How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Kenya? A Comprehensive Guide

Have you ever wondered how much money you need to live comfortably in Kenya? Well, the answer is quite simple – it depends on your lifestyle. If you are content with a basic lifestyle, then you can get by with as little as KShs 50,000 ($500) a month. However, if you want a more luxurious lifestyle, you’ll need at least KShs 350,000 ($3,500) a month. So, whether you’re planning to move to Kenya or just curious about the cost of living there, keep reading to find out what it takes to live comfortably in this amazing country.

Living comfortably in Kenya requires a certain level of financial stability. This includes having enough money to cover your basic needs such as food, housing, and healthcare, as well as some extra for leisure activities. The cost of living in Kenya is relatively low compared to other African countries, but it varies depending on a few factors such as your location, lifestyle, and job. For instance, Nairobi, the capital city, is generally more expensive than other cities and towns in the country.

Generally, the cost of living in Kenya is affordable, and one can live on a budget if need be. However, if you want to live more comfortably, you’ll need to factor in some extra costs. These include a comfortable house, a reliable car, and entertainment expenses such as eating out, travel, and leisure activities. With a little planning and budgeting, you can live comfortably in Kenya, regardless of your income level.

Cost of Living in Kenya

Kenya, a country located in East Africa, is known for its diverse wildlife, sandy beaches, and bustling cities. However, if you plan to live in Kenya, it’s essential to consider the cost of living. The cost of living refers to the amount of money required to sustain a certain standard of living in a particular location. In this article, we will take a closer look at the cost of living in Kenya.

  • Accommodation: Depending on where you choose to live in Kenya, the cost of accommodation varies. Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, has the highest cost of living when it comes to accommodation. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs around KES 50,000 (USD 500) per month, while a three-bedroom apartment costs around KES 120,000 (USD 1,200) per month. If you are on a budget, you might opt to rent outside the city center or go for a shared apartment.
  • Transportation: Public transportation in Kenya is affordable, with buses and matatus (mini-buses) being the most common means of transport. The cost of transportation varies depending on the distance, but a matatu ride in the city costs around KES 30 (USD 0.30), while a bus ride costs between KES 50-100 (USD 0.50-1.00). Owning a car, on the other hand, can be quite expensive, with the cost of a new car ranging from KES 500,000-1,500,000 (USD 5,000-15,000).
  • Food and Groceries: Food in Kenya is relatively cheap, especially for those who enjoy local delicacies. A meal at a local restaurant can cost between KES 150-500 (USD 1.50-5.00), while groceries for a week can cost around KES 2,000-3,000 (USD 20-30) for a single person. Imported food items are more expensive than locally produced ones.

Other expenses that you might need to consider when planning to live in Kenya include healthcare, education, utilities, and entertainment. The cost of healthcare varies depending on the type of treatment and the hospital. Public schools in Kenya are relatively cheap, but private schools can be expensive, with tuition fees ranging from KES 100,000-500,000 (USD 1,000-5,000) per term.

Below is a table summarizing the cost of living in Kenya:

Expense Average Cost per month (KES) Average Cost per month (USD)
Accommodation 70,000 700
Transportation 3,000 30
Food and Groceries 8,000 80
Utilities (electricity, water, gas) 5,000 50
Healthcare 5,000 50
Entertainment 5,000 50

In conclusion, the cost of living in Kenya varies depending on your lifestyle and the city you choose to live in. However, with proper planning, it’s possible to live comfortably in Kenya at an affordable cost.

Average Salaries in Kenya

When considering how much money you need to live comfortably in Kenya, it’s important to take a look at the average salaries in the country. While some may be able to survive on less, the following figures can provide a general idea of what you might expect to earn in various industries.

  • The average salary in Kenya is KES 82,000 per month ($752).
  • Salaries can vary greatly depending on the industry, with banking and finance jobs typically paying the highest salaries.
  • Some of the highest-paying jobs in Kenya include investment bankers, lawyers, and IT managers.

It’s important to note that while these salaries may seem high compared to the cost of living in Kenya, they may still not be enough to live comfortably in certain areas or for those with high expenses. Many Kenyans also rely on side hustles or informal jobs to supplement their income.

For a more detailed breakdown of salaries in Kenya by industry and job title, see the table below:

Industry Job Title Average Salary (KES)
Banking and Finance Investment Banker 600,000 – 800,000
Legal Lawyer 150,000 – 400,000
IT IT Manager 250,000 – 450,000
Engineering Civil Engineer 120,000 – 350,000
Healthcare Doctor 150,000 – 500,000

Overall, while salaries in Kenya can vary greatly depending on the industry and job title, it’s important to factor in the cost of living and individual expenses when determining how much money you need to live comfortably.

