|Preface Last Updated: 3/19/2004
Despite economic and political difficulties following
independence in 1963, the Republic of Kenya is a beautiful and
interesting place to live. Nairobi is a modern capital by African
standards, offering a pleasant climate, varied sports facilities,
good schools, and year‑round availability of fresh meats and
Wild animals can be found minutes from downtown Nairobi in
Nairobi National Park, and lodges and game parks abound. Along with
elephants, lions, zebras, and rhinoceroses, Kenya has more species
of exotic, colorful birds than are known in most other countries.
Most game parks are accessible by car, although many resorts and
parks offer economical air packages. More than 42 different tribes
in Kenya result in a fascinating variety of cultures, each with its
own language, traditions, handicrafts, and occupations. Some 48,000
American tourists vacation here each year.
Archaeologists have found evidence from about 2.9 million years
ago of human existence in Kenya. The famous Leakey family of
paleontologists continues to work at various sites throughout the
country to learn more about man's origin and ancestors.
Kenya has a great deal to offer Americans who are willing to take
advantage of it.
The Host Country
Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 3/11/2004 5:25 AM
Kenya is bordered on the north by Ethiopia and Sudan, on the west
by Uganda, on the south by Tanzania, and on the east by Somalia and
the Indian Ocean. It has an area of 224,960 square miles, about the
size of Oregon. The northern and eastern three‑fifths of the country
are arid. The southern two‑fifths, where most of the population and
nearly all the economic production is centered, consists of a
low‑lying coastal area and a plateau varying in altitude from 3,000
to 10,000 feet. Although only about 20% of the land is suitable for
cultivation, agriculture is the most important economic activity.
The Nairobi area offers the contrasts of green rolling uplands,
thorn scrub of the famous game plains, coffee and tea estates, and
entry to the Great Rift Valley. Farther afield are the forests and
snows of Mount Kenya, the dairy and farm country of the highlands,
the tropical beaches of the coastal strip, and the deserts of the
Nairobi is 87 miles south of the Equator and some 300 miles west
of the Indian Ocean. The downtown area has an elevation of 5,400
feet, but some residential areas are located at more than 6,000
feet. Nairobi has four seasons, but overall temperature changes are
moderate. Mid‑ December through March are mainly sunny and warm by
day, cool at night, and generally dry. April and May constitute the
principal rainy season with lower day temperatures. The months of
June through September are mainly dry, but often cloudy and cool,
with cool nights. October and November make up the short rainy
season, with long sunny periods, warm days, and cool nights.
Average annual rainfall in Nairobi is about 39 inches, but the
actual amount varies widely in any year.
As shown in the table below, daily temperature range is great. It
can be quite warm at midday, yet cool in the evening.
Average Temperatures in Degrees Fahrenheit:
Month Low High
January 54 77
February 55 79
March 57 77
April 58 75
May 56 72
June 52 70
July 51 69
August 52 70
September 52 75
October 55 76
November 56 74
December 55 74
Population Last Updated: 3/19/2004 2:08 AM
Kenya’s population in 1999 (the latest year the country carried
out a population census) was about 28.7 million. The annual
population growth rate is 2.3%. About 51% of the population are
female. Eighty percent of the population live in the rural areas and
rely upon smallholder agriculture and livestock production. The
urban population is centered mainly in greater Nairobi, which has
about 2.2 million people, and in Mombasa, which has some 665,000.
The standard of living in major urban centers is among the highest
in sub-Saharan Africa, and the people are proud of their country's
development. The largest ethnic groups are Kikuyu (21%), Luhya
(14%), and Luo (13%). About 1% of the population are non-African,
principally Asian, European, and Arab.
Following decades of steady progress, the mortality rate of
children under age five is 112 per 1,000 births. Malaria continues
to kill more children than any other infectious disease, although
HIV is becoming an important factor. Life expectancy rose
tremendously in the 1980s from 50 to 60 years, but by 1998 it had
fallen back to 50 years, due primarily to AIDS. HIV‑seroprevalence
rose from 4.8% of the adult population (ages 15‑49) in 1990 to 13.9%
in 1998. HIV infection is most common among young adults, with girls
and young women at greatest risk.
The country is predominantly Christian (70%), with Protestants
accounting for 40%, and Roman Catholics 30%. Muslims comprise about
20% of the population, and another 10% or so are animist. There is a
heavy Christian concentration in Nairobi and a predominantly Muslim
population in the coastal area.
English is the official language, while Swahili is the national
language and the more important lingua franca. The literacy rate in
English is about 60%. English is used in most schools beyond the
Public Institutions Last Updated: 3/11/2004 5:36 AM
Kenya started on the road to economic and political reform in
1992, in response to internal pressure for change as well as
initiatives by the World Bank, IMF, and other multilateral and
bilateral donors. In that year, Kenya introduced multiparty
democracy, which began a still ongoing process of political reform
and economic liberalization. In the mid‑1990s the Government of
Kenya undertook economic reforms after a serious drop in economic
growth. Reforms included lifting price and foreign exchange
controls, reducing tariffs and removing other trade barriers,
adopting sound fiscal and monetary policies, and beginning a program
of parastatal privatization.
In December 2002, the nation held its third successive multiparty
elections (following ones in 1992 and 1997). Divisions within the
Kenya African National Unity (KANU) party (which had ruled Kenya
since independence) and the forging of an alliance of opposition
parties to create the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) led to a
decisive NARC victory in Parliament, and the election of Mwai Kibaki
to the presidency. KANU acknowledged defeat gracefully, and now
leads the Parliamentary opposition. NARC holds 131 of the 222
Parliamentary seats, and KANU 68.
Kenya has a vigorous free press, and has recently begun to allow
the establishment of independent radio throughout the country.
Independent TV stations compete with the state broadcaster in the
The United Nations has a large operation in Nairobi,
headquartered across the street from the Embassy. The U.N.
Environment Program (UNEP) and the U.N. Center for Human Settlements
(HABITAT) have their world headquarters here. Other U.N. bodies such
as UNESCO, UNICEF, the U.N. Information Center and the International
Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) maintain regional headquarters in
Nairobi. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Ford
and Rockefeller Foundations, and numerous nongovernmental
organizations are also represented. Many international conferences
are held in Nairobi, accommodated by a variety of high‑quality hotel
and meeting facilities for groups of almost any size.
Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 3/19/2004 2:19 AM
Nairobi offers a range of cultural institutions and activities.
Several organizations offer classes for adults and children in
painting, ballet, voice, and instrumental music. French, German, and
Italian lessons are available from the Alliance Francaise and French
Cultural Center, the Goethe-Institut, and the Italian Cultural
Center. Libraries in Nairobi include the Kenya National Library, the
Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library of the University of Nairobi, the
British Council, the U.S. Embassy’s Information Resource Center, the
French Cultural Center, the Goethe‑Institut, and the Nairobi City
Council’s MacMillan Library.
The Phoenix Players offer repertory theater. Amateur groups
present European and African plays throughout the year. Nairobi’s
several movie theaters show an increasing variety of films,
including more and more first‑run American films.
The National Museum sponsors the Kenya Museum Society (KMS). This
society and Nature Kenya (the East African Natural History Society)
host lectures and films; KMS also presents the popular “Know Kenya”
course each year, a series of lectures, films, and day trips which
offers an easy and pleasant way to get to know the area. They also
organize other activities and trips to places of natural and
historical interest. Specialized groups such as the East African
Wildlife Society, the Mountain Club of Kenya, and the Nairobi Music
Society offer other ways for people to involve themselves in life in
The Kenyan education system follows the American calendar, or
8‑4‑4 system, with a British‑style system of external examiners. The
school year runs from mid‑January to mid‑December with breaks in
April and August. All work leads toward passing the Kenyan primary
and secondary examinations. Numerous government, private, and
parochial primary and secondary schools can be found here.
The standard American curriculum, kindergarten through grade 12,
is offered by the International School of Kenya (ISK), which is
attended by the children of most Mission employees. Rosslyn Academy
is becoming another popular school due to its location close to the
new Embassy. The United States International University (USIU) of
San Diego has a campus in Nairobi and offers courses at both the
undergraduate and the graduate university levels.
