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Cost of living in Mombasa

Hi we are looking to move to Mombasa, and are trying to get an idea of how much would be a good salary. We are originally from the US, but live a pretty holistic/green lifestyle (not your average american). We have 5 children. We are looking for a basic price range for each of these items:
1. Food? - Are the costs of these things much less than in the US? What are the most expensive or hard to find?

a. Fresh fruits and veggies?
- Do they have organic or pesticide free? In stores, can you easily find out where things were sourced from? We really value knowing where our food comes from.

b. Whole grains (usually in bulk) - Brown/Black//wild Rice, Spelt, Wheat berries, Oat groats, buckwheat, Barley, Corn meal

c. Bread? What are cost of healthy options? Seven grain bread, or whole wheat bread? We don't love white bread or unnecessary fillers like high fructose corn syrup, etc.

c. Meat? We don't necessarily have to have certified organic, but prefer free range, grass-fed/grazed(pretty much animals with a happy life) ect. chicken, Beef, seafood (wild caught as opposed to farmed Protected content stores, can you easily find out where things were sourced from?

d. Eggs, cheese, milk, butter
- is raw milk accessible?
-milk alternatives (almond milk, hemp, coconut, etc.)

2. Transportation?

a. Do most people ship, rent, or buy cars there? What are the prices ranges for each? We will need at least a 8-seater?

b. Gas?

c. Taxis and tips?

3. Housing? - I have some cost questions and general living questions with this one -

a. What is the range for monthly rents/ sq footage or ?
What are the benefits of an apartment versus a house with a yard?
I am leaning towards a place we can have animals and a garden? Is that realistic in terms of cost and safety?

b. What's the average monthly costs for these living expenses:
-Utilities (electricity (ac/heating/lights),
-gas,
-water/sewage, trash collection)
- Internet? Are they included in your rent?
- Do you rely on generators or is the electricity reliable?

c. Furniture? - Basic price ranges?
How much more is rent if included?
- Is it better to get a furnished place given cost/savings or empty place and furnish yourself with used furniture?
- Have you liked your local furniture options there?

4. Entertainment (for kids mostly)? -
School/Art/Craft supplies? (markers,pens,tape,glue, paint,colored paper)
What are the most expensive or hard to find items?
Would you suggest we bring anything over?

5. Clothing? -
Is it easier to ship clothes or cheaper to buy them there?
What are the most expensive items?
Are there used clothing places?

6. Toiletries - & Baby Supplies
-all -natural/chlorine free baby supplies (diapers and wipes),
-All natural/chemical free laundry, and dish soap, shampoo, condtioner, body soap, toilet tissue?

7. Hired help? What are the price ranges for that? We don't want a live-in nanny , but if I have to make EVERYTHING from scratch (even toiletries and cleaning supplies), we would consider help with cooking and cleaning.

8. Healthcare?
What are monthly costs for insurance if you have it and access to medical support? Is there a reliable hospital in Mombasa?
Would you recommend any plan that is good for expat families with kids? How does that work?

Other things about the initial move:

9. Any other moving costs you incurred, but didn't plan for or wish you had considered?

10. Initial Shipping costs?
How long did it take to arrive? What was the initial price of the shipment? Any recommendations on companies?

Other questions about living there:

11. For safety reasons, would I need to have a male driver if my husband was gone and I needed to go shopping with the kids?

12. Should I go to the beach or other places by myself with the kids?
What do you do for recreation , sport activities, etc?
Are the community activities done by kids not enrolled in the local school?
Can my kids join the school activities not being fully enrolled?

14. Malaria, Yellow Fever, and other diseases? Given some vaccines are not available for babies, have any thoughts on this? We'll have a than a year and a half year old baby so will be unable to vaccinate. Would he need to stay inside given the risks?

16. Given some recent attacks in Mombasa and safety issues, Should I have any concerns about going out or feeling targeted being a white western woman?

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you - to anyone in advance for any advice or suggestions about price ranges for any of these.

Mombasa Forum