Housing expenses in Kenya

When it comes to living comfortably in Kenya, housing expenses usually take up a significant portion of your budget. The cost of living in Kenya varies greatly depending on the location and type of house you choose to live in. Here are some key factors to consider when budgeting for housing expenses in Kenya:

  • Rent: Rent can range from KES 5,000 to over KES 100,000 per month depending on the location and size of the house. If you plan on renting a decent one or two-bedroom apartment in Nairobi, you should budget for at least KES 30,000 per month.
  • Utilities: Utilities such as water, electricity, and gas can add up to KES 10,000 per month. Be sure to check with the landlord or agent if the rent includes these utilities or if you’ll have to pay them separately.
  • Furniture: If you plan on renting an unfurnished house, you’ll need to budget for furniture and appliances. A decent sofa set and TV can cost up to KES 80,000, while a good quality fridge and cooker can cost KES 30,000 each.

It’s important to negotiate with the landlord or agent before signing the lease to ensure that you’re getting a fair deal. Additionally, if you plan on purchasing a house in Kenya, be prepared to spend over KES 10 million for a decent two or three-bedroom house in a good location.

To summarize, the following table gives you an overview of the average cost of housing expenses in Kenya:

Expense Cost (in KES)
Monthly rent for a one or two-bedroom apartment 30,000 or more
Utilities (water, electricity, gas) 10,000 or more
Cost of furniture and appliances 100,000 or more
Buying a decent two or three-bedroom house 10,000,000 or more

By taking these expenses into consideration, you can better prepare for your move to Kenya and live comfortably without breaking the bank.

Grocery Expenses in Kenya

One of the most basic necessities of life is food, and of course, grocery expenses vary depending on the region or country. In Kenya, the cost of groceries is relatively low compared to other countries, and this makes it easier to live comfortably without breaking the bank.

  • Prices of basic food items: The cost of food items in Kenya is generally low, and this is beneficial for those looking to live on a budget. A kilogram of rice costs around KSh 100-120, while a kilogram of beef can be purchased for KSh 400-500.
  • Local markets: Shopping at local markets can be a great way of reducing grocery expenses. Fruits and vegetables are cheaper at local markets, and the quality is often better.
  • Grocery stores: For those that prefer to shop at grocery stores, there are numerous options available in Kenya. Supermarkets like Nakumatt, Tuskys, and Uchumi are popular options, and they offer a wide range of products at affordable prices.

In addition, the Kenyan diet is heavily based on grains and vegetables, which are relatively inexpensive. Common staple foods include maize, beans, and potatoes. These can be easily purchased in bulk and stored for a long time, making them ideal for those on a tight budget.

When it comes to budgeting for groceries in Kenya, it is important to keep in mind the size of your family and their dietary requirements. But on average, a family of four can comfortably live on a budget of KSh 10,000-15,000 per month for groceries.

Item Price (KSh)
Rice (1kg) 100-120
Beef (1kg) 400-500
Onions (1kg) 50-70
Tomatoes (1kg) 50-80

Overall, grocery expenses in Kenya are generally low and affordable. With proper planning and budgeting, it is possible to live comfortably without overspending on groceries.

Transportation expenses in Kenya

Transportation in Kenya is a major expense, especially for those living in urban areas. The cost of transportation is affected by various factors, such as fuel prices, distance travelled, and type of transport.

  • Matatu – This is the most common mode of transportation in Kenya and costs between Ksh 20 to Ksh 150 depending on the distance travelled.
  • Boda boda – Motorcycle taxis are also widely used in Kenya, especially in urban areas. They cost between Ksh 50 to Ksh 500 depending on the distance travelled.
  • Taxis – Taxis are relatively expensive compared to other modes of transportation and cost about Ksh 400 per 10 kilometres.

Car ownership is also common in Kenya. However, the cost of owning a car is relatively high due to the high prices of fuel, maintenance, and insurance. A litre of petrol costs approximately Ksh 111 while a litre of diesel costs around Ksh 98.

If you are looking to save money on transportation in Kenya, public transportation is your best bet. Matatus and buses are affordable and widely available in most urban areas. It is also important to negotiate the price of boda bodas if you are using one as they tend to overcharge tourists and individuals who are unfamiliar with the local rates.

If you are living in a rural area, you may need to purchase a motorbike or car to travel to and from your place of work or for your business. It is important to factor in the cost of fuel, maintenance and insurance when making this decision.

Mode of transport Cost (Ksh) per kilometre
Matatu Between Ksh 2 to Ksh 15
Boda Boda Between Ksh 5 to Ksh 50
Taxi Average of Ksh 40 per kilometre
Car ownership Depends on the type of car and distance travelled

Overall, transportation is a significant expense in Kenya, and it is important to budget for it accordingly. However, there are affordable options that residents and visitors can use to get around without breaking the bank.

