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Advice on moving to Kenya

Advice on moving to Kenya

Old Jan 2nd 2005, 5:18 pm
  #1  
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Smile Advice on moving to Kenya

I visited Kenya in Novemeber 2004 and fell in love with the country, the culture and its people. I am planning a 3 week trip at Easter to see if it was just an excellent holiday or if Kenya is really calling me.

I would love to hear from anyone from the UK who has lived in Kenya as my knowledge of the country is limited. I was very impressed by their simple but happy lifestyle and would love to leave behind the shackles of our materialism, has anyone done this and lived to tell the tale?
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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Advice on moving to Kenya

I can understand that-we have just moved back to the UK from Australia and one of the reasons was the ulter materialism-it was awful. Coming back to the UK it is also bad but not as bad as down under. If only there was somewhere to escape all of that!



Originally Posted by maliaka
I visited Kenya in Novemeber 2004 and fell in love with the country, the culture and its people. I am planning a 3 week trip at Easter to see if it was just an excellent holiday or if Kenya is really calling me.

I would love to hear from anyone from the UK who has lived in Kenya as my knowledge of the country is limited. I was very impressed by their simple but happy lifestyle and would love to leave behind the shackles of our materialism, has anyone done this and lived to tell the tale?
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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: Advice on moving to Kenya

Originally Posted by melaniee
I can understand that-we have just moved back to the UK from Australia and one of the reasons was the ulter materialism-it was awful. Coming back to the UK it is also bad but not as bad as down under. If only there was somewhere to escape all of that!
Did you try the simpler lifestyle in the smaller remote communities or the outback !!!

I am leaving the UK for a simpler way of life, I have a job in a very remote coastal town in WA (inhabitants 5000), you dont get much more materialistic than the UK, every body seems to want to keep up with the Jones's.

The place I am going I will be able to play with all of my toys in peace without the neighbours whining, salary is excellent considering location, they actually pay you more than the big cities to get you there, houses sell for AU$150,000.00, 52 weeks of sun, minimum temp 20 deg in the winter and its on the beach, absolutly nothing to do in your spare time, sounds like heaven, and you left to go back to the UK, get a life !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 8:26 pm
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Default Re: Advice on moving to Kenya

Simpler way of life and you talk about salaries, toys and houses!-mmmmmm!



Originally Posted by The Druid
Did you try the simpler lifestyle in the smaller remote communities or the outback !!!

I am leaving the UK for a simpler way of life, I have a job in a very remote coastal town in WA (inhabitants 5000), you dont get much more materialistic than the UK, every body seems to want to keep up with the Jones's.

The place I am going I will be able to play with all of my toys in peace without the neighbours whining, salary is excellent considering location, they actually pay you more than the big cities to get you there, houses sell for AU$150,000.00, 52 weeks of sun, minimum temp 20 deg in the winter and its on the beach, absolutly nothing to do in your spare time, sounds like heaven, and you left to go back to the UK, get a life !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old Jan 4th 2005, 9:15 am
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Default Re: Advice on moving to Kenya

Originally Posted by maliaka
I visited Kenya in Novemeber 2004 and fell in love with the country, the culture and its people. I am planning a 3 week trip at Easter to see if it was just an excellent holiday or if Kenya is really calling me.

I would love to hear from anyone from the UK who has lived in Kenya as my knowledge of the country is limited. I was very impressed by their simple but happy lifestyle and would love to leave behind the shackles of our materialism, has anyone done this and lived to tell the tale?

My wife and I moved here 4 years ago after being visiting tourists for 3 years on the trot. The lifestyle is very good, relaxing and is a fantastic place to bring up children. Work is frustrating but very rewarding.
You need to meet up with some of the expats here and ask away.
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Old Jan 8th 2005, 8:12 am
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Default Re: Advice on moving to Kenya

Originally Posted by JwJ
My wife and I moved here 4 years ago after being visiting tourists for 3 years on the trot. The lifestyle is very good, relaxing and is a fantastic place to bring up children. Work is frustrating but very rewarding.
You need to meet up with some of the expats here and ask away.
Interesting, how difficult was it to secure a residency visa?

Could be an option for a few people?

Look foward to your reply.
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Old Jan 10th 2005, 5:12 am
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Default Re: Advice on moving to Kenya

Originally Posted by paddythepilot
Interesting, how difficult was it to secure a residency visa?

Could be an option for a few people?

Look foward to your reply.
Paddy, It is quite difficult to get a residency visa here and it takes some time. A lot of it depends on what you want to do, ie. a pilot for instance we have a lot of small operators here and the majority of the pilots are expats, I know quite a few of them and they had to wait for their permits.

If you want to come and live here you have to get what is known as an H class permit.You have to show you have a certain amount of money in your bank account and you can stay BUT you cannot work!

To work you need to do your homework and get onto some big companies here have a look at www.kenyadirectory.com there are lots of them on there.

Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 11th 2005, 12:19 am
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Default Re: Advice on moving to Kenya

Originally Posted by JwJ
Paddy, It is quite difficult to get a residency visa here and it takes some time. A lot of it depends on what you want to do, ie. a pilot for instance we have a lot of small operators here and the majority of the pilots are expats, I know quite a few of them and they had to wait for their permits.

If you want to come and live here you have to get what is known as an H class permit.You have to show you have a certain amount of money in your bank account and you can stay BUT you cannot work!

To work you need to do your homework and get onto some big companies here have a look at www.kenyadirectory.com there are lots of them on there.

Hope this helps.
JWJ
JWJ,

Thanks for that!

Actually I did work in kenya (1987) for a while, quite liked the place......I was in Mombassa.

I have never heard of the H-Visa, it sounds similar to the 'Malaysia My Second Home', which is essentially a retirement visa.

How difficult is it to obtain a H Visa, and as a rough indication, how much savings are we talking about?

Are there any minimum age requirements, (i.e. over 50 years?).

Kenya is a lovely country, nice people too!

I look forward to hearing all about the H visa.......could be an option eh?
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Old Jan 15th 2005, 7:29 am
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Default Re: Advice on moving to Kenya

I have lived in Kenya for 6 months. It was a great experience. I loved it. I have also been thinking about going back there. I now live in Australia and am not nearly as happy here as I was in Kenya.

There is some important things to consider though before moving to Kenya:
- the diseases
- the frustration with upset stomaches, Malaria (which you WILL get sooner or later), power failures etc etc
- it would be best to go over there with a European employer as else you may find it very hard to find a job
- when you go, make sure you have enough money to support yourself and set yourself up
- make sure you move somewhere where you can find a job, which is usually Nairobi
- Diani Beach and South Coast are beautiful but there are no jobs for Europeans and you have to live
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Old Jan 16th 2005, 10:37 am
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Smile Re: Advice on moving to Kenya

It is heartening to hear some positive feedback on Kenya as the vast majority of my family and friends think I have completely lost the plot, they seem extremely worried about my security. The negatives can't have been that bad if you would consider going back!

Whereabouts did you live in Kenya and how safe did you feel, is security a big issue?
How did you cover yourself with regard to medical care?





QUOTE=darwinite]I have lived in Kenya for 6 months. It was a great experience. I loved it. I have also been thinking about going back there. I now live in Australia and am not nearly as happy here as I was in Kenya.

There is some important things to consider though before moving to Kenya:
- the diseases
- the frustration with upset stomaches, Malaria (which you WILL get sooner or later), power failures etc etc
- it would be best to go over there with a European employer as else you may find it very hard to find a job
- when you go, make sure you have enough money to support yourself and set yourself up
- make sure you move somewhere where you can find a job, which is usually Nairobi
- Diani Beach and South Coast are beautiful but there are no jobs for Europeans and you have to live[/QUOTE]
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Old Jan 16th 2005, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: Advice on moving to Kenya

I understand that friends and family think that way. After all Kenya is poor, corrupt, there is a very high HIV rate (at the coast they assume that 80% of all people are infected, some people I worked with have now died of AIDS, it is in your face almost every day, so is Malaria, it is sometimes heartbreaking to know that your fellow worker has Malaria and there is nothing you can do as he did not get tested in time). Kenya is poor and once you are there on a local salary you cannot get out anymore.

On the other hand (and that is something that friends and family maybe don't understand): Kenya captures your heart. If you have been there once you always need to return. It is not like Australia or the States or Spain or whatever. There is something about Africa that will make you miss it for the rest of your life. I have known many expats in Kenya. Some with children (international schools are very expensive though). Houses are still cheap. There is some very nice areas, like Diani beach. On the other hand there is no jobs there. Most of the expats I know have not had any trouble with diseases. They have an internal blood transfusion list (European list) so you don't have to worry when you have an accident or sth. and need a blood transfusion. Most of them had Malaria a few times. But you know right away when you have it, as you are so crook, you have your test, take your medecine and you are back to normal a few days later. Most of the people I know worked for European hotel chains or as pilots.

Once you are there and know the right people, you can quite easily get a job. On the other hand I have met many expats in Kenya who have somehow lost the plot, alcoholics etc. Everything is pole pole which can be frustrating at work. The lack of Western goods, the frequent upset stomachs (I lost so much weight there), and the almost constant humidity can be nerve-wrecking. But the African sun, the friendliness of the people etc. makes up for it. I would always ever see Africa as temporary because I dont think it is a good place to retire. On the other hand there is Western hospitals there etc.

What annoyed me most was the corruption. You have to go with the flow even against your believes. Still I would go back any day. I have been missing Africa every day since leaving. I lived near Mombassa, which is good when you work in hospitality. On the other hand there are not many other jobs and they prefer locals in hospitality. Also, Malaria and HIV are very big at the coast. If I went back I would probably prefer the Nairobi hills although it is not at the beach.

I felt very safe in Kenya but mainly because I had my own chauffeur, there was security dogs and fences around the property etc. I hated the power cuts (reason for upset stomachs as meat in the fridge goes off). Overall I felt safer in Kenya than in Australia. In Australia our neighbours got broken into, their cars got stolen, there were needles from drugos in front of my home one day, etc etc.

