Cost of Living in Nairobi

Summary about cost of living in Nairobi:

Restaurants [ Edit ] Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 500.00 KSh 350.00-1,000.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 3,000.00 KSh 2,000.00-4,050.80
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 700.00 KSh 500.00-1,000.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 225.00 KSh 200.00-300.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 300.00 KSh 200.00-400.00
Cappuccino (regular) 248.40 KSh 200.00-350.00
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle) 57.63 KSh 30.00-100.00
Water (12 oz small bottle) 52.90 KSh 30.00-150.00
Markets [ Edit ]
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 407.88 KSh 340.69-567.81
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 52.49 KSh 45.36-90.72
Rice (white), (1 lb) 86.50 KSh 54.43-136.08
Eggs (regular) (12) 167.10 KSh 120.00-253.17
Local Cheese (1 lb) 320.46 KSh 158.76-810.16
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb) 331.59 KSh 226.80-453.59
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 233.92 KSh 181.44-362.87
Apples (1 lb) 132.24 KSh 90.72-170.55
Banana (1 lb) 56.49 KSh 38.10-113.40
Oranges (1 lb) 94.25 KSh 45.36-136.08
Tomato (1 lb) 60.78 KSh 45.36-86.18
Potato (1 lb) 67.03 KSh 36.29-99.79
Onion (1 lb) 49.33 KSh 40.82-68.04
Lettuce (1 head) 80.00 KSh 35.00-202.54
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 107.83 KSh 60.00-160.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 1,006.35 KSh 800.00-1,500.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 207.86 KSh 150.00-289.34
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 267.00 KSh 200.00-400.00
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 250.00 KSh 200.00-350.00
Transportation [ Edit ]
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 80.00 KSh 50.00-100.00
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 3,000.00 KSh 2,025.40-4,000.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 300.00 KSh 200.00-500.00
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 321.87 KSh 160.93-482.80
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 300.00 KSh 200.00-500.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 408.63 KSh 378.54-441.76
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 1,600,000.00 KSh 1,400,000.00-2,000,000.00
Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 1,433,750.00 KSh 1,100,000.00-2,500,000.00
Utilities (Monthly) [ Edit ]
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 5,538.89 KSh 2,600.00-10,127.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 3.36 KSh 2.00-4.00
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 6,970.90 KSh 3,500.00-10,000.00
Sports And Leisure [ Edit ]
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 5,921.77 KSh 3,500.00-10,000.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 728.43 KSh 400.00-1,012.70
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 800.00 KSh 600.00-1,000.00
Childcare [ Edit ]
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 20,863.64 KSh 10,000.00-50,635.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 865,398.46 KSh 480,000.00-1,850,000.00
Clothing And Shoes [ Edit ]
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 2,860.54 KSh 1,500.00-6,076.20
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 3,080.71 KSh 2,000.00-6,000.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 6,212.63 KSh 4,000.00-10,000.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 5,333.33 KSh 3,000.00-8,101.60
Rent Per Month [ Edit ]
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 46,000.00 KSh 25,000.00-70,000.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 19,708.33 KSh 15,000.00-40,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 99,166.67 KSh 70,000.00-150,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 49,347.83 KSh 35,000.00-80,000.00
Buy Apartment Price [ Edit ]
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 19,615.87 KSh 11,148.27-92,902.27
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 8,639.91 KSh 5,109.62-13,935.34
Salaries And Financing [ Edit ]
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 35,666.67 KSh
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 14.50 12.00-18.00

Prices in Nairobi

These data are based on 1625 entries in the past 18 months from 176 different contributors.
Last update: April 2019
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26 Comments so far

