Newly Weds Moving to Nairobi

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Newly Weds Moving to Nairobi

Post  aspeniteskier on Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:42 pm

Hello! I have been reading this blog and forum for a little while now and am impressed with all of the helpful feedback from fellow readers and the Admin. I hope that you all will be able to help me through this exciting move.

My fiance was recently hired by an NGO in Nairobi and we have decided to move. He will get there in June, then return to the states for our wedding in September, and then I will move to Nairobi at the end of September. We are moving with our puppy (who will be 9 months at the time of the move) and just bags that we can check. We will live in Nairobi for at least a year and I have some questions.

- What are the top 3 things that you are glad you brought with you when you moved?
- What are the top 3 neighborhoods where we should be looking for a place to live with a dog (on a very small budget: 40000 KES)?
- I have asthma and am on some prescription medications. Are most medications available in Nairobi?
- When you moved to Kenya, what was the most difficult thing to adjust to in Nairobi?

My fiance has lived in Cambodia, Laos, and Nepal in the last two years so he is not worried about the move. I have lived in Aspen, CO and am worried about all sorts of things. I would appreciate any insight that you might have. I think the more information I can gather, the more comfortable with the move I will become.

Thank you!



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Newly weds arriving

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:15 pm

How exciting. We also moved from UK to Africa (tanzania) as newly weds. It has already been 13 years and 3 children later...! We've loved every minute.

Don't worry! you can buy almost everything in Nairobi. Kenyan people are so friendly and welcoming too.

1. Top 3 things I brought with me when we moved - 1. recipe book! 2. good bed linen. 3. laptop (though I didn't - but I'd recommend you bring one! Especially for skype, internet and emailing home)

2. Top 3 neighbourhoods - this totally depends on where your husband will be working as traffic is pretty terrible in Nairobi and can be gridlock in rush hour. I would try to find an apartment in a secure compound near where your husband works. There is bound to be a good shopping centre nearby. If you had a choice, try to be fairly central so that you can walk to the shops with your dog!. How about Westlands (riverside), Kilimani (round yaya centre), Kileleshwa areas?

3. Medication - is all available over the counter and mostly without prescription, so no problem there. There are loads of good doctors here, mainly located in doctors plazas and private hospitals. I had childhood asthma too - and found it improved here because there is no central heating necessary - wood floors, no fitted carpets, less house dust.

4. We moved to Nairobi from Tanzania, so it wasn't hard. In general I think that people are frustrated by the (longer) time it takes to get things done in Africa. You need to keep an open mind, keep positive, try not to feel frustrated - the sun is shining and everyone is friendly! Very Happy You have to be a bit brave/resourceful, push yourself out there to get involved in activities/work that you are interested in and it will pay off.

You will be pleasantly surprised by how developed the city is. Cost of living can be high - but you can also save more than you can in the West, since you don't need to constantly replace clothes etc (as you might do back home) and the constant advertising temptation isn't there. There are some extremely sophisticated shopping centres, great hotels, bars and restaurants.

Will you have a chance to visit your fiance between June and your wedding in September? I would highly recommend you try to do this if at all possible - it will help you get an idea of what you are getting into - it'll also give you an idea of what things you want to bring along.

Good luck with the wedding planning! Smile

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Thank you! Bicycle?

Post  aspeniteskier on Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:03 pm

Thank you so much for the information! I would never have thought to bring a recipe book, but that is such a good idea. Very Happy

Also, you mentioned walking to shops with the dog... Is it relatively safe to walk around the neighborhoods you mentioned, during the day by myself? I will not have a car (at least that not in the plan yet) so I have been a bit concerned about the safety of just walking around. Would you recommend getting a bicycle?

Are there any clothing items that you would definitely NOT recommend bringing? I have a friend who is about to leave for a month long journey around Africa and her guides told her not to wear blue jeans, or really anything blue as it attracts certain type of flies. Are there things like this that I should know about before packing all of our stuff? Also, are there any major dress codes that should be adhered to in Nairobi? I just planned a trip for my company to Dubai and have become painfully aware of certain restriction of dress in other countries.

I am just full of questions!

I am so excited to embark on this journey and adventure with my new husband! I am still nervous about the move, but I have been living in Colorado for the past 5 years and I know it will be quite an adjustment. Unfortunately, I will not be able to visit before the wedding. I am moving a bit blindly as I have never been to Africa, or even the southern hemisphere! yikes! Smile

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Re: Newly Weds Moving to Nairobi

Post  White House on Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:35 am

i'm arriving in early June or sooner. I love these questions! Find me when you arrive!

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Moving to Nairobi

Post  Admin on Mon May 21, 2012 11:36 am

Hi there,

Sorry for the delay in replying. A bicycle is a good idea - the suppliers here have only a limited range and they tend to be expensive to buy. Re walking - I'm not sure where you are going to be living - but walking around is fine.

Re dress code - Nairobians are generally smart looking and conservatively dressed. Do bring your jeans! I know about the tsetse fly being attracted to blue - but you really only get these in game parks etc - certainly none in Nairobi. It's all about layers. I would bring lots of trousers (cargo pants etc), longish skirts, light cotton tops, t-shirts, jeans, cotton sweaters/cardigans, a lightweight rain coat if you have one, plenty of sun hats, shorts - certainly no thick wool jumpers, polo necks, gloves or heavy winter coats are necessary - pretty cotton scarves are fine but not wool - ankle boots/knee boots are useful to wear with jeans during evenings and rainy seasons - flat shoes/converse (I'm afraid I live in flipflops and pumps) and don't forget to bring some smart clothes (little black dress etc) and heels for the odd special occasion. Remember a swimming costume/bikini for the odd beach tip, khaftans etc. Gym/running kit if you are into that. Check out the 'what to pack' tab on the top of my blog for ideas on packing for beach and bush.

Top Tip: Bring a good supply of any favourite make-up, sun screen or hair shampoo that you use regularly.

Hope you had fun in Dubai - Shoppers heaven! I'd love to go!

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We made it!

Post  aspeniteskier on Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:26 am

UPDATE:

We finally made it to Nairobi! Thank you for all of the information you provided about tips for moving; they were much appreciated!

I noticed that you recently got a puppy. How exciting! My husband and I are trying to bring our dog over from the US but have had some issues so far. I was wondering if you could recommend a vet in the city?

Thank you!

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Vets in Nairobi

Post  Admin on Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:15 am

Hi there and well arrived!

There are various good vets in Nairobi. It really depends on where you live. Here are a few recommendations:

St Austin's veterinary clinic - lavington. 020 576979
Dr Z A Cockar - Rosslyn estate - 020 7120271
Dr Dieter Rottcher - Mbagathi Ridge, Karen - 020 882225
Sercombe Veterinary clinic - opp Karen Hospital, Langata rd, Karen
Dr Shah - Sarit Centre - 020 4447958
Mpaka Vet Clinic - Westlands -020 580043
Chiromo Road Vet Clinic - Westlands - 020 3745492

I can't vouch for all the phone numbers, as I know that in Nairobi these often change, but hopefully you can track them down.
p.s. good luck with getting your dog shipped!

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Re: Newly Weds Moving to Nairobi

Post  hilary11 on Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:50 pm

Greetings! I am also engaged, but will be getting married in Kenya in December. My fiance is a native to Kenya, and I am originally from the western US (Idaho to be specific). I'd love to be able to meet you! I just moved to Nairobi about a month ago and would enjoy a chance to share thoughts and lessons learned if possible.

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Re: Newly Weds Moving to Nairobi

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