The University of Nairobi has about 15,000 students and is strong
in many areas. Its curriculum includes arts and sciences, commerce,
architecture, and engineering. Kenyatta University focuses on
education while Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and
Technology, as the name implies, concentrates on agriculture. Other
public universities are Egerton University, a strong agricultural
institution, Moi University, and Maseno University which all offer a
variety of subjects in the arts and sciences.
Several private business and commercial colleges in Nairobi offer
courses equivalent to the American college freshman level. More and
more private businesses and commercial colleges are offering
computer courses, some leading to degrees with examinations
conducted by British and American institutions.
Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 3/16/2004 2:28 AM
Kenya, with a gross domestic product (GDP) approaching $11
billion, is the most developed economy in East Africa. However, with
an estimated population of 32 million people (almost half of whom
are under the age of 15 and 57% of whom are living below the poverty
line), the country's GDP per capita is less than $300. Kenya enjoys
an extensive, if deteriorating, infrastructure, a generally
well‑educated population, and a strong entrepreneurial tradition.
Mombasa is the best and most important deep‑water port in the
region, despite deteriorating equipment and problems with
inefficiency and corruption. However, after the new government took
over in December 2002, measures have been put in place to fight
corruption. Kenya’s financial and manufacturing industries, while
still small, are the most sophisticated in East Africa. In March
2003, the three East African heads of state (Kenya, Uganda, and
Tanzania) signed a protocol agreement establishing a cutoms union
aimed at boosting trade within the member countries.
Agriculture employs the largest number of people in Kenya, and
the country exports tea, coffee, cut flowers, and vegetables. Tea
exports, Kenya’s largest single foreign exchange earner, netted the
country $437 million in 2002. Horticulture is the country's second
leading foreign exchange earner at $360 million in 2002, while
tourism was relegated to third position at $271 million. Coffee has
slipped to fourth position due to a slump in production, low world
prices, and mismanagement of local marketing.
Today, despite Kenya’s assets and the economic reforms the
government has adopted, the economy continues to struggle. After
experiencing a negative growth (-0.3%) in 2000, economic growth has
oscillated between 1.2% and 1.3% between 2001 and 2003. Whereas the
average annual inflation rate was 2.0% in 2002, it rose to about 10%
in 2003, but the forecast for 2004 is less than 5%. Kenya continues
to run a current account deficit, which has been offset by donor
assistance and private investment. Agriculture, one of the key
sectors of Kenya’s economy, recorded a modest growth (1.2%) in 2003.
Despite continuing terrorism threats, the tourism industry recorded
marginal improvement between 2002 and 2003. Kenya’s main imports are
industrial supplies, machinery and capital equipment, transport
equipment, and petroleum products. The country’s imports were valued
at $3.202 billion in 2003, while exports were valued at $2.202
billion. Kenya’s mineral resources are small.
Automobiles Last Updated: 3/25/2004 11:34 PM
During their first months at post, employees find that
transportation is difficult due to unsafe public transportation and
the expense and unreliability of taxis. Although the new Embassy is
close to most Embassy housing, it is essential to have a vehicle;
for employees with families, a second vehicle is often necessary.
The shipping time for vehicles is typically one to three months. Due
to inadequate public transportation and shipping times, Mission
employees may pay for home‑to‑work and other essential
transportation for up to 90 days after arrival. Car rental agencies
are available in Nairobi, but they are expensive.
In Kenya, traffic moves on the left. New legislation prohibits
importation of left-hand drive vehicles. Roads, even in Nairobi, are
rough and require heavy‑duty suspensions. Spare parts for American
vehicles are not available unless compatible with popular European
vehicles. New and used British, Italian, Japanese, German, Korean,
and French automobiles are available locally. Foreign vehicles
purchased duty-free in Nairobi are higher priced than American
vehicles, and since they must be ordered from the factory, delivery
can take longer than three months. Used vehicles are available, but
they usually are sold at a premium cost due to high demand.
Four‑wheel‑drive vehicles are needed to travel in remote areas and
in most game parks, and are generally recommended for their safety
Comprehensive automobile insurance is expensive in Nairobi, and
claims may take over six months with inadequate payments. Therefore,
excess liability/comprehensive/theft insurance from a U.S. insurer
is strongly recommended. Kenyan third‑party liability is mandatory.
Many local insurance companies offer a premium reduction for each
no‑claim year when substantiated by a previous insurer. Kenyan law
requires that duty and value added tax (VAT) be paid on stolen
vehicles if you import a replacement duty‑free vehicle.
Maintenance facilities for American vehicles are fair, but spare
parts cannot always be obtained locally, so a supply of essential
parts is necessary for American vehicles. Locally made tires are
often inferior in quality and expensive, so bringing spares is
helpful, although they can be ordered through the APO. Japanese,
Peugeot, European Ford, and Volkswagen makes are the most popular
right‑hand drive sedan cars in Kenya with adequate service
Fuel prices are high in Kenya. At the UN, gas and diesel cost up
to 25% less. Most Mission drivers use premium gas, since regular
gasoline has an octane level below American standards. Unleaded gas
has only recently become available in a few locations in Nairobi,
but since this is such a new development, vehicles should be
converted for leaded gas before leaving the U.S. Please note that
some newer models purchased in the U.S. may not run properly after
conversion, and the removal process may cause irreversible damage to
a vehicle (check with the manufacturer). Diesel fuel is available
Both the Kenyan Government and the U.S. Embassy have strict
regulations on importing and reselling duty‑free vehicles. Duty must
be paid when a duty‑free vehicle is sold to a person without
duty‑free privileges. Disposal of old or damaged vehicles is
strictly regulated, and a tax equivalent to the duty on the
precollision importation value must be paid. Keep records on a
vehicle purchased locally to prove that Kenyan shillings used to pay
for it were purchased with hard currency. Also, keep receipts for
imported vehicles, because U.S. law only allows you to keep the
amount of the original purchase price from the sale of duty‑free
Transit time for vehicles shipped to Kenya is usually one to
three months, and clearance procedures at Mombasa can add additional
time. Noncontainerized vehicles in the Port of Mombasa may be
subject to pilferage and/or damage; therefore the Embassy recommends
containerizing all vehicles. Ship all accessories and easily
removable items separately. Containerized vehicles are shipped via
truck or rail from the port to the Inland Container Depot in
All Mission members, except Peace Corps volunteers, are entitled
to duty‑free entry of a vehicle. Those with diplomatic privileges
and accompanied by their spouse may import two vehicles duty‑free.
Duty‑free importation for vehicles, household effects (HHE),
unaccompanied air baggage (UAB), and consumables are limited to the
first three months for administrative and technical staff.
Vehicles must be insured, registered, and licensed. Current
registration fees vary depending on engine size. License plates cost
2,000 Kshs., but driver's licenses are free. People with diplomatic
titles are exempt from the above fees, except for those for license
plates. In order to process vehicle registration and licensing, the
vehicle chassis and engine serial numbers (with the engine
capacity), the original title document proving ownership, and the
vehicle registration document must be available.
The minimum age for obtaining a driver's license is 18. Learner's
permits for motorcycles are available at age 16. To obtain a Kenyan
driver's license, you must have a valid international driver's
license (available from AAA in the U.S.) or a valid U.S. driver's
license. You must provide two photographs no larger than
1‑1/2"x1-3/8;" color or black‑and‑white photos are acceptable. If
licensing requirements are not met, difficult road and oral tests
must be taken.
Local Transportation Last Updated: 3/11/2004 5:57 AM
The Mission travel agent provides transportation to and from
airports on its bookings. Official Americans do not use public
transportation due to security concerns and appalling accident
rates. Taxis are difficult to obtain, except around the larger
tourist hotels, and fares are expensive and should always be
negotiated in advance. Avis, Hertz, and other vehicle rental
agencies operate in Nairobi, although rates are considerably higher
than in the U.S.
Regional Transportation Last Updated: 3/25/2004 11:34 PM
Nairobi is an international air center. Frequent flights are
available for many destinations. For most regional travel, air
transport is the safest and most reliable form of transportation.
Train travel is generally not advised in Kenya for safety and
security reasons; it is also slow.
Most primary roads in Kenya are paved or have been paved at some
point. Potholes exist on many stretches, and even good roads are
subject to closures due to weather conditions. Other roads range
from fairly good all‑weather dirt roads to mere tracks that require
four‑wheel drive to negotiate. Road accidents are common, often with
fatalities. Ambulance service is available but not very reliable.
