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Post  dloubser on Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:45 am

My husband has been offered a job in Nairobi, Salary is US$80000 per annum (tax exempt). We would be moving from New Zealand to take up this job, and are trying to get an idea of what this salary would get us, we have a 14 yr old who would obviously need to go to a good school. My husband's office would be in Karen, so we would want to live relatively close.

Any advice on the following costs would be most welcome:
House rental
Price of cars
Domestic help
Monthly grocery bill.

Although we are not green when it comes to Africa (originally South African) Kenya is new to us so any other advice would be great.

Kind regards



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Post  Kenyafor3 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:03 pm

Hi Diana

Welcome to Kenya. We are here for just over half a year and in the Karen area so hopefully I can help.
I think what needs to be considered when assessing adequacy of your husband's salary is what costs are covered by the company employing your husband.
For example, most expats here have schooling and housing covered by the company so this is something they don't have to pay from their salary themselves.
Often transport, by way of vehicle or allowance is also covered as well as annual trips back to your home country.

Drop me a pm and we can chat more.
Good luck


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Post  Admin on Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:29 pm

Hi Diana,

I hope I'm not too late to reply.

Rent in the Karen area - for town house within a secure compound (of, say 15 houses) - or stand alone property - is approx Kenya shillings 200,000-300,000 per month. If you live on a compound then cost of night security etc. is shared. If you want a house on its own compound then the overheads can be higher. (check out some property websites -

Schooling - Secondary school fees for a 14 year old at Hillcrest, ISK International School Kenya, Brookhouse or Peponi Secondary (weekly boarding) - would be from 500,000-600,000 Kenya shillings per term.

Price of cars - second hand cars are expensive!! Sorry - it's the import tax - but they do hold their value and you can sell them on at the end of your assignment. Average cost for a year 2003-5 Toyota Prado or Landrover 2.3 million Kenya shillings.

Security - this depends on whether you are paying yourself or contributing to cost of security on a compound (there are lots of nice new build houses on compounds in Karen). For a night watchman, intruder alarm, panic buttons with back-up - might cost you 50,000 Kenya shillings per month.

Domestic help - you should pay around 16,000-18,000 Kenya shillings/month for a house helper these days. 18,000 for a trained cook, perhaps 18,000-20,000 for a driver. It's also common to buy some household staples each month for your house staff, provide a uniform and cover medical costs/medical insurance for each staff member.

Monthly grocery bill - say 40-50,000 Kenya shillings? Fruit, veg, steak and lamb are all fairly cheap. Obviously imported cereals, biscuits etc, are more expensive.

Hope this helps! Let me know if there is any more info that you need.



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