#Fostin on Apr 18, 2019 :
There are even studio apartments that cost btn 10,000-15000ksh a month along chiromo/waiyaki highway in westlands close to the city centre, and the closest market place is at behind sarit centre where prices are cheaper than the above.
#Anonymous on Mar 27, 2019 :
All of Africa is deeply indebted to China, drowning in debt actually.The prices as of May 2018 were close to being correct but now prices need to be adjusted another 70% higher on everything to offset loses.
#da on Nov 13, 2018 :
Nairobi is not as expensive as the prices suggest if only one would ask the right people and not feel superior. if you are on a budget counting your cost from accommodation, grocery, transport et al, you can get, like anywhere in the world, cheaply, inexpensive, safely and conveniently. Some of us do understand how it is like to get money to travel from your countries and the kind of jobs you do to save and be able to travel to a foreign country.
#Fonsi on Sep 16, 2018 :
These are reasonable prices. Slightly more expensive but better be prepared than sorry. I am an expatriate working in Nairobi. I pay 15,000 ksh (150$) for a one bedroom out of the city. I spend 3000 extra on additional bills. Lunch and breakfast is provided at my workplace so that's about 6000ksh for dinner monthly (I don't eat much). 4000 ksh for transport and 5000ksh for leisure, 6000ksh for home internet and phone credit. And 3000ksh for my dog's monthly expenses (but I usually end up using only 700ksh if vaccines are not needed that month). I am also a student, so 20,000ksh goes into my school fees every month.

I feel for anyone moving to a new country, it's not easy and guidance is very important. I am willing to help (advice only) anyone thinking of moving to Kenya Nairobi. You can visit my blog to contact me or learn more about Kenya.
#matingas on Mar 31, 2018 :
Nairobi is a cool place, expensive for the broke, but much cheaper than Europe and America.. crime is common in poor in westlands, Karen, kileleshwa,muthaiga,lavington,runda, kitusuru,kyuna,..the above estates are good,no crime but very expensive.. $300 for a one could shop elsewhere for better deals. contact me for more
#Anonymous Guy on Mar 10, 2018 :
Hi, i have read all the comments here and some foreigners are coming out as really not that smart especially around financial management. If you want to live exorbitantly or as if you are in Europe or America, then be ready to spend a lot of money and be swindled by clever unethical businesses including schools :).

Nairobi is very cheap if you make a budget, track expenses, don't be peer-pressured to go out every time, live within your means with set goals for your life. Young people and expats are the people who spend without thinking in Nairobi paying hundreds of thousands a month for rent (what stupidity).

All this is brought about by their false notion of what is DESCENT for a restaurant, mall, house, lifestyle etc. Your choices when it comes to this reflects your morals, character, goals, self-control etc which can be summed up as VALUES!!

Therefore, don't be lied to by people here or some of the false costs provided above. It all depends on you. Shop in normal supermarkets like Quickmart, Tuskys, Cleanshelf etc and preferably buy your vegetables in the local markets. If you didn't ask a local about the prices beforehand, you will OBVIOUSLY be asked to pay at a higher price since to you, it is assumed it is so little and you won't notice or 'feel it'.

Cheers!! Happy Travels everyone 2018 and beyond
#Abukar on Nov 19, 2017 :
Hi this is Abukar Ahmed I’m living in when I get the stitches I need to come in Nairobi and I wanted to stay to play around with them and I loved it so how much I’m going to be three months
#John on Sep 22, 2017 :
Hello everyone.

I have applied for the UN Internship program in Nairobi, which is unfortunately unpaid. Put differently, if I am selected I would need to finance it on my own.

Is there someone in Nairobi right now who can assist with the minimum amount of money that is needed for my "survival" in Nairobi?

Renting a flat with some local maybe - transportation cost for the public transport - groceries

Nothing luxurious.

Thank you!
#Sam Sahoo on Jun 08, 2017 :
Is this seriously the cost of living in Kenya?? How do locals and poor people survive there. Sometimes I think that these prices are blown out of proportion. Because as far as I know if such is the disparity between the wages and inflation in any part of the world, the common people would kick the govt. out of power.
#Shueshue on May 17, 2017 :
I think the prices depend on whether you are local or expatriate in Kenya. Expatriates will be charged exorbitant prices for rent, fruit & veggies at the markets etc. Also, as safety is a major concern here, most people will also need to fork out money for guards, electric fencing etc. You will also not travel by public transport as this is not safe. If you want to buy imported good such as soy milk, you will pay 5x the price you would pay back home. The same goes for organic veggies vs veggies sprayed with toxic amounts of chemicals.
If you want to travel within te country you will pay a lot of money for hotels which have super high prices compared to the facilities you get for it.
If you want the same lifestyle as back home, you will pay much more money that you would in Europe. Living a relatively simple life (limited alcohol, once a week to a restaurant, a few weekend breaks here and there ) but with all the necessary safety measures in place and an international school for my kids as most non-international schools don't have the same quality as back home, I spend at least USD 10.000 per month for a family of 4.

