Moving to Kenya - South Coast

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Moving to Kenya - South Coast

Post  Chimy on Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:03 am

Hi Everyone,

I'm very new at this forum stuff, so it may be rough going at first. My husband and I will be moving to the south coast of Kenya in January 2010 to open a private business. If anyone out lives/lived in that area, I'd be grateful for any tips/warnings/advice. Thanks in advance!! BTW, Love your blog!

Chimy

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Moving to Kenya - South Coast

Post  Admin on Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:59 pm

You lucky things - moving to the Kenya Coast! Wonder where exactly you will be? Am sure it will be a very exciting move.

We lived on Tanzania's coast in Dar es Salaam for 4 years and though I might not be able to help you with contacts etc. I can't resist but to pass on my secret anti-malarial tips that I swore by (and still do). The fact that we have not yet had malaria is hopefully testament to my success rate (touch wood). The Kenya coast's attitude to malaria is extremely relaxed, compared to how we tackled it in Tanzania but I think it doesn't do any harm to follow the below proceedures.

1) Do use mosquito nets and DO treat them.
There are local treatments available (Kenya: Power Tab) that comprise a soluble tablet that you dissolve in a small amount of water, then dip the net (do not rinse) and dry it, preferably in the shade. Power Tab is widely available in pharmacies and supermarkets.

I was lucky enough to attend a lecture given by a malaria expert in Dar, he said that you may as well not use a net unless it is treated. If it has been treated, the malaria carrying anopheles mosquito will be so repelled that they will keep out of the room completely - they may even keep right away from that floor of the house.

Top tip: You can also dissolve the Power Tab tablet in a hand pump spray and blitz the window curtains and mosquito gauze at the windows. (can make a faint brownish mark though).

Because the anopheles mosquito is in fact sick with malaria itself, it is only really active from 10pm to 6am - the rest of the day it hides in dark cupboards or corners.

The back end of the anopheles mosquito sticks up in the air like so: / (not that you realistically ever get close enough to look!) and other 'normal' mosquitos have a back end that points down: ^

Nowadays I understand that you can buy ready treated nets that are effective for up to five years. This may be a good starting point on arrival.

N.b. Mosquitos are less active at night if you are sleeping in cold air conditioning.

2) Cover up in the evening in long, light coloured clothes.
Long loose trousers and thin cotton long sleeved tops mean that you don't have to slather so much repellent on every evening. All mosquitos are attracted to black and dark colours, so wearing these means that you are more likely to get bitten. That doesn't mean don't wear black trousers/tops, but just if you do, be extra generous using repellent on exposed areas.

3) Window gauze and fly screens
In Dar we 'mossie proofed' our houses. For some reason that I will never understand, this does not seem to be the case on the Kenyan coast - most windows are left open. It's fairly inexpensive to put a mesh over the window to keep bugs out and gives you peace of mind. It also helps when 'shutting down' the house at dusk - so that mosquitos won't be able to retreat into the dark rooms of a house from outside. (see below).

4) Drop nets, close doors and spray at 5pm
Mosquitos flood indoors at the end of the day given half a chance. If you close bedroom doors, pull nets over the bed and spray underneath with Doom at 5pm this is a good way of preventing this. Spraying under the bed means you are more likely to hit hiding bugs/mossies which is a recipe for a decent night's sleep. N.b. Just check on the ceiling of your net before you close your eyes to make sure that there is not one lurking having survived the bug spray.

5) I did go out for black tie evenings/fancy dress parties etc. in skimpy short numbers, but just made sure I was completely covered in a moisturiser based repellent (a bit like applying suncream). I found that 100% Deet is a bit strong. However, most repellents tended to transfer the dye from my shoes onto my feet and some even caused slight swelling of the ankles and fingers.

6) for babies - mix a few drops of lemongrass oil or citronella with baby oil or another carrier and use as repellent. Use small pram or car seat nets when sitting out after dark with your baby.

At this point I learn that you have tons of experience of living at the East AFrica coast! If not, hope the tips help! Wonder if anyone else has anything to add?

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Re: Moving to Kenya - South Coast

Post  Chimy on Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:30 pm

Thanks so much for the info!! I have been wondering about that topic for awhile now. I told my husband we MUST have screens on the windows. I come from the South of the USA and we always had them...and slamming screen doors. You are right. They all leave their doors and windows open. Great hints!! Thank you, again!

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Re: Moving to Kenya - South Coast

Post  Marla on Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:35 pm

Live a door open to go back to Usa . The coast is a paradise , ma very difficult to start a businnes

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Re: Moving to Kenya - South Coast

Post  rafkiBob on Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:16 pm

OOh Marla...ouch! You sure went straight for the jugular there. Nothing wrong with having a plan B or golden parachute I guess. There is little info on what she and her hubby intend to do other than 'private' business.
The obvious is tourist -related. If so, it has opportunities, just beware of land issues the locals have along the coast with agents who sell land under dispute esp now that the new consititution is repossessing all illegally acquired lands. Having said that South coast is BEAUTIFUL hands -down the best beaches. This is where the likes of Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Naomi Campbell and many others go to discreetly -upmarket, private getaways, unlike the mafioso who've invaded the north and made it vegas-like. Not to mention the shady business deals there....the US amb said they will put an end to that as it is now on their radar.

In fairness to Marla, the local business scene is very diff from the upcountry. 2 main things the lifestyle and the cultural attitude isnt as - how do i say it - conducive relatively. Life/people are slow in just about all coastal areas. Then the culture too is not as pro-business in the sense of the kind of profits you may be thinking (This applies of course only if you dealing with local commerce) as fairness and equity are more valued by the communities there.
This is my 2 cents --- very general almost vague, but then again suited to a vague business proposal. You give more info and can be more specific. I'm sure you know about bugs, waves, tides etc so will skip the fluff on that.

rafkiBob
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