10 useful tips for any foreigner moving to Nairobi — and please save us all that 'Hakuna Matata' vibe

Planning to re-locate to Nairobi? These few tips should help you settle in with ease.

Are you a foreigner planning to move to East Africa's most cosmopolitan city?

Well, re-locating to Nairobi should not be that much of a hard task as we have a couple of tips to help you settle in with ease.

A recent Quora thread asked people who have lived in Nairobi on some of the best advice to offer to those seeking to settle in the Kenyan capital. Here are some of them:

Get your Visa upon arrival

You will need 50$/40€/30£ in cash to pay for a visa upon arrival at the airport. Once you are passed passport control and got your luggage, you’ll find several ATMs where you can withdraw cash with your Visa/Mastercard

Install Uber and Taxify.

Saves you the price negotiation and hailing cabs. When you just land, it will save you paying 3 times the price from the airport, because you are tired and just want to get in a cab and get it over with.

Know your address

Make sure to find the location on Google Maps before you moved. You’ll need to put it as the destination address when you hail the cab from the airport.

Learn basic Kiswahili

How to say hi, respond, and ask for directions.

Liaise with a house agent on getting an affordable home

Housing in Nairobi esp within the CBD & environs is expensive. The further from the city the cheaper the housing is and you still have access to social amenities. It’s advisable you get a reliable house agent who can give you options within your budget.

Get a reliable mobile service provider

Safaricom is the best choice. Fast internet speeds , broad network coverage and the money exchange platform MPESA that comes especially handy in the day to day life of Nairobi. Speaking of Mpesa, you should consider having an account as it will be vital in helping you make money transactions from the comfort of your phone.

Food and vegetable supplies are cheap in Nairobi

There are accessible fresh food markets. Find a wide range of assorted food products & spices at supermarkets esp Chandarana.

Learn the culture

It comes with amazing music, language (it is structured in a way that makes lots of sense) and style (for both men and women). Go to music events and get some Masai items like sandals, it’s so colourful and happy.

Explore the various entertainment spots

There are many clubs and entertainment spots everywhere within the city. Get your host to take you to Westlands, Kilimani, Ngong’ road or Lang’ata areas to sample the nightlife.

And FYI, NOBODY… Do you hear me? NOBODY SAYS HAKUNA MATATA!

That was just a phrase popularized by Disney, and apparently, for some weird reason, gets non-African foreigners buzzing. That phrase has never really picked up into mainstream spoken or written lingo. Nope. LOL.

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