Is Nairobi a good option for expat professionals?

Is Nairobi a good option for expat professionals?

Is Nairobi a good option for expat professionals?

If Africa is your chosen destination for a career change or acceleration, Kenya’s capital Nairobi could well be the place.

Taking a chance on an African destination is one way to get ahead in the careers race, provided you’re fully aware of the pluses and minuses of your decision. According to recent surveys, the continent is becoming more popular with expat professionals, but ease of settling in can be something of an issue due to cultural differences. At present, Nairobi is seen as a greatly improved location, having been rated third in the world for its ease of acclimatisation.

Advantages for newly-arrived expats include the ease of making friends within the local community, and the climate and overall weather seems to please all those who’ve relocated to the city, except when the occasional heavy rains cause traffic congestion. Nairobi’s quality of urban life is regarded as having improved over past years, as has its transportation options and the important aspect of personal safety. One possible problem for expat professionals is the less than perfect state of the local economy and its affect on career prospects in general.

Finding a home isn’t difficult, and the majority of resident expats seem happy with their working hours. One issue for those renting accommodation is that landlords are somewhat reluctant to return deposits when contracts are ended and, for a number of expat residents, personal safety is still an issue in spite of improvements. Another important issue is the overall cost of living and its effect on expat wellbeing as, although Kenya itself is generally considered to be an affordable option, Nairobi’s cost of living is decidedly on the high side.

For those on reassignment for their home country employer, it’s possible to come to an agreement, but for those travelling alone the only option is to tighten the belt until conditions improve.

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