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(another expat) moving to nairobi, got q's! (Nairobi)


Hello there future neighbors!

I'm moving to Nairobi for a year and quite excited to join the community. I've traveled a lot for work and research and leisure but never to Kenya (or Africa) so this is very exciting. That said, I have some pre-move questions that maybe the shared wisdom of those who call Nairobi home can answer?

> Places to Live: My work is in Upper Hill Estate and I'd like to walk there from wherever I live, but I don't have a sense of on-the-ground distances and the like. I see some rooms on AirBnB that look decent (if higher-end perhaps), but no 1B/1B flats or the like. I wouldn't mind a room in a shared apartment, but would fancy my own flat too. Suggestions for how and where to look?

> Places to get Groceries: Like above! Not sure how the food scene works in Nairobi so I want to come prepared. I do like to cook and will make enough money from my work to eat out. I'm a typical Californian yuppie and all about organic/buy local and the like, but in international development so much of life is about adapting to where you are :)

>> Sub-Grocery Question: MILK! I like cereal/oatmeal+milk in the mornings but have found that my tummy does not like shelf-stable milk. Has anyone had good or bad experiences with the dairy in Nairobi, or are there alternatives like almond or soy milk available?

> Eating generally: What's the food culture/scene like? In some places I've lived for instance dinner is a late-evening thing and breakfasts are the European basic of toast and coffee. Could be that my breakfasting is a daily jaunt to a local cafe!

>> Fooding generally: What should my first Kenyan cuisines be? I like pretty much everything except things raw/living or made with blood/intestines (I've tried all these before; not for me, but you do you!). I can google this of course but suggestions are always welcome.

> Internet/Phones: I plan to buy a phone for work/living in Kenya. I use an iPhone at home but had an Android everywhere else, and Nokias before that. My only real need will be a phone that has WhatsApp and decent data, which leads to the other question: any takes on the telecoms for data and/or home internet (if I have my own flat)?

> Gyms/Fitness: This is really in the weeds, but if anyone can recommend a gym around where I'd be living or working (I'm a daily fitness buff) that'd be swell, or even just an idea about what monthly rates range around.

> Appropriate dress: For my work I expect my colleagues can clue me in to how I should dress. But what's standard for weekends or in light of the weather/mosquitos?

This feels like a lot so I'll leave it here; thanks to anyone who takes the time to answer any of these or tips me off into anything I should know but didn't ask about!

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