How Much Does It Cost to Live In Kenya?

Kenya is a very decent place to live.

The thing about Kenya is that there’s a large gap between the rich and poor which makes for a very unfair market since it’s the rich that run the economy.

The biggest expense you’ll have in this country is rent which is pretty high taking into consideration monthly salary.

The rest of your expenses will depend on your lifestyle and what you want to spend on.

Bear in mind, while in Kenya, that haggling and bargaining are a part of their culture and is common in open markets where produce or clothes are sold.

Cost of Living Index:

Kenya : Cost of Living by City



Restaurants, like mostly everything else, are pretty cheap in Kenya. For example, a meal in a good restaurant per person would cost less than 9$. On the other hand you can always eat street food any pay it only a couple of dollars. In the end, everything really depends on you and how much you want to spend on food.



If you’re in Kenya and get homesick about food, imported goods are sold in common supermarkets like Nakumatt, Uchumi, etc. where you can find them and buy them at higher prices than domestic groceries. Malls can be quite expensive also while shopping at local markets will save you a considerable amount of money.



Transportation is reasonably cheap. It isn’t a bargain but it’s mostly reliable though it probably isn’t as organized as you’d want it to be. You can catch a bus anytime, and taxis are even cheap. One-way ticket to wherever you want to go is less than a dollar, while a monthly ticket is around 30$.



Monthly utilities are also relatively cheap. For an apartment that is a bit larger, of about 85m2, all the basic utilities including water, gas, cooling, electricity and garbage services will cost you around 50$. The good thing is that the bill doesn’t double during winter, because you won’t ever need any heating.

Sports and leisure


However cheap everything else in Kenya is, practicing sports definitely isn’t among those cheap things. Being a member of a gym or a fitness club in Kenya will cost you more than being one in any of the less popular countries in Europe or America – prepare to spill out 60$. Cinema tickets cost 7$ each.

Clothing and shoes


Now, shopping might be something more affordable. If you’re thinking about going to a mall in Kenya and shop till you drop – it might be a good idea, because clothing there is very cheap. A pair of quality jeans will cost less than 30$, while good sneakers of brands like Nike will cost you only about 50$ or less.

Rent per month


Rent is, according to some, very expensive, though compared to the rest of the world, it would be considered pretty low. However, for the residents of Kenya, paying rent is a difficult job, given the fact that their salaries are also pretty low. An apartment in the center of any of the main cities will cost you around 300$.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Kenya

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $4.42
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $1.96
Water (0.33 Liter) $0.46
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $0.88
Loaf Bread (500g) $0.51
Eggs (12) $1.48
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $0.49
Monthly Pass $29.47
Gasoline $1.05
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $47.25
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.03
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $60.59
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $59.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $6.55
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $7.37
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $26.51
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $30.68
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $51.95
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $304.82
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $160.93
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $160.93

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Kenya?

Food is definitely the biggest expense for anyone living in Kenya, which makes sense – you have to eat if you want to survive on a day-to-day basis.

The next on the list of expenses is the rent, which may not be high per se, but is definitely very high compared to the people’s incomes.

Restaurants and transportation have almost the same percentage on the expense pie chart, and they are followed by sports which, in Kenya, is extremely expensive.

Clothing and utilities are the cheapest and the lowest expense for an average resident of Kenya.


Kenya: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

The low incomes are the main reason why high rents are such a huge problem.

If an average person receives an average salary of about 300$, they can barely afford to rent a normal-sized apartment in a city center.

Minimum wage in Kenya is also pretty low: just a bit above 150$.

This is barely enough to make ends meet even while living in pretty bad conditions.

If you want to spend a month in Kenya, 500$ would suffice and 700$ would be plenty enough if you really want to splurge.

Average Salary$362.71
Minimum Wage$158.4
Mortgage Interest Rate14.24%

Cost of Living by City in Kenya

City Cost of Living Index
Nairobi 41.76

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