And, every month, Kenya becomes more expensive.
##Anonymous on May 02, 2017 :
Milk has shot up from KES 50/- for 1/2 a litre, to 65/- for the same amount in less than a quarter of a year. This among many other consumables, which has led to the twitter hashtag #CostOfLivingKe to trend amongst Kenyans on Twitter.
##anonymous on Nov 11, 2016 :
first of all, let me just finish laughing.
if you want to live a high end lifestyle what do you expect. of course life will be very very expensive.

my advice like some people said below, spend some time and get accustomed to the way of life in the city. the prices put above are downright outrageous.
I have seen foreigners living in normal neighbourhoods, using public transportation, shopping where the regular Kenyan shops (the goods sold are the same everywhere). it's not because they don't earn a lot, but if you intend to live here plan your budget wisely. otherwise you will end up complaining how everything is expensive and its not.

like @concerned reader said "it must be made clear that there are various classes of shopping outlets, products in the market, accommodation by location and other considerations"
#Anonymous on Oct 26, 2016 :
Have you consider flat share with local before you get your own for best choice here
#Viki on Oct 13, 2016 :
Hi there, I am arriving to Nairobi in January 2017, for 3 months, how much money do I need to have? I want a small 1 bedroom apartment in a safe area, with internet, to cover costs of transport, buy food from a grocery story and sometimes eat in local cafes, have some money for buying clothes and simple stuff. Thank you :)
#Vel on Nov 08, 2015 :
How to manage in nairobi with monthly salary of 800USD.Kindly give me suggestions.
#bob on Oct 05, 2015 :
Can any one tell me about the travel allowance money that you need to leave kenya if you are an Australian citizens returning home to Australia
#alex on Aug 21, 2015 :
not true, am nairobian I pay 10000 pm for 1bdrm ,expense depends on where u shop. income of 50k u will live a normal life, that is no personal car and expect traffic jam in rush hours
#concerned reader, on Jul 31, 2015 :
it must be made clear that there are various classes of shopping outlets, products in the market, accommodation by location and other considerations, healthcare services, schools and much more products and services. Be assured that while in Kenya and particularly Nairobi you will enjoy a wide and diverse selection of local and imported products just like most cosmopolitan cities. But the prudence is to arrive and take time to get around, it might help to get localized quickly and avoid appearing like a snob, tourist and especially the expatriate attitude.

like many cities you are bound to get non-resident costs slapped on you when get around to tourist location but they are always reasonable rates. you can subsidies an outing by opting to do self catering and self drive in the game parks.

also avoid giving out bribes for services my advice will be to quickly learn the local language (Swahili or sheng) you will be more accepted, infact the more I talk about Nairobi the more I feel like I am talking about NEWYORK.........
#Adriana on Jul 26, 2015 :
Some posts are outrageous!! Clearly these posts are not by locals but expats who frequent exceedingly expensive shops and restaurants.. Taxis do not cost 6,000 plus, unless you hire the taxi for a week (saloon car) or travel out of Nairobi..Local beer -Tusker retails utmost at Ksh 200. It might be Kshs 300 an above in expensive bars and restaurants meant for the well to do.. Rents of Kshs 150,000 and above is for apartments located in plush neighbourhoods with some coming furnished..You can find much much cheaper apartments to rent in less plush middle class neighbourhoods, there are houses up for rent for all budgets. You just need to be smart with regards to where you shop, dine and live..
#Gitonga on Jul 02, 2015 :
Hi, I'm Kenyan and live in Nairobi Bread is 50ksh, 1 liter of soda is 99ksh. Calling is 4bob per minute on safaricom which almost everyone uses and you can get chips 1 piece of crispy chicken and a 300 ml soda for 200... A full pizza (Google debonaires) is 850 and 1000 on Friday when they offer 2 for 1....hope that helps. From my speculation of foreign countries, here in Nairobi food and services are cheap, but electronics and luxury items are a bitch! Ps4 is 56,000 when it should be 39,000. So It's not a good place to buy laptops, tablets or phOnes. The Tax on importing cars ls also insane... But housing is okay 15mil will get you a descendent 3 bedroom apartment in upscale areas like Lavington
#Mark on Jun 22, 2015 :
I live in Nairobi and have done for 5 years
These prices are incorrect for an expat

