Moving to Nairobi - what are the best areas to live for expats?

JennyK's picture
By JennyK - Posted on
13 April 2011
What areas should I look at in Nairobi as I set up base for two years? I want a nice residential area, with other expats around, not too far from the city, but in pleasant leafy surrounds. In other words I want it all! Thanks...
Dave's picture
Last seen: 3 years 10 weeks ago
Joined: 19/02/2009

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Of the many great suburbs around Nairobi I would look at Muthaiga, Gigiri and Runda as these are the most popular with the international expats serving the embassies around there and the UN workers. The Karen suburb is great if you are commuting into town. Lavington, Kilimani and Westlands are closer to town, great areas, but you are probably looking at an apartment there.
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Anonymous's picture

Hi, my name is Khalida. am looking to move in Nairobi next year to start a business. what are the best areas to live for a single woman to be safe. thank you.

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Anonymous's picture

Nairobi is the commercial capital of East Africa and many businesses are headquartered in the city centre or in the industrial area to the southeast of Nairobi. Country and regional offices for the many international humanitarian organisations stationed here cluster in the leafy suburbs to the west. The United Nations compound is to the northwest. 
The west and north-west suburbs of Nairobi are also where most expatriates and well-off Kenyans have made their base, although some people choose to live further out, in the rural enclave of Karen/Langata 20 km southwest of the centre. The local Indian/Asian population is concentrated to the north of the city centre, while low and middle-income Kenyans and immigrants from surrounding countries generally live in the south and east. There are also a number of slums including Kibera, home to an estimated one million people, which is located just south of Ngong Road southwest of the city centre, and Mathare off Thika Road to the northeast. 
The poverty gap in Nairobi is extreme and has given rise to a soaring crime problem, as well as to a booming private security industry; most high-income accommodation has 24-hour guards (called 'askari'), and tight surveillance. 
There is a good choice of housing in a variety of styles – new-build apartments, bungalows, semi-detached or detached villas in their own plots of land – but rents, like almost everything else in Nairobi, are expensive. 
Check out this websites for further information 

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Durty Bird's picture
Last seen: 5 years 18 weeks ago
Joined: 20/12/2012

There are several key areas that ex-pats generally congregate in depending on where they work since proximity to one's job is paramount in Nairobi considering the horrendous traffic. That being said, I've had a number of colleagues and friends mention this website, and say great things. Apparently its this former real estate attorney from the states who is in Nairobi now and offers reasonable, set-price packages of services to expats to assist them in finding places to live, getting set-up, etc. I've only heard glowing reports so it may be worth checking it out.

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