Moving to Nairobi

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Karibu Nairobi! Welcome to Nairobi!

media type="custom" key="25324882" align="left" Geographical Location Nairobi is not only Kenya’s capital. It also constitutes a province of its own. At least, this was the case under Kenya’s old administrative system, which has been undergoing major reforms. In 2013, Kenya’s eight provinces were subdivided into 47 counties. However, the new Nairobi County is basically identical with the old Nairobi Province, except for the name. Stretching 20 km from north to south, Nairobi includes an area of approximately 700 km². It comprises 17 so-called constituencies, which are subdivided into 85 wards. The wards are frequently named after residential areas, but neighborhoods may cross the invisible borderline between adjacent wards. As a geographical rather than an administrative entity, Nairobi is situated in a favorable spot. The city is close to the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley. This range of volcanic mountains and lakes runs through the whole of Kenya. Its high elevation above sea level (1,660 m) and its proximity to the equator make for a pleasant climate. Foreigners moving to Nairobi will be glad to hear that temperatures are moderate. With an annual low in July (10°C on average) and the hottest days in February (between 25° and 26°C), the weather is not extreme. Nairobi only has two seasons: the wet one, particularly from March to May, and the drier months. So, there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy, for example, the scenic beauty of the Ngong Hills, which border Nairobi in the west.

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Arriving at the airport

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is located 18 kilometers east of the capital of Nairobi, Kenya. The largest airport in East and Central Africa is served by 49 airlines with direct flights to Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and the African Continent. The terminal building consists of three areas: Unit I and 11 serves international departures, Unit II is also international departures, and Unit III serves domestic departures and arrivals. The airport hosts over 5 million passengers each year. Taxis and car rentals are available for transport to and from the airport. The airport is currently undergoing expansion to double its capacity along with a planned rail link. To date, JKIA serves a daily average of 19,000 Passengers from Africa, Europe and Asia. The airport has direct flight connections to Europe, the Middle East, Far East and the African Continent. Jomo Kenyatta international airport is half-an-hour’s drive from the Nairobi city centre. Taxis are readily available but it is advisable for visitors to establish the fare before setting off for their destination. Also present are state controlled Kenatco Taxis and London style cabs which work on a fixed rate and have to charge as per kilometer as determined by law. However, most tourist hotels have their own transport which can be arranged in advance.

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Immigration requirements

A bona fide visitor may be issued with a visitor’s pass on arrival at a port of entry into Kenya valid for a period not exceedisng three months in the first instance provided that he is in possession of a valid passport or other travel document acceptable to the Government of Kenya, has a valid visa where required, is in possession of sufficient funds for subsistence while in Kenya and a return, or onward ticket to his country of origin, domicile or destination. Nationals of East African Partner States holding valid passports and other acceptable travel documents may be issued with a visitor’s pass on arrival at a port of entry into Kenya valid for Six Months.Travellers entering Kenya by road are advised to pass through the gazetted entry points and report immediately to an Immigration Officer. All inquiries where necessary regarding visas and immigration should be made to: [] .

Requirements for;

a) single journey visas:

  • Two visa application forms V.I to be duly filled, signed and dated.
  • Two copies of an Invitation letter/ Cover letter from the applicant.
  • Two copies of identity card if host is Kenyan.
  • Two copies of valid residential work permit if host is a foreigner.
  • Two copies of marriage certificate if visiting spouse.
  • Two passport size photographs of the applicant.
  • Two copies of valid Passport/travel document of the applicants Bio data page and page showing validity of at least six months.
  • Two copies of medical referral letter from a hospital or a doctor for medical cases.
  • Two copies of applicants residential/work permit if not residing in their country.
  • Referral fee is USD 10

b) transit visas:

  • Two visa application forms V.I to be duly filled, signed and dated.
  • Two passport size photographs of the applicant.
  • Two copies of valid Passport/travel document with a validity of at least six months.
  • Copies of onward ticket/itinerary to a third destination.
  • Transit Visa Fee is USD 20.

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  • No yellow fever vaccination certificates are required of all travellers from the East African Community Partner States, Europe, Asia, North America, Australia, North and South Africa.
  • No cholera vaccination certificates are required of travellers coming from all over the world.
  • Only valid yellow fever vaccination certificates are required of all travellers over one year old, arriving from yellow fever infected countries mainly in central and West Africa, South and Central America South East Asia, India, Nepal Sri Lanka, Bangladesh.Vaccination for international travellers are obtainable from all international air and sea ports, city

Safety measures for visitors to Nairobi:

  • Make a copy of your passport and keep it in your luggage.
  • Don't walk on your own at night in the major cities or on empty beaches.
  • Don't carry too much cash with you.
  • Wear a money belt that fits under your clothes.
  • Don't carry a lot of camera equipment especially in the major cities

Housing in Nairobi

If you already have temporary accommodation in Nairobi, or will not be residing on the ILRI Nairobi campus, the following online resources may be helpful for your housing search.

Don’t forget to check the notice boards at upscale shopping malls like Sarit centre,Thika Road Mall,Village Market, Yaya Centre and many more.Beware of con men posing as property agents.

Always check if utilities and security are included in the monthly rent expenses. Find out the mode of paying your utility bills with the following providers.

  • Electricity: Kenya Power and Lighting Company (electricity, 220V/50 Hz)
  • Water: Nairobi Water (water)
  • Garbage disposal: Nairobi City Council (waste disposal)
  • Pay television: [| Multichoice], [| Zuku]
  • Mobile phones and internet: [| SafariCom] ,[| Airtel], [| Orange] and [| YU], Faiba (mobile phones and Internet)