Rents have increased 25% each year for 3 years in a row
If you want a decent 3 or 4 bed house, expect to pay 250,000 to 350,000 kes per month

a meal out in an ok restaurant costs between 5,000 and 10,000 kes
#murphy on Jun 13, 2015 :
I jes want to know if an average man can survive in the city of nairobi,kenya
#Missy on Jun 11, 2015 :
The rates are almost accurate, give or take afew tens.

Nairobi is expensive for those that want a certain kind of life and its cheap for those expatriates that know the ropes and are reasonable in their spending. I have expatriates for colueagues and they live within thin reasonable means and still earn some good salaries. You don't have to live in a 3 br house and pay 150k or drink at some expensive joint every day. By the way, those saying local beer goes for 300, havent been to decent places that sell at 200 or less.
#Anonymous on May 15, 2015 :
Dear Sir/Madame

I have been travelling back and forth to Kenya for over two years now and I am astonished how the people survive with such horrific pricing.

I live in Vancouver, Canada and 2014 forbes cited my city as the most expensive in North America, yet the prices in Nairobi, Mombasa were higher then my own city with little comparison to infrastructure or social services.

I went through $15,000 in 6 weeks between taxis costing $50-$80 for trips into Nairobi from buru buru, one hour away, to paying 350Ksh plus for a domestic beer, to paying 12,000 ksh for my wife and myself at an average restaurant.

your pricing is sadly outdated or misrepresented... just groceries alone at Tusky's, we could not afford to shop at the Nakumart, were running 18,000 sh per two weeks, that's $450 USd per month for two people and we are not big eaters, meat and beer or a bottle of wine was extra.

a small glass of wine, I mean 4 oz was 350 sh plus at a simple local bar.

we went to a Luo restaurant in Nairobi upstairs we hade gideri, bowl of rice, two meat bowls two tuska malts and the total bill came to 2050 Ksh or $25.62 USd not including tip for a very small and light lunch and this place was a two or one star restaurant.

Rent is outrageously high unless you live in the for expats or investors you really need to update your facts on this country because it is highly misleading and very outdated.

Also you forgot the cost for graft if you are not black...this should be implemented as self inflicted gratuities and cost us about 15,000 per month.

I hope you take a serious and realistic look at the pricing index of this country as you are sadly mistaken.
#supratim on May 14, 2015 :
i want to know how much i would save in 90000 kes is my salary
company giving accomodation with electricity & water with transportation to office.
how much i save ,kindly help me
#len on May 13, 2015 :
I am sorry but I have to warn EVERYONE this price index and costs are way under valued, I have been travelling back and forth to Nairobi, Mombasa, nakuru, for over two years...and Nairobi is comparable to New York pricing.

Domestic beer starts at 350sh, imported 500sh, a cheap wine (4 oz only) 350-500, a shot of hard liquor ( a shot is 1/3 oz, not a true shot) 300sh

Food at a local 2 star restaurant for two dinner with one glass of wine and bottle of beer is 4000-6000 sh if you share a salad!

Cost of weekly groceries will run you 9000-12000 per week not including any alcohol

taxis are about 6000-8000 to run into Nairobi and out for a one hour ride

then graft will cost you about 12,000 per month if you are white.

I feel so sorry for the Kenyans here because their wages do not support their families, while these business rape their economy.

If you want to go to a 4 star restaurant you will be wasting your money for the quality of food and preparation but you will pay up to 18,000 sh or $225.00 USD for two people with a bottle of wine and appetizer...

this is not a place to retire unless you are wealthy

I saw many Kenya kimbu, expats who live like Kenyans and talked to them as to what happened,,,they said they cannot afford to live in Kenya and they cannot afford to leave.

be warned