Many local drivers treat traffic laws as mere suggestions. Defensive
driving is essential in Kenya, particularly at night, as many
streetlights, where they exist, do not work.
Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 3/19/2004 2:31 AM
Local and international telephone and computer services are
available throughout Nairobi; however, there are occasional
breakdowns. International toll call services to the U.S. are
available through various U.S callback service companies, as well as
the local PT&T. Other services, such as Internet, mobile phones,
call waiting, call forwarding, and pagers are available from Telkom
Kenya and other local vendors.
Internet Last Updated: 3/19/2004 2:31 AM
Residential internet service is available in many areas of
Nairobi, although poor telephone connections make it somewhat
unreliable, and the connections are generally slow. Some residents
find that they are not able to establish a connection because of the
condition of telephone lines in their area. Internet service cost
varies depending on which of the available Internet service
providers (ISPs) an employee decides to use. Although ISP prices
vary significantly, all Internet users also pay the local connection
Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 3/19/2004 2:41 AM
International airmail arrives from the U.S. about five times a
week. Transit time averages 10 days. Surface mail may take 3 months
or more. Address international mail as follows:
Embassy, CDC, and MRU
P.O. Box 606 Village Market
00621 Nairobi, Kenya
P.O. Box 30261
U.S. Peace Corps
P.O. Box 30518
Library of Congress
Library of Congress
P.O. Box 30598
All American direct‑hire employees and direct-hire contract
employees of USAID and their dependents may use the APO. The APO
limits the size of parcels that may be sent or received. The
following dimensions must be strictly observed: maximum weight, 70
pounds; maximum size, 108 inches, length and girth combined. The APO
has no registry facilities. American postage stamps are sold by the
APO, but bring an initial supply with you in case of shortages,
which can occur, especially at Christmas. Each agency at post is
assigned a unit number. Contact post to determine your unit number
before changing addresses. The current APO addresses are:
APO, AE 09831‑4100
APO, AE 09831‑4102
APO, AE 09831‑4103
Library of Congress
APO, AE 09831‑4110
APO, AE 09831‑4109
APO, AE 09831‑4112
APO AE 09831‑4107
Since APO facilities are good, diplomatic pouch facilities are
restricted to official use, with the exceptions of medicine,
eyeglasses, and orthopedic supplies.
Radio and TV Last Updated: 3/25/2004 6:42 AM
The American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) offers
news and a wide variety of programs to Americans employed by the
State Department and some other U.S. Government organizations in
Nairobi. The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) is the oldest and
the only national network. It broadcasts in both English and
Kiswahili on one VHF channel, but carries little international news.
It operates a TV station in Nairobi, as well as regional stations in
Kisumu and Mombasa. KBC owns Metro FM, which, with the use of
boosters, is heard in most other Kenyan towns. KBC has introduced a
pay cable station featuring South African programming, but a startup
fee to receive the channel comes to several hundred dollars. The
rest of the stations were licensed in the 1990s, and mainly operate
in Nairobi and outlying areas.
The Kenya Television Network (KTN) is a subsidiary of the East
African Standard Group of Newspapers owned by KANU party supporters,
and airs news programs with more balanced political coverage. KTN
also transmits in Mombasa. Other TV stations in operation in Nairobi
are Nation and Family. Most stations show U.S. reruns and popular TV
programs, films and sports.
The Kenyan TV system is PAL (VHF/UHF). Do not bring an American
TV unless it is first adjusted in the U.S. or you plan to use it
solely to watch American system (NTSC) tapes and the American Forces
Network (AFN). Kenya does not have adjustment facilities. Sets must
be adapted by having channel 3 adjusted to CCIR channel 4. Using a
transformer to reduce local 220v current to U.S. 115v current is
required as well. Most Mission members have multisystem TVs and VHS
VCRs that operate in either NTSC or PAL formats. Many local video
clubs are located in Nairobi, but most tapes are for the VHS system
PAL, although there are an increasing number of DVDs available. A
few outlets have NTSC format tapes. The Embassy Morale Store offers
VHS rental videos with NTSC format acquired from the U.S. as well as
FM radio broadcasting stations in Nairobi are Metro (KBC),
Nation, Kameme, BBC, VOA, Capital, Family, Kiss, Iqra, Metro East,
and Sounds Asia. An increasing number of FM radio stations broadcast
outside of Nairobi now, including the religious station Sauti ya
Rehema (Sayare). There is also the Mombasa‑based Christian‑oriented
Baraka FM, which broadcasts in both English and Kiswahili.
Either the new short‑wave radio models with digital readout or
the older short‑wave radio models with at least six bands are
desirable. Voice of America reception is fairly good in the early
morning hours and in the evening. VOA broadcasts to Africa programs
in English called “African Panorama” and “African Safari,” as well
as programs designed for a worldwide audience. Many other
international broadcasts are also received here, including the BBC
World Service. BBC and VOA also broadcast on FM frequencies in
Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated:
3/16/2004 2:53 AM
On the whole, the print media is candid and independent. The
mainstream print media include four daily newspapers that report on
national politics. The largest newspaper, The Daily Nation, is
politically independent and often publishes articles critical of
government policies. An investment group with close ties to the
former government (the KANU party) controls the second largest
newspaper, the East African Standard. It is generally critical of
the current government. The third daily, The People, is owned by an
opposition politician and is highly critical of the government. The
fourth daily, The Kenya Times, which has a small circulation,
reflects KANU party news. Usually the daily newspapers provide some
coverage of international affairs, mainly through Reuters, AP and
AFP (Agence France Presse).
There are also numerous independent weekly tabloids, as well as
“gutter” periodicals, which appear irregularly and are highly
critical of the Government. Reporting in these tabloids runs the
gamut from revealing insider reports to unsubstantiated
The International Herald Tribune arrives one to two days after
publication and costs about $1.75 a copy. British Sunday newspapers
are available late the same day.
The availability of weekly magazines is sporadic. Many technical
journals are available, especially in trade and agriculture.
European editions of Time and Newsweek, as well as other European
magazines, such as The Economist, are available.
Health and Medicine
Medical Facilities Last Updated: 3/16/2004 2:41 AM
The Embassy operates a Medical Unit for U.S. Government employees
and their eligible dependents, providing primary care, health
education, and immunizations. Since the local medical care is quite
good (though with some gaps), it is also a regional medevac point.
Nevertheless, medevacs to Washington, D.C., or Pretoria are
sometimes still needed and are arranged by the Medical Unit, which
also supports those in medevac status to Nairobi. The staff includes
a regional medical officer (RMO), a Foreign Service nurse
practitioner (FSNP), a regional psychiatrist (RMO/P), and a
psychologist, all of whom are available for individual and family
consultation by appointment. Two contract nurses and an
administrative assistant complete the office staff.
Aga Khan Hospital and Nairobi Hospital is the facility most
commonly used for inpatient care. The Medical Unit supervises and
assists in all cases when referrals are made to local physicians.
The RMO and FSNP provide primary health care which consists of
services that can be provided on an outpatient basis and includes
medical clearance exams, diagnosis and treatment of acute and
chronic illnesses, school physicals, well child examinations, and
health education. Patients are referred to local labs and radiology
facilities for diagnostic tests at their own expense.
Mammography, MRI, CT scanning, and bone density studies are all
The list of local physicians includes internists, surgeons,
pediatricians, primary care physicians, obstetricians, and
ophthalmologists. There are a few mental health providers trained in
the U.S. and Europe. General dentistry is available at a reasonable
cost, as is orthodontic treatment. Opticians are also available and
eyeglasses can be fitted locally. Solutions for contact lenses are
available. Many pharmacies supply prescription drugs, though drugs
are often under trade names different from those in the U.S. If you
are taking a prescription medicine, bring an adequate supply. Once
you have arrived, the Medical Unit can assist you in identifying a
local source or can provide a prescription for a U.S. mail‑order
The Medical Unit has a limited supply of medications for acute
illness. The Medical Unit supports the M/MED world‑wide policy,
which recommends that pregnant women return to the U.S. for
delivery. Please get copies of all of your medical records, lab
results, reports and any other pertinent information prior to coming
Community Health Last Updated: 3/16/2004 2:35 AM
All houses have distillers; otherwise, filter and then boil
drinking water. Bottled water is readily available. The Medical Unit
recommends that children be given fluoride supplements, which the
Vegetables and fruits should be thoroughly washed using a
solution of bleach in water and then rinsed with distilled water.
