Working and Living in Kenya

Working and Living in Kenya

Labor market

According to countryvv, earning a regular income as a foreigner in Kenya is otherwise rather difficult. Your financial reserves should be able to withstand a long “dry spell”. A bank connection is an advantage in order to establish an existence in Kenya. An account can only be set up on site and officially only with a residence permit. But almost anything is possible here with cash.

Emigrants have the opportunity to find work with shortage occupations (e.g. engineers, architects, technicians, scientists) through development projects. Good English skills and a work permit are required. There is no prospect of work for activities that can also be carried out by the local population (e.g. office work).

If you are employed, the working conditions should be contractually regulated (salary, special benefits, accommodation, provision of a company car, vacation and home leave, travel allowance, social benefits). The duration of the contract depends on the work permit, which is usually granted for 2 years.

Renewals are possible as long as the position cannot be filled by a Kenyan citizen. After the third work permit you can apply for a permanent resident and a Kenyan passport.

Real estate – purchase, lease or rent

Generally speaking, foreigners can buy or rent real estate in Kenya. However, one should check regional conditions and property-related facts for each property. It is therefore advisable to work with an experienced real estate agent.

Cost of living

Local food is cheaper (if available) than in Germany. Imported products are also available, but they are significantly more expensive. Alcoholic beverages are also more expensive.

In Nairobi you need around € 1,708.21 (Ksh 226,915.09) to maintain the same standard of living that you could have in Berlin with € 3,600.00 (assuming you rent in the cities).

  • Consumer prices in Nairobi are 47.70% lower than in Berlin (excluding rent)
  • Consumer prices in Nairobi are 52.55% lower than in Berlin (including rent)
  • Rental prices in Nairobi are 63.60% lower than in Berlin
  • Restaurant prices in Nairobi are 48.07% lower than in Berlin
  • Food prices in Nairobi are 42.66% lower than in Berlin
  • The local purchasing power in Nairobi is 71.81% lower than in Berlin

Average cost of living in Nairobi (from 08/2019 – 07/2020)

Restaurant Ø € Price € Price from / to
Food, price w. restaurant 3.90 1.56-9.36
Middle class, 3 courses for 2 people. 23.40 15.60-39.00
Local beer, 0.5 l 1.95 1.40-2.73
Imported beer, 0.33 l 2.50 1.95-3.90
cappuccino 2.29 1.17-3.12
Coca / Pepsi (0.33 l) 0.47 0.31-0.86
Water (0.33 l) 0.48 0.23-1.17
Food Ø € Price € Price from / to
Milk (1 L) 0.83 0.78 – 1.17
White bread (500g) 0.44 0.39-0.78
Rice (white), (1kg) 1.37 0.94-2.34
Eggs (12) 1.30 0.94-2.10
Local cheese (1kg) 8.79 3.90-15.60
Chicken breast fillet (1kg) 5.33 2.34 – 7.80
Beef (1kg) or other red meat 3.96 2.73-6.24
Apples (1kg) 2.02 0.70-3.36
Bananas (1kg) 0.91 0.47-1.56
Oranges (1kg) 1.50 0.78-2.73
Tomatoes (1kg) 0.94 0.47-1.56
Potatoes (1kg) 0.98 0.47-1.95
Onions (1kg) 0.86 0.47-1.56
Lettuce (1 head) 0.59 0.31-1.56
Water (1.5 l) 0.89 0.47-1.68
Bottle of wine (middle class) 7.80 4.68-17.16
Local beer (0.5 l) 1.70 1.09-2.40
Imported beer (0.33 l) 2.32 1.56-3.12

Average costs for local transport, utilities, clothing, leisure, education of Nairobi (from 08/2019 – 07/2020)

Mode of Transport Ø € Price € Price from / to
One-time ticket 0.62 0.39-0.78
Monthly pass 25.27 19.50-46.80
Taxi base amount 1.56 1.56-3.90
Taxi 1 km 1.56 0.62-2.34
Ancillary housing costs Ø € Price € Price from / to
for 85 sqm apartment (electricity, water, garbage, etc. 37.67 23.40-78.00
1 minute prepaid mobile tariff 0.03 0.02-0.03
Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable / ADSL) 49.90 23.40-85.80
Clothes, shoes Ø € Price € Price from / to
Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 22.50 7.80-46.80
Summer dress (Zara, H&M,… 21.92 7.80-50.46
Nike sports shoes, middle class 48.49 23.40-85.80
Leather business shoes 42.59 23.40-78.00
leisure time Ø € Price € Price from / to
Fitness center, month / adult 40.45 19.50-78.00
Tennis, 1 hour on weekends 6.46 3.90-11.70
a movie ticket 6.24 5.46-7.80
training Ø € Price € Price from / to
Preschool / Kindergarten, private, whole day, monthly per child 170.24 97.51-420.48
International primary school per year and child 7,948.52 3,900.21 – 17,160.94

Europeans rarely use public buses. Therefore, your own car is necessary. A new international driver’s license should be obtained before leaving for Kenya (if not available – extended ones are not accepted). This can be used for three months in Kenya; During this time, the international driver’s license (subject to a charge) must be exchanged for a Kenyan driver’s license.

Average rental prices / purchase and salaries of Nairobi (from 08/2019 – 07/2020)

Monthly rental price Ø € Price € Price from / to
Apartment (1 bedroom) in the city center 355.15 234.01-702.04
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside the center 146.06 117.01-234.01
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center 753.52 468.03 – 1,170.06
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside the center 345.92 273.01-466.03
Purchase price of apartments Ø € Price € Price from / to
Price per square meter for an apartment in the city – purchase 2,760.61 1,170.06-7,800.43
Price per square meter – apartment outside the center – purchase 685.32 351.02 – 1,485.08
wages Ø € Price € Price from / to
Average monthly salary (after taxes) 324.62

Emigration and Living in Kenya

For financially well-secured people, Kenya can become an exciting new home. If you still have to earn a living, you should first travel to the country several times and plan your emigration very carefully. Political rallies and other gatherings of people, especially in the area of ​​slum areas in Nairobi and other cities, should be avoided at all costs. Some advantages of the country: No nuclear power, low cost of living (LHK-I 60.3).

Working and Living in Kenya