In Kenya you are aware of the dangers, so you lock your car when driving through Mombassa etc, in Australia you expect to be safe. Maybe that is why I felt rather disappointed regarding security in Australia while I was fine in Kenya.

I was insured through my employer. International Health insurance which would have covered me for anything even if I had to go back to Europe for an operation. I strongly recommend to find a European employer (aid agencies, hotels etc. ). www.findajobinafrica.com etc.

Good luck with all your plans.
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Old Jan 17th 2005, 12:09 pm
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Default Re: Advice on moving to Kenya

Originally Posted by maliaka
It is heartening to hear some positive feedback on Kenya as the vast majority of my family and friends think I have completely lost the plot, they seem extremely worried about my security. The negatives can't have been that bad if you would consider going back!

Whereabouts did you live in Kenya and how safe did you feel, is security a big issue?
How did you cover yourself with regard to medical care?
QUOTE=darwinite]I have lived in Kenya for 6 months. It was a great experience. I loved it. I have also been thinking about going back there. I now live in Australia and am not nearly as happy here as I was in Kenya.

There is some important things to consider though before moving to Kenya:
- the diseases
- the frustration with upset stomaches, Malaria (which you WILL get sooner or later), power failures etc etc
- it would be best to go over there with a European employer as else you may find it very hard to find a job
- when you go, make sure you have enough money to support yourself and set yourself up
- make sure you move somewhere where you can find a job, which is usually Nairobi
- Diani Beach and South Coast are beautiful but there are no jobs for Europeans and you have to live
[/QUOTE]

I do have to say that I grew up in Kenya, going to Secondary school there. Due to the vigilance of my mother (a trained nurse), the fact that we lived primarily in Nakuru and Nairobi, and that I went to school in Eldoret, none of us actually got malaria. One thing we did get (apart from my mother) was Tick Typhus, which is borne by a bite from a microscopically small flat brown tick - my father and sister weren't too bad, but I nearly died - so it's something to look out for.

These things aren't meant to put you off, you understand, it's just that it's best to be vigilant at all times. It's a beautiful country, exquisite - I've never stopped missing bougainvillea and frangipani, and bananas and pawpaw never taste the same anywhere else!
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Old Jan 21st 2005, 5:16 am
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Default Re: Advice on moving to Kenya

Originally Posted by Jacaranda
- I've never stopped missing bougainvillea and frangipani, and bananas and pawpaw never taste the same anywhere else!
Excepting Zimbabwe of course
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Old Jan 21st 2005, 12:08 pm
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Default Re: Advice on moving to Kenya

Originally Posted by izibear
Excepting Zimbabwe of course
Natch!
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Old Jan 23rd 2005, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Advice on moving to Kenya

Originally Posted by maliaka
I visited Kenya in Novemeber 2004 and fell in love with the country, the culture and its people. I am planning a 3 week trip at Easter to see if it was just an excellent holiday or if Kenya is really calling me.

I would love to hear from anyone from the UK who has lived in Kenya as my knowledge of the country is limited. I was very impressed by their simple but happy lifestyle and would love to leave behind the shackles of our materialism, has anyone done this and lived to tell the tale?
Jambo
I lived in Nairobi and worked with the British high commission there as an Engineer for three years. You live in properties with 7/24 hour coverage and lock yourself in your bedroom area over night behind a steel grill (called a "keep"). Maids and servants are not expensive and even your trainers get washed! Living is very cheap, most of the shopping places are run by Asians with the Africans doing the manual work. Fillet steak is about £5.0 a kilo and 5 kilos of Passion fruit for making cordial will set you back less than a pound. Bribery is everywhere, even at a police station recovering my sons damaged car, the policeman recieving my statement asked for his "Christmas present". The local people are nice and you still get adressed with the old colonial ways and respect. There is a Kenya ex-pat community who have grown up in the country and own large farms who sometimes give the UK folk a bad name with their pompous behaviour and treatment of the locals, I cringed sometimes when some of their loud voices rose in shopping centres. They weren't for most of the time very well dressed either compared to the local Africans! The countryside and coast is beautiful as are the lakes such as Niaivasha and Turkana. Obtaining a "Residence" card enables you to stay at the Game parks and hotels at vastly reduced prices compared to the Tourist rates.Security is a major issue of course, you shout "thief" in the city centre and the robber is grabbed and kicked to death on the spot before the police can get to him. Using common sense will however prevent you having major problems. My main worry would be the health issue and HIV. I heard from a Scandinavian male nurse that the "screening" of blood in the hospitals was not up to what he considered a safe standard. If you had an accident and needed blood....and it could happen,...you'd have to take the chance! One of our Visa section managers went out to assist a man who'd fallen from a high floor onto the car park and got some of the mans blood on him before the poor chap was taken to hospital. Later he had to go for a HIV check because the man had jumped out of the window to commit suicide after receiving an HIV postive result from his doctor. Luckily he was clear!
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