TB skin tests should be done annually.
HIV is prevalent, and precautions should be taken with sexual
encounters and blood contact.
Preventive Measures Last Updated: 3/16/2004 2:56 AM
Since Nairobi is about 5,700 feet above sea level, strenuous
physical exercise is best postponed for a few weeks after arrival.
Because Nairobi is also near the equator, the effects of sunlight on
the skin are markedly enhanced, so sunscreens are a must. Although
sunscreen is available locally, it is more expensive than in the
U.S., so it is wise to bring plenty with you, as well as hats.
Extreme caution must be exercised to avoid overexposure to the sun.
Malaria is not a significant risk in Nairobi and its close
environs. However, many parts of Kenya, including the coastal area
and the game parks, present the risk of chloroquine‑resistant
malaria. Traveling to those areas requires malaria prophylaxis
beginning just before departure and for four weeks after return.
People with regional responsibilities will be exposed to malaria in
most of their travels and will be taking antimalarials for much of
their tour. The recommended medication is mefloquine weekly or
doxycycline daily. A new alternative is daily malarone. One of these
regimens will be recommended to you, depending on your age, medical
history, and whether or not you are pregnant. Any anticipated
problems can be discussed prior to arrival with the tropical
medicine specialist in the Department of State’s Office of Medical
Services or with the RMO at post after arrival. Antimalarial
medications are available at the Medical Unit.
In addition to all routine childhood immunizations, people coming
to Kenya should be immunized against yellow fever, meningococcal
meningitis, typhoid, Hepatitis A and B, and rabies. Proof of
vaccination against yellow fever is required for entry into Kenya as
well as many other African countries and should be obtained in the
During your in‑processing, the Medical Unit will brief you and
open medical records for you and your family. This is the time to
bring in the copies of your previous medical records, including the
clearance physical, along with lab results and reports. Bring a copy
of your medical clearance if you have it and your yellow
immunization record. Keep this international immunization record
with your passport at all times.
Hand‑carry your medical records, as well as medicines you take
daily. Do not put them in your airfreight or household effects (HHE).
The Medical Unit will review your immunization record periodically
and update your immunizations, which include typhoid, diphtheria,
tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, HIB, Hepatitis A and
Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 3/11/2004 6:34
Kenyan work permits are generally difficult to obtain. People
with professional qualifications will be assisted in seeking work
permits but unemployment is quite high, salary levels are very low,
and income tax rates are also high. The general rule is that
noncitizens may not take a job that can be filled by a Kenyan
citizen. Post is working to put a bilateral work agreement in place,
but chances of obtaining employment in the local economy are not
Both the International School of Kenya (ISK) and U.S.
International University (USIU) do hire some fully qualified
American dependents as teachers at American salary levels. The
Mission hires Eligible Family Members, including non‑U.S. citizen
spouses, as well as members of household to work on a temporary or
permanent basis. Employment prospects within the Mission at Nairobi
are good with more than 30 full‑time, part‑time, temporary, and
job‑share opportunities. Jobs include refugee assistant, general
services housing coordinator, residential security coordinator, APO
supervisor, and Community Liaison Office (CLO) coordinator. Two
Consular Associate positions require successful completion of the
Basic Consular course at NFATC. EFMs interested in assistance with
enrollment while in Washington should contact the CLO or HR officer
well in advance of planned time in Washington. Post will not pay
expenses while taking the course. Word processing and computer
skills are always in demand in the Mission. Opportunities also exist
for volunteer and charity work in many fields.
American Embassy - Nairobi
Post City Last Updated: 3/11/2004 6:38 AM
Nairobi has changed dramatically since independence. Tall office
buildings and hotels mark the skyline. With a population of about
two million, the city has a modern (but deteriorating) downtown with
an assortment of hotels, restaurants, and shops. Nairobi also has
several modern shopping malls and numerous smaller shopping centers.
The city’s excellent climate ensures a year‑round display of lovely
flowering plants and trees.
Nairobi is both a busy city and a starting point for safaris (a
word meaning “journey” in Kiswahili) in search of game animals,
exotic birdlife, and stunning African landscapes. Hunting is
prohibited, except for limited bird hunting, but photographic
safaris are popular. Tourists come to Nairobi by the thousands en
route to Kenya’s many national parks, reserves, and beautiful
coastal beaches. About 48,000 American tourists visit Kenya each
Traffic in Nairobi is congested during business hours and
frequently hazardous. Downtown parking is inadequate during business
hours. When downtown, visitors should exercise caution to avoid
pickpockets and other petty crime.
Security Last Updated: 3/25/2004 8:32 AM
The Regional Security Office (RSO) is dedicated to making your
tour in Kenya a safe one. While we all face the reality of crime and
terrorism, most of us enjoy a normal life in Nairobi.
In 1998, the chancery in downtown Nairobi was heavily damaged in
a terrorist bombing. In 2003, the mission moved into a new chancery
in Nairobi's northern suburbs. The new chancery meets or exceeds all
current Diplomatic Security physical security standards. In response
to the Embassy bombing and the recent bombing of a hotel and failed
missile attack on a charter airline in Mombasa, the Department of
State has designated Nairobi as a critical threat post for
Crime is an increasing concern in both urban and rural areas of
Kenya. Incidents include muggings, carjackings and residential
break-ins. Crime and hazardous road conditions make driving at night
or in remote areas dangerous.
Armed and unarmed robbers, usually on roadways and footpaths,
have perpetrated incidents of street crime. Employees should avoid
wearing expensive jewelry and carrying large amounts of cash while
on the street. It is always advisable to travel in groups both
during the day and at night. When traveling by car, riders should
keep the doors locked and windows rolled up. Employees should be
alert and maintain high security awsareness at all times.
The RSO has a well-trained and -equipped 750-person local guard
force that protects USG facilities and residences. Also, it
maintains 11 mobile response teams that patrol the residential areas
with local police 24/7, and respond to any emergency in less than
ten minutes. In the last three years, post has not had a single
break-in to any of its 196 residences. In addition, each residence
has an alarm system, security lights, grilled windows and 24-hour
guards on duty.
Please note that importation of firearms into Kenya and licensing
are difficult and time-consuming. The Kenyan Government and the U.S.
Mission strictly enforce regulations pertaining to firearms (please
review post firearms policy). Holders of diplomatic passports can
introduce weapons into Kenya provided they meet the criteria of post
officials and conform to Kenyan standards and procedures. Employees
wishing to import firearms must route their requests through the RSO.
The RSO requires that all employees receive a post-specific
security briefing on arrival.
The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 3/25/2004 11:52 PM
The new Embassy, which was completed in March 2003, houses the
offices of the Ambassador and the DCM; the Management, Consular,
Political, Economic, Public Affairs, Regional Affairs, and Regional
Security sections; the Defense Attache's Office; the Department of
Homeland Security; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Foreign
Agricultural Service; the Foreign Commercial Service; the Kenya-U.S.
Liaison Office; and the Library of Congress. It is located on United
Nations Avenue in the northern suburbs, close to most U.S.
government housing and about 20 minutes from the International
School of Kenya. The new Embassy is a four-story,
125,000-square-foot building, built to "Inman-plus" standards. In
addition to ample office space, it has a cafeteria and fitness
center with showers. Within the 16-1/2-acre compound are tree-lined
gardens and an outdoor amphitheater. Employee parking is available
on the compound.
Plans are finalized to construct a USAID building on the Embassy
compound. In the meantime, the USAID Bilateral Mission and the USAID
Regional Economic Development Service Office (REDSO), are housed in
a complex located in the outskirts of Nairobi, about a half-hour
north of downtown. The Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Army
Medical Research Unit will remain co-located with Kenyan government
medical research organizations in Nairobi and Kisumu, a city several
hundred kilometers northwest of Nairobi. The Peace Corps is located
in its own building near the Westlands area of Nairobi.
Newcomers should plan to arrive in Nairobi on workdays and advise
the Embassy of arrival dates, flight times, and other details well
in advance. Most incoming personnel arrive via connecting flights in
International addresses, telephone numbers and e‑mail addresses
are listed below.
