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The Best Places for Expatriates To Live in Nairobi, Kenya And Rent 

By Prudence Minayo

The number of expatriates working in Kenya is estimated at more than 12,000, according to figures released by the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Coordination Board. . These expatriates-who are attached to NGOs and international charities-are predominantly from the United States, Europe, Somalia. These organisations operating in Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan have their headquarters in Nairobi. Top management of some of these organisations rake in millions in salaries and allowances per month thus affording them a life most Kenyans can only dream of. In 2019, Nairobi was ranked the 45th best city to work in globally and the best in Africa. 

That said, this article takes a look at some of the best places for expats to live in Kenya.  Furnished apartments are pricey compared to the non-furnished ones.


Westlands is a rich neighborhood to live in Nairobi. It is always buzzing with activities and has everything one needs to live a comfortable life. It is home to some of the best hotels in the city including Villa Rosa Kempinski, Nairobi Movenpick Hotel and Residences, Ibis styles, Golden Tulip and Nairobi Park Inn by Radisson. It is also a great place for shoppers with a variety of shopping malls, such as the Sarit center which is one of the country’s oldest malls. The night life in the area is also superb as the place is full of some of the most amazing nightclubs in the country. On a good day, with no traffic, it may take one less than 10 minutes to get to Nairobi CBD.

The apartments are well designed and very affordable for the moneyed expatriates. 

Rent: A three bedroom furnished apartment can go for about kes160,000 per month including service charge depending on location. A stand alone house goes for upwards of kes300,000. 


This is one of the most popular residential estates for expatriates in Kenya. It is home to the United Nations (United Nations Environment Programme-UNEP) and United Nations Human Settlements Programme. The Embassy of the United States Of America (USA) is also located in Gigiri making it one of the most guarded estates in the country. Village Market is one of the largest and modern malls in the country that mostly caters for the expatriate community. 

A 8 bedroom house goes for kes600,000 per month and you can find a two bedroom apartment going for kes200,000. 


This is an area administered in Westlands and is where the affluent in Kenya reside. Rent in some of these addresses is kes500,000 and more. The place is secure thanks to the prominent personalities who reside in that area. 

Rent: Apartments in this area go for Kes120,000 per month according to Knight Frank. 


This is one of the safest places to live in Kenya and even raise a family. The roads in the area are in good condition and you can easily access shopping malls, hospitals and other amenities. The peaceful nature of the area is a magnet for expatriates. The area also has an arboretum that provides the perfect ambience. One can relax or even go for picnics in the area and enjoy the sight of monkeys jumping around. The area’s close proximity to the Central Business District is also a bonus.

Rent: A fully furnished apartment can go for kes.120,000 (USD1,200)


Located 4km from the CBD, Kilimani started in the mid 20th century as a whites-only residence. After independence, a number of able Kenyans bought land in the area and today it is one of the best places to live in the country. Statehouse is located in the area and it is also the home to Yaya center, a big world class mall with over 100 retail shops. The apartments in this area tend to be wee bit pricey.

Rent: A three bedroom can go for kes100,000 per month on the lower side. 


Parklands is one of the best places to live in Nairobi and is administered in Westlands. It got the name due to its close proximity to city park. This is a secure area with a number of high-rise apartments. The most common landmarks in the area include: The Diamond Plaza and the Aga Khan University Hospital.


Karen is synonymous to old money in Kenya. This is an area where one is likely to rub shoulders with some of the richest people in the country. Property in Karen is expensive and attracts expatriates who earn good money. 


This is a rich area with some of the best amenities in the country. It houses amazing hotels such as, Four Points by Sheraton, Nyama Mama Express and Nook Café. The area is secure and contains high-rise furnished apartments at a considerable price. It also contains some very affordable rentals that are unfurnished, therefore, what one will rent depends on the money in their pocket.


This is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the country, home to both new and old money. It is a rich area with a number of amenities and activities to do. The area is secure and is home to Muthaiga Golf Club which is one of the best in the region. 


This is a prestigious neighborhood that is home to the high income earners in the country. It is a secure location with wonderful infrastructure and in close proximity to a variety of shopping centers. The apartments in the area are skilfully designed to suit the tastes of expatriates. Next