky few who achieve their goals.