P.O. Box 606 Village Market
Centers for Disease Control
KEMRI, Mbagathi Road
P.O. Box 30137
(254‑20) 271-3008 or 271-7529
Medical Research Unit
KEMRI, Mbagathi Road
P.O. Box 30137
Nairobi (254‑20) 272-2541
Grevillea Grove, Westlands
P.O. Box 30518
ICIPE / Duduville
P.O. Box 30261
Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 3/16/2004 3:00 AM
Every attempt is made to have permanent housing ready for newly
arrived employees. In some cases, however, employees will reside in
temporary housing (either a hotel or a furnished apartment) until
their quarters are ready.
Permanent Housing Last Updated: 3/16/2004 3:06 AM
The Mission’s policy is to provide housing for all employees. The
Inter‑Agency Housing Board assigns housing, which ranges from
apartments to single-family units with large yards, before an
employee arrives. Therefore, it is important to ensure that travel
authorizations accurately reflect the size and nature of family and
dependents (those who will be resident for 50% or more of your
tour). To the extent possible, special needs are considered when
assigning housing. Please be sure to provide documentation regarding
these needs as soon as possible to the post Housing Office.
The Ambassador’s residence is a Spanish‑style stucco house on
five acres of land in the northern part of the city. This attractive
residential area is located about ten minutes by car from the
Embassy. It has five bedrooms, a study, a large living room, and a
separate dining room. The house has a swimming pool and tennis court
as well as a broad, enclosed patio. The DCM’s house is a spacious,
older type stucco residence with a large, well‑designed garden. It
is situated in the northwest area of the city close to several other
residences and about 15 minutes from the Embassy. It has four
bedrooms, a large living room, a dining room, and a den connected to
a large covered porch. Both of these residences are fully furnished
and equipped for representational purposes.
Furnishings Last Updated: 3/16/2004 3:15 AM
Post furnishings include complete sets for the living room,
dining room, master bedroom, and all other occupied bedrooms. Queen
beds are standard for master bedrooms and twins for remaining
bedrooms. Queen beds will normally be supplied for adult dependents
on orders. Mattress pads and pillows are also usually supplied.
Housing comes with draperies and/or curtains and rugs or carpeting
for each occupied room. Post provides major appliances:
refrigerator, freezer, washing machine, dryer, electric stove,
microwave oven, and vacuum cleaner. Other items that are supplied
subject to availability and budget constraints include a few
transformers, electric heaters, garbage cans, and patio furniture.
Employees may wish to supplement these items with their own
furnishings and decorations such as rugs, desks, or bookcases. Bear
in mind when planning that storage space can be limited. Some
agencies require that personal furnishings be shipped to post. Note
that it takes from one to three months for HHE to arrive and be
cleared at post. Check with your agency to determine the current
status of its furnishings program.
Hospitality kits are available to new arrivals until HHE arrives.
These contain basic housewares and kitchen supplies, such as bed
linens, towels, iron, toaster, dishes, flatware, coffeemaker, and
assorted kitchen utensils.
Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 3/16/2004 3:19 AM
All Embassy‑owned and ‑leased residences have intrusion alarms
with central monitoring by the Embassy’s local guard force.
Additionally, residences have been upgraded with grillwork and
approved locks on windows and doors. Locking gates have been
installed to separate the safe haven areas from the rest of the
Currently, all single residences and compounds have guards
assigned around the clock. The local guard contractor also has
roving patrols that can respond to a residential emergency in 5–10
minutes. The Embassy issues one radio for Embassy personnel, a
second for spouses, and a third if they have children. If a
residence has an outside antenna, one of the three radios should be
hooked up to the antenna when residents are in the house.
All Embassy residences have hot and cold running water and
standard plumbing. Many houses have fireplaces, and firewood is
supplied. Air-conditioning and central heat are not needed in
Nairobi’s pleasant climate.
Local current is single phase, 220‑240v, 50‑cycle AC, so American
110 appliances require transformers. These are available locally,
but are cheaper in the U.S. American 60‑cycle appliances will
operate at five‑sixths speed unless specifically converted. Because
voltage fluctuations and power outages in Nairobi take a toll on
110v appliances, bring surge protectors and UPS (uninterrupted power
supply) to protect personal computers, stereo, and video equipment.
Smaller, less powerful or less used appliances do well with
transformers only. Adapter plugs are sold in Nairobi to fit the U.K.
style sockets in the houses.
There is a residential generator pool program. Usually,
generators will run most appliances and outlets in the residences.
Food Last Updated: 3/16/2004 3:23 AM
In general, almost everything is available in Nairobi. Fresh
fruits and vegetables are plentiful throughout the year, including
such items as strawberries, mushrooms, gingerroot, asparagus, and
avocados. The growing season is year round, and people grow many of
their own vegetables. There is an endless supply of tropical fruits
such as mangoes, pawpaws, kiwi, and pineapples. Temperate zone
fruits such as apples, peaches, pears, and grapes are grown here as
well as imported. A wide selection of frozen items is available in
all the large stores, with a more limited selection in smaller
shops. Most fruits and vegetables are a bargain in Nairobi.
Nairobi has a number of modern butchers, which supply a wide
variety of meats. Beef, mutton, lamb, chicken, turkey, and pork are
all available, as well as Italian sausages, a variety of imported
cheeses, and fresh and frozen fish. Almost all spices are available
at lower prices than in the U.S.
Butter, cream, eggs, and pasteurized milk in sealed containers
are of good quality. Kenyan and imported yogurt, sour cream, and
cheese are available but the Kenyan products differ significantly in
taste from their American equivalents. Many imported items are
obtainable at local stores, but they are often expensive. Good
quality baby food and disposable diapers are available. Infant
formula is also available, but is much more expensive than it is in
Paper products and toiletries are also available but are of
varying quality and usually more expensive than in the U.S.
Nairobi has very small commissaries at the U.S. Embassy and USAID
that offer beer, wine, alcohol, soft drinks, and some basic food
items such as peanut butter, candy, snack food, tuna fish, ketchup,
mayonnaise, cereals, and a small video library. Most people use
their consumables allowance to order food and household items that
are locally too expensive or of inferior quality. These items
include baby food, diapers, paper products, detergents, fabric
softener, stain removers, and some of your favorite snack food.
Bring a supply of your favorite toiletries and cosmetics.
Clothing Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
General. Clothing is expensive in Kenya and often inferior in
quality. Bring a complete wardrobe for warm weather and for the
cooler season, bearing in mind that the weather in Nairobi does not
reach extremely hot or cold temperatures. Local and imported shoes
are available in Nairobi, but local shoes are inferior in quality
and fit. Imported shoes are of better quality but very expensive.
You should bring shoes with closed toes as well as sandals. People
with narrow feet find it very difficult to buy shoes that fit.
Shirts, socks, and underwear are of inferior quality, very
expensive, or both.
Nights in Nairobi are chilly, but you will not need a winter
coat, unless you plan to climb one of the mountains such as Mount
Kenya or Mount Kilimanjaro. A ski jacket or some warm clothing is a
good idea for going on safari to places at high altitudes. The
lowest temperature recorded in Nairobi in 25 years was about 40 ºF,
but the mean minimum for the coldest month, July, is 52 ºF. You will
need summer clothes as the days become quite warm-the daily maximum
in the warmest weeks of February can reach 82 ºF, and a trip to the
coast and to other parts of Kenya at lower altitudes will require
summer clothing. Sweaters and light jackets come in handy. Raingear
is a necessity, since the rains can be very heavy, and the mud can
ruin shoes. Rubber boots are available locally. For the warm season,
tropical worsted and washable suits are useful. Bring shoes and
clothes for any sports you enjoy.
Men Last Updated: 3/16/2004 3:24 AM
Men’s summer suits are available in a limited range. Suit styles
made by local tailors are different and tailoring questionable.
Formal attire is needed only for the annual Marine ball and for the
Ambassador and other senior officers. There are several other balls
given by other missions or organizations for which a tuxedo would be
appropriate. A black dinner jacket may be worn occasionally. There
are shops that rent tuxedos, but shirts must be bought. It is
difficult to find cufflinks, and studs for tuxedo shirts are not
available. Neckties and jackets are normally worn in the office.
