Cost of living in Kenya

On 15 October 2013 by From elephants to kangaroos

kes-1000-kenyan-shillings-1I continue my articles on the everyday life in the country. After local transport and local food, now I pass on the cost of living in Kenya. Many people think that Africa does not cost anything, it’s more or less true. In fact, everything depends on what you do and what you want. Most things like food would be cheaper than in France. However, there are things you will pay more because you will have more trouble finding them, if you do find them. Obviously, traveling to Kenya on safari will cost you much more than travelling there or living like the locals!

To help you, know that the current rate is 1 euro = 114 Kenyan shilling but to facilitate our task everyday, we count 1 euro = 100 KSH. Here are some prices observed:

Transportation :
– 1 ride matatu: 20 KSH in day, 30 KSH in “rush hour”, 70 KSH if you go out of town
– 1 tuk tuk: between 100 and 200 KSH according to the distance
– Picky picky 1: between 50 and 200 KSH according to the distance

Communication :
– 1 low-end phone: 2000 KSH
– 1 SMS: 1 KSH if sent to Kenya, 10 KSH if sending in Europe
– Internet in a cyber cafe: 1 KSH / minute

Food:
– 1 chapati : 10 KSH
– 1 mandasi : 5 KSH
– 1 bottle of water: 1L: 60 KSH / 3L: 113 KSH / 5L: 140 KSH
– 1 packet of biscuits 100g: 26 KSH
– 8 pizzas: 4800 KSH
– 1 package of bread: 95 KSH
– 300g of jam: 109 KSH / 1kg: 269 KSH
– 30 eggs: 300 KSH
– 1 pot of thyme: 62 KSH
– 1 lollipop: 5 KSH
– 1 yogurt 500g: 78 KSH
– Chicken for 15 people: 660 KSH
– 500g of pasta: 120 KSH
– 500g margarine: 118 KSH

Others:
– 4 rolls of toilet paper: 100 KSH
– Appointment of one doctor in the hospital: free in a community hospital (but I don’t advise you to go) / 1000 KSH in a good hospital (excluding drugs of course)
– 1 night in a guesthouse in Kisumu: 25 euros per night for 2
– 1 night in a hotel in Nairobi: 1900 KSH per person per night
– 4 tires: 80 KSH
– 1 packet of Ariel for 1 laundry: 25 KSH
– 1 entry to the pool: 100 KSH for children, 250 KSH for adults
– 9 days safari in large parks: at least 1500 euros without flying and without tips

So overall, life is more accessible and less expensive, but you can find sometimes yourself spending a lot of money in a right to left for the children of the family or those of the school… Be careful also of many scams, all prices are negotiable if you are not in a supermarket, especially when you’re white. Overall, the food prices are stable in the small shops in the city but for the rest, this can vary from one to three (or more!).

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