Healthcare expenses in Kenya

Healthcare in Kenya can be quite expensive, and it’s important to budget for medical expenses. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Health insurance: It’s highly recommended to have health insurance if you plan to live in Kenya. The cost of coverage can vary depending on the type of plan and coverage you choose, but on average, you can expect to pay around Ksh 12,000 to Ksh 20,000 per year for a basic plan.
  • Medical consultations and treatments: Consultations with a primary care physician can range from Ksh 1,000 to Ksh 5,000 per visit, depending on whether you visit a public or private clinic. The cost of treatments, such as medication or surgeries, will vary depending on the type of treatment and healthcare provider you choose.
  • Dental care: Dental care is an important part of overall healthcare and can also be costly. A routine dental checkup can cost around Ksh 2,000, while more extensive procedures such as root canals or fillings can cost upwards of Ksh 20,000.

Here’s a table outlining some estimated costs for common healthcare expenses in Kenya:

Expense Estimated cost
Health insurance Ksh 12,000 to Ksh 20,000 per year
Medical consultation (public clinic) Ksh 1,000 to Ksh 2,000 per visit
Medical consultation (private clinic) Ksh 3,000 to Ksh 5,000 per visit
Dental checkup Ksh 2,000 to Ksh 5,000 per visit
Root canal Ksh 20,000 to Ksh 50,000
Fillings Ksh 5,000 to Ksh 15,000 per filling

It’s important to note that these are estimated costs and can vary depending on the provider and location. It’s always a good idea to do research and ask for recommendations before committing to a healthcare provider.

Entertainment Expenses in Kenya

Kenya is full of vibrant and exciting entertainment options. From music festivals to sports events, there are plenty of ways to spend your leisure time. However, all of these activities can come with a price tag. Here’s a breakdown of the entertainment expenses you can expect in Kenya:

  • Movie tickets – An average movie ticket in Kenya costs around KSH 500 ($5).
  • Concerts – A ticket to a concert or music festival can range from KSH 1,000 ($10) to KSH 5,000 ($50) depending on the type of event and the caliber of the artist.
  • Sporting events – Attending a sports event such as a football match can cost anywhere from KSH 500 ($5) to KSH 5,000 ($50) depending on the location and level of the competition.

Aside from ticket prices, food and drinks are also a significant expense when attending these events. It’s not uncommon for a single beer to be priced at KSH 350 ($3.50) at a concert or sports event.

It’s important to note that these entertainment expenses can quickly add up, and it’s essential to budget accordingly. However, with some careful planning and a bit of flexibility, you can still enjoy all that Kenya has to offer without breaking the bank.


When it comes to entertainment expenses in Kenya, it all comes down to knowing your options and budgeting accordingly. By being mindful of the prices and researching your options, you can still enjoy all the exciting events that Kenya has to offer while staying within your means.

Remember, it’s always better to be conscious of your spending and stick to a budget than to overspend and regret it later. With a bit of planning and careful consideration, you can make the most of your leisure time in Kenya without sacrificing your financial stability.

FAQs: How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Kenya?

1. What is the cost of living in Kenya?
The cost of living in Kenya depends on various factors such as your lifestyle, location, and quality of housing. On average, a person needs around $500 to $1,000 per month to cover basic expenses like food, accommodation, transportation, and healthcare.

2. How much does accommodation cost in Kenya?
The cost of accommodation in Kenya depends on where you live and the type of housing you choose. For example, a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Nairobi can cost you around $300 to $500 per month, while a three-bedroom house in the suburbs can cost $700 to $1,000 per month.

3. How much do groceries cost in Kenya?
The cost of groceries in Kenya depends on your preferences and dietary needs. On average, a single person can spend around $100 to $200 per month on groceries, while a family of four can spend $400 to $500 per month.

4. How much does transportation cost in Kenya?
The cost of transportation in Kenya depends on your location and mode of transport. A single bus fare in Nairobi can cost around $0.30, while a taxi ride can cost $5 to $10 for a short distance.

5. How much does healthcare cost in Kenya?
The cost of healthcare in Kenya depends on the level of care you require. Public healthcare is relatively affordable, with basic services starting from $5 to $20 per visit. Private healthcare can be more expensive, with consultation fees ranging from $30 to $100.

6. Is it possible to live comfortably on a budget in Kenya?
Yes, it is possible to live comfortably on a budget in Kenya. By making smart choices and avoiding unnecessary expenses, you can live a comfortable life on a budget of around $500 to $1,000 per month.

The Bottom Line

Living comfortably in Kenya depends on your lifestyle and budget. While the cost of living in Kenya can be relatively high, it is possible to live a comfortable life on a budget. By choosing affordable housing, transport, and healthcare, you can reduce your expenses and enjoy a fulfilling life in Kenya. We hope this guide has helped answer your questions. Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you again soon!