Women Last Updated: 3/16/2004 3:25 AM
Lightweight wool, cotton, polyester, silk, and knits are worn in
Nairobi. Evenings are cool, and many receptions are held outdoors.
For evening, long and short casual cottons and jerseys or pantsuits
are worn to dinners, receptions, and at‑home entertaining. Be sure
to include wraps and jackets for evening wear. Furs are not normally
worn, and Nairobi has no fur storage facilities.
In general, informal fabrics and styles are more suitable than
very formal attire, and colorful prints are worn. Some women
purchase the colorful kangas, kikois, and saris worn by local women.
These are attractive and relatively inexpensive, as are tie‑dyed and
silk‑screened fabrics. Ready‑to-wear clothing is generally costly
and of inferior quality, although there are some African designers
who offer styles popular with American women.
For daytime, slacks, jackets and skirts, dresses, and sweaters
are practical, since the weather changes during the day from very
cold in the morning to hot at noon to cool again in the evening.
There is a wide range of sporting activities available, but sport
clothing, such as riding pants, boots, tennis dresses, and
sweatsuits are expensive and often poor quality. Lingerie is
available but expensive. Shoe and luggage repair is adequate and
Children Last Updated: 3/16/2004 3:26 AM
Children’s clothes are available but limited in variety. There is
some good quality clothing for children, but it is much more
expensive than American brands. Some American styles in jeans and
shirts are available at double the U.S. price. Underwear and socks
purchased locally are of poor quality and do not wear well.
Children’s dress clothes are seldom worn, but are needed for such
functions as Model United Nations for middle and high school
Bring raincoats for children and an ample supply of underwear,
socks, T‑shirts, blue jeans, shorts, dresses, slacks, blouses,
jackets, swimsuits (one‑piece swimsuits are required for swimming at
ISK) and pajamas. Since nights are cold, warm sleepers for infants
are advised. Heavyweight blanket sleepers for babies and young
children are available but more expensive than in the U.S.
Bring a good supply of children’s shoes. Local Bata brand tennis
shoes are available, but quality is poor. Special shoes for soccer
and other sports are available but expensive. Any corrective shoes
needed for children should be purchased before coming to Nairobi.
Many people order clothing from JC Penney and children’s
specialty stores either by catalog or Internet.
Supplies and Services
Basic Services Last Updated: 3/16/2004 3:27 AM
Most basic services are available. Barbers and beauticians
compare with those in the U.S. Among Nairobi’s tailors and
dressmakers, you will find some who do good work for a very
reasonable price. Dry cleaning is available and of fairly good
quality. Leather and suede can be cleaned but with varying results.
Electronic equipment repair is adequate but again with varying
Domestic Help Last Updated: 3/19/2004 3:04 AM
Household help is readily available. Female domestic employees
work as “ayahs,” or nursemaids, and household workers. Some also do
basic cooking, although most cooks are male. Conditions of service
are arranged between employer and employee, although there are some
Kenyan employment laws that apply.
A single person or married couple living in a house would
probably want a domestic employee, to perform household duties and
cooking, and a gardener. Those living in an apartment usually need
only one person to do the housework and cook. People with small
children may want an ayah/house woman.
Wages for domestic help as expressed in Kenya shillings are
rising at present due to an overall increase in prices. However,
since at the same time the shilling has fallen in value against the
U.S. dollar, the cost to Embassy employees has remained relatively
stable. Salaries are usually $100–125 a month depending on the skill
of the domestic help and the duties involved.
Many Mission houses have live‑in quarters for domestic help, but
some apartments do not. Employees with experience are paid
considerably more than the basic wage. In addition, the employer
usually provides locally made uniforms. It is advisable to obtain
workers' compensation insurance for domestic employees. This is
available locally for a nominal fee. Contributions to the National
Social Security Fund are at the option of the employer. Most
employers supplement their domestic help’s wages by providing a food
allowance or matatu fare.
Religious Activities Last Updated: 3/18/2004 3:49 AM
Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Dutch Reformed Church of Scotland
(Presbyterian), Church of Province of Kenya (Episcopal), Lutheran,
Methodist, Seventh‑day Adventist, Baptist, Church of Christ, United
(Methodist, Presbyterian, and Anglican), Christian Scientist,
Jewish, Quaker, Pentecostal, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‑day
Saints, Hindu, Islamic, and Sikh places of worship can be found in
Places of worship in Nairobi include the following:
All Saints Cathedral, Kenyatta Avenue
opposite the Serena Hotel
English services: Sunday 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 6:30 p.m.
Communion: 7:30 Tel: 272-3126
St. Mark's Anglican Church
Waiyaki Way, Westlands
Services: 7:30 a.m. communion,
8:15 a.m. Swahili service,
9:30 a.m. youth service,
11 a.m. main service in English
Nairobi Baptist Church
corner of Ngong Road and Valley Road
English services: Sunday 8:15 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:45, and 5 p.m.
Tel: 272-8400/1, 271-7884
Parklands Baptist, Sports Road off Ring Road, Westlands
Tel: 444-9409, 444-8828, 444-7572
Saint Anargyri Church
Valley Road beyond the Panafric Hotel
Sunday Greek service: 8:30 a.m.
Sunday English service: 10 a.m.
Tel: 564995, 560750
Church Road off Waiyaki Way
P.O. Box 40360
Westlands Karura Community Chapel
meets at Gigiri Kindergarten behind Village Market
Services 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Tel: 523110, 44292
Mamlaka Rd off Nyerere Road
Services: Saturday 5 p.m., Sunday 8:15 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 noon, 2:15
p.m., and 5 p.m.
Tel: 272-5179, 271-2682
Uhuru Highway Lutheran Church
Northeast side of University Circle and State House
English service: Sunday 9 a.m. (English), 11 a.m. (Swahili)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Laxcon House, 4th Floor, Limuru Road
Tel: 374-0411, 374-0423
St. Andrews Presbyterian, Nyerere Rd., at State House Rd, behind
Services: Sunday 8:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m. (English), and 6 p.m.
Catholic International Community, Loreto Convent
James Gichuru Rd.
Sunday Mass in English, 9 a.m.
Chiromo Road, next to Riverside Park
Sunday masses in English: 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 5:30
Daily masses: 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Holy Family Basilica, Parliament Road
Sunday masses in English: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m., and 10 a.m.
Friends International Center, Ngong Rd, near Adams Arcade
Service: Sunday 10 a.m. unprogrammed meeting in English
Seventh Day Adventists
Nairobi Central Church
Milimani Rd opposite CID
Service: Saturday 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.
United (Methodist, Presbyterian and Anglican)
Lavington United Church, Lavington Green.
Holy communion: every third Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
Family service: Sunday at 9 a.m.
Morning service: Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
Sunday school: Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
Tel: 573502, 571642
Nairobi Hebrew Congregation
northwest corner of University Way and Uhuru Highway
Friday night service: 6:30 p.m.
Saturday morning service: 8 a.m.
H H Aga Khan Mosque
Jamia Mosque Committee, Muindi Mbingu St.,
Tel: 221790, 444-3290
Muthurwa Mosque, Haile Selassie Ave.,
Somali Mosque A R School,
Hare Krishna Temple, Muhoroni Close
Kamnath Mahadev Temple, Batu Batu Road
Maruti Nandan Temple, 1st Park Avenue
S S S S Mandal Temple, Kirinyaga Road
Shree Ambaji Temple
Siri Gurdwara Ramuaria Railway Temple, Enterprise Road
At Post Last Updated: 3/25/2004 8:44 AM
In Kenya the at‑post education allowance covers schools mentioned
below, including transportation and books. It does not include
uniforms if your child attends a school requiring uniforms.
The Kenyan school system is composed of Standards I to VIII,
equivalent to American grades 1 to 8, and Forms I to IV, equivalent
to American high school. This system prepares students for the
certificate of primary education at the end of Standard VIII and the
high school certificate at the end of Form IV.
The International School of Kenya (ISK) was organized under the
joint auspices of the U.S. and Canadian governments in 1976 and is
incorporated under Kenyan law. Seven diplomatic officers of the
American Embassy and the Canadian High Commission form the school’s
board of governors, which has delegated responsibility for
determining school policy to a nine‑member board of directors, six
of whom are elected by the parents and three of whom are appointed
by the board of governors. The superintendent is the executive
officer of the board and is responsible for the organization,
operation, and administration of the total school program. The
superintendent is aided by the principals of the three schools, a
counselor, and a professional staff of 55 full‑time and ten
part‑time teachers. Faculty members must be certified and
experienced teachers; most are American or British trained. The
Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges accredits the
secondary, middle, and elementary schools of ISK.
ISK is a coed school for prekindergarten through grade 12,
located about five miles from the Embassy on 45 acres of a coffee
plantation. Approximately 600 students, divided among elementary,
middle, and high schools, are enrolled. The enrollment is roughly
31% from the U.S, 6% from Canada, and 63% from 55 other nations.
Bus transportation is optional, serving the greater part of
Nairobi. A snack bar on campus sells lunches, snacks, and drinks for
grade 6 to 12 students only.
To enter kindergarten, a child must be five years of age by
September 15. The elementary (prekindergarten though grade 5) core
curriculum includes language arts, science, social studies, and
mathematics. This is supplemented by a special program offering art,
music, and swimming (girls must wear one‑piece swimsuits), physical
education, computers, French, and Spanish for grades 1 to 5, and an
elective activity program once a week.
The middle school program (grades 6 to 8) is designed to meet the
needs of emerging adolescents. Students move though a transition
from the self‑contained classrooms in the elementary school to the
independence of high school. Students take a core curriculum of
English, math, social studies, science, and physical education.
Exploratory courses, plus band or language round out the program.
Activities include a number of after-school programs and interschool
sports. The academic program is supported by an advisory program.
Full-time middle school teachers meet weekly to discuss student
The high school’s program is primarily college preparatory, with
both required and elective courses in English, social studies,
mathematics, sciences, and physical education. Language offerings
include French, Spanish, and Kiswahili. Elective courses in fine
arts, art, drama, typing, business, and computers, and an
International Baccalaureate (IB)/Honors Program are also available.
Of special note are an extensive field trip program available to
students though ISK’s Intercultural Program, an East African history
class and extracurricular activities. ISK has science laboratories,
a library well stocked with books and current publications, and an
audiovisual system, including a video system. The school also
provides specialized services through its counselor, a learning
resource center, and an English as a Second Language Program.
Extracurricular activities are many, examples being the National
Honor Society, three school publications, an annual school musical,
and an extensive intramural sports program.
Testing programs include the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, given to
elementary and middle school students every year. The Preliminary
Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), SAT
Achievement Tests, and American College Testing Program (ACT) exams
are given regularly through the American Cultural Center. ACT and IB
exams are made available to college‑bound upperclassmen.
To enroll your child at ISK, write to ISK, P.O. Box 14103,
Nairobi, Kenya, as soon as your assignment to Nairobi is confirmed.
Indicate the ages and grades of all school‑age children and ask for
the application forms. Also, you can register your children though
their web site: www.isk.ac.ke or e‑mail: email@example.com.
Other schools available in Nairobi. Rosslyn Academy is an
international Christian school for kindergarten through high school,
located about one mile from the Embassy on 40 acres with a gym,
theater, upper school media center, library, and ample classrooms.
The spacious campus is landscaped with many trees, flowers and
shrubs, and has three athletic fields. Approximately 450 students,
divided among elementary, middle, and high schools, are enrolled.
More than 35 nationalities are represented at Rosslyn Academy, with
enrollment approximately as follows: 53% US, 14% Kenya, 10% Korea,
6% Canada, and 17% other nations. Rosslyn operates on the American
system and is accredited by the Middle States Association of
Colleges and Schools and by the Association of International Schools
Its atmosphere and culture seeks to emphasize the centrality of
the gospel and to embrace the diversity within Christian evangelical
doctrine. Rosslyn differs from a church school in that Christian
mission agencies, as opposed to a single denominational church, own
and operate the Academy.
Rosslyn offers a core curriculum including English, social
studies, mathematics, sciences, technical applications (computer),
religious education, and physical education for all grade levels,
plus Advanced Placement (AP) courses for high school students.
French, Spanish, and Kiswahili are offered, as are electives in art,
drama, music, band, choir, and cooking. A number of extracurricular
activities are available, including National Honor Society, soccer,
volleyball, basketball, and rugby. There is also a cultural field
studies program, which, as a required three- to five-day field trip,
offers students an opportunity to learn more about Kenya through
ministry, service, and personal interaction.
Write to Rosslyn Academy at P.O. Box 14146, Nairobi, Kenya for
more info or their website: www.rosslynacademy.com or e‑mail:
Peponi School is a coed school for elementary though middle
school. Approximately 300 students are enrolled. The enrollments are
usually about 25 to 30 different nationalities, but most are Kenyan,
British, or U.S. students. Peponi School is based on the English
national curriculum, which starts in early September and ends in
early July. For more information, write to P.O. Box 23203, Nairobi,
Kenya or e‑mail: pephse@form‑net.com or check the website:
Kestral Manor School is located on Ring Road in the Westlands
area of Nairobi. It is coeducational, for children ages three to
nine years. The school uses British education methods in an open
classroom environment. Kestral Manor is very child centered and has
many British, American, and Australian students. For more
information, write to P.O. Box 14489, Nairobi, Kenya.
Braeburn House is located on Gitanga Road. This is a
coeducational primary school, for students ages five to 13 years.
Braeburn uses CPE and Common Entrance syllabus. For more
information, write to P.O. Box 45112, Nairobi, Kenya or tel.
Hillcrest School is about eight miles from the city center. It is
a coeducational elementary school. Pupils are prepared for the
Common Entrance Examination and for Hillcrest Secondary School. The
school year begins in January. For information, write to P.O. Box
30365, Nairobi, Kenya.
Hillcrest Secondary School is located on Langata Road in Karen.
Hillcrest is a coeducational high school using the British syllabus.
The school year begins in January. For more information, write to
P.O. 24819, Nairobi, Kenya.
A number of schools in Nairobi are sponsored by other embassies
and offer curriculums taught in languages other than English, e.g.,
French, German, Japanese, Dutch, and Swedish.
Outside of Nairobi. The Rift Valley Academy, a boarding school,
is located in Kijabe on the slopes of the Great Rift Valley, 50
kilometers from Nairobi off the Nakuru Road. It was founded in 1906
for missionaries’ children and still caters to them, but it accepts
other foreign students when space is available. Enrollment is about
450. It follows the American program of studies from grade 1 to 12.
The secondary department is fully accredited by the Middle States
Association of Schools and Colleges. The principal emphasis of the
academic program is on college preparatory courses. Additional
classes are offered, however, in graphic arts, home economics,
typing, mechanical drawing, industrial arts, and music. Three
choirs, a band, and a number of smaller musical groups provide
opportunity for many students to develop their talents in music.
Private instruction is also offered on individual instruments.
Nonmissionary enrollment is limited, and the final decisions are
made on or about June 15 for September admission.
Nursery schools. Nursery schools in most neighborhoods take
children from age two and some of them continue through grade 2.
These schools operate primarily in the mornings, but some will also
care for children in the afternoons. In addition, informal play
groups organized by mothers of small children meet one morning each
week, with all the mothers sharing responsibility for planning and
implementing a program that provides a positive experience for the
Special Needs Education Last Updated: 3/18/2004 4:27 AM
Educational environment for youth with learning disabilities.
Karen Community Center for Learning (KCCL) is a nonprofit
educational center in Kenya serving ten- to 21‑year‑olds with
significant learning disabilities. KCCL is committed to the right of
each student to a quality education that promotes the development of
individual potential. A comprehensive curriculum, multisensory
teaching strategies, and individualized education plans support
academic, vocational, social, and personal growth goals. The school
addresses the individual needs of each child to facilitate success
at home, school and community within a warm and nurturing
KCCL offers four core subjects (math, language arts, science, and
history), as well as a strong arts, computers, domestic science, and
sports program. Each class is taught by a teacher with learning
disability experience and supported by a teacher's assistant.
Intensive reading and mathematics are integrated into all aspects of
the curriculum and school activities. KCCL strives for each student
to achieve specified levels of competency based on guidelines for
independent living. Through a team approach students receive
personalized instruction to ensure success.
KCCL can be reached at: P.O. Box 156, Karen 00502, Kenya or
e‑mail: php‑firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 3/18/2004 4:31 AM
Alliance Francaise and the French Cultural Center, both located
at Loita and Monrovia Streets, offer courses in French at varying
levels of proficiency.
The Italian Cultural Institute, in the Prudential Assurance
Building on Wabera Street, offers conversational courses and
intensive elementary courses.
The Goethe‑Institut of the German Cultural Centre, located at
Loita and Monrovia Streets, offers German‑language courses.
The International University‑Africa, P.O. Box 14634, Nairobi, is
affiliated with USIU in San Diego. Located about 20 minutes from
downtown Nairobi, it specializes in business administration and
human behavior and is fully accredited. Students matriculating at
the Nairobi campus can earn an Associate of Arts Degree (two‑year
course) in business or general studies. Courses are also offered
leading to bachelor’s degrees in business administration, human
behavior, and international relations. Students who are accepted by
USIU in Nairobi may transfer to any of the other USIU campuses,
which are located in San Diego, London, and Mexico City. In addition
to undergraduate courses, a graduate program leading to a Master of
Science in Management and Organizational Development is offered in
Nairobi. New students are accepted each term. Those wishing to apply
should do so as early as possible before the term they wish to
start, preferably six months in advance. For additional information,
write to the International University‑Africa, P.O. Box 14634,
Nairobi, Kenya or to the U.S. International University, 10455
Pomerado Road, San Diego, CA 92131.
The University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197, Nairobi, has formal
arrangements with some universities in the U.S. for a one‑year
exchange program. Schools currently participating in the program are
the University of California system, Kalamazoo College, and
Pennsylvania State University. The University of Nairobi has no
openings for foreigners at undergraduate levels due to the great
demand for places by Kenyans. No auditing is allowed because of
space limitations. Postgraduate students who have a special need to
do work in Kenya because of their area of study can attend the
University as an “occasional student” for one year.
The Institute of Adult Studies in the Extra‑Mural Division of the
University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197, Nairobi, offers evening
courses, with enrollment open to non‑Kenyans as well as Kenyans.
Courses offered include accounting, computer programming, business
administration, commerce, economics, mathematics, statistics
(related to CPA), marketing, history, geography, French, Kiswahili,
German, Arabic, car maintenance, and personnel management. Classes
are offered for three terms during the year, beginning in January,
May, and September.
Recreation and Social Life
Sports Last Updated: 3/18/2004 4:50 AM
A wide variety of outdoor sports is available in Kenya. The Karen
Club, the Nairobi Club, and the Windsor Hotel offer swimming,
tennis, squash, and golf (with very good 18‑hole courses). Some
memberships are expensive, but discounts for Embassy personnel are
sometimes available. Fishing and mountain climbing are very popular
upcountry, and the coast provides some excellent swimming, water
skiing, sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and deep‑sea
fishing. Facilities for badminton, hockey, polo, soccer, rugby,
cricket, bowling, and water polo are available. Many children and
adults ride horses or take riding lessons. There are several places
in Karen area that offer horseback riding lessons for a fee of
approximately $12 per hour. The marines have a weekly fitness sport
on Friday afternoons, including volleyball and ultimate frisbee.
Informal softball leagues and volleyball teams are active in the dry
season. Hunting other than birds is banned in Kenya. Sports
equipment can be expensive, so bring an adequate supply.
The Embassy has a fitness center, which includes free weights,
weight machines, treadmills, four bikes, a stepper, a life fitness
machine, and a big-screen TV. Additionally, there are many fitness
centers in Nairobi that have good gym equipment. Membership fees at
the better fitness centers range from $500 to $900 per year. There
is a yoga class at the Embassy and at one of the housing compounds.
Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 3/18/2004 6:23 AM
Kenya is touted as a tourist paradise, and many Americans take
advantage of the opportunities for viewing magnificent scenery and
wildlife. Self‑drive safaris, package safari tours, and flying
packages are all popular ways to explore the country. Many of the
game parks, reserves and scenic locations are within reasonable
driving distance from Nairobi, such as Lake Naivasha, Nakuru
National Park, the Aberdares, and the Mt. Kenya area. Masai Mara
National Reserve, a very popular destination, is only a short flight
from Nairobi, or a five‑hour drive. Amboseli and Samburu parks are
each a short flight or a four-hour drive away.
Accommodations at the parks and reserves are designed to meet the
tastes of almost everyone. If a visitor likes to “rough it,”
campsites and self‑service bandas (cabins) are available. For those
who consider comfort more important, lodges and tented camps provide
a touch of luxury.
Families planning to camp on a do‑it‑yourself basis should bring
tents, coolers, camp stoves, sleeping bags, camp cots, lanterns,
thermos containers, and any other equipment desired. Equipment is
available in Nairobi to purchase or rent, but prices are high, and
the availability of certain items is limited. A local fuel, white
gas, is currently available for American‑brand camp stoves. A
different type of camp stove using gas canisters is sold here. Paper
plates and cups are available in the local stores, but the quality
is not great and prices are high.
Reasonably priced bandas located at several parks in Kenya can be
reserved far in advance from tourist offices in Nairobi. The bandas
contain beds and simply equipped kitchens. A cooler would be handy.
Some bandas have cooking utensils and dishes.
For beach holidays on Kenya’s coast, 300 miles from Nairobi,
there is a choice of luxury beach hotels, family‑type hotels, rented
beach houses, or tent sites on the beach. Most beach hotels offer
discounts during the off season, and a few beach hotels give
discounts to people from the American Embassy. Many beach houses are
also available to rent from private individuals for short holidays
at reasonable prices.
Fishing enthusiasts should bring their gear. Lake Naivasha, just
55 miles from Nairobi, offers great widemouth bass fishing. You can
rent bungalows on the lake, and several lodges are also available.
Trout fishing is available at Rutundu Lake, which is located in the
high country near Mount Kenya, and in the Aberdares Nyandarua Range.
Fishing flies are available locally. On the coast, fantastic deep
sea fishing is available at Hemingway's, among other lodges.
Kenya is a photographer’s paradise. Cameras can be purchased
locally, but they are pricey. If you have a specific camera in mind,
purchase it in the U.S., as availability in Kenya is limited.
Cameras, telephoto lenses, filters, tripods, and projectors can also
be rented. Prices vary from shop to shop. Both black‑and‑white and
color film are available, but prices are high compared with those in
the U.S. Twenty‑four‑hour services for processing Kodak, Fuji, and
Ektachrome color film, including slide film, are available locally.
Entertainment Last Updated: 3/18/2004 6:42 AM
Nairobi has several movie theaters that show relatively new U.S.
movies. Concerts and theater productions are presented at Braeburn
Theatre and at different cultural centers. The Phoenix Players is a
fine repertory company, and a number of amateur groups offer
surprisingly good productions. Restaurants, casinos, large hotels
with dinner dancing, and numerous small nightclubs are available.
Security concerns restrict the number actually frequented.
Social Activities Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Many opportunities to meet Kenyans and nationals of other
countries are afforded through official contacts, sports clubs,
service groups, and other associations. The American Cultural Center
of the Public Affairs Office has an exhibit hall that offers
lectures by visiting Americans, seminars, and other activities,
besides its 7,000‑volume library. The American Women’s Association,
through its service activities, offers many such opportunities, as
do the National Christian Council of Kenya, Rotary International,
the East Africa Women’s League, the National Museum Society, church
and school groups, and many other such organizations. There is a Cub
Scout Pack and a Boy Scouts of America Troop associated with ISK.
Nature of Functions Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
There is a lively social life in Nairobi due to a welcoming local
population and one of Africa’s largest representations of foreign
missions. Except for senior officers, however, there is little
formal entertaining or mandatory attendance at social events. Many
social activities are informal and allow for individual families to
set their own pace and style of participation.
Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Only the Ambassador is expected to pay formal calls on diplomatic
corps colleagues and senior officials on arrival. Calling cards are
not normally exchanged between embassies. Due to the size of the
diplomatic community, Chiefs of Mission and DCMs have heavy
schedules of protocol events.
Notes For Travelers
Getting to the Post Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Most employees fly to Kenya via Europe, usually stopping in
Amsterdam en route. There are frequent flights to Nairobi from
Europe. Travelers are responsible for ensuring that their travel
complies with the Fly America Act.
Customs, Duties, and Passage
Customs and Duties Last Updated: 3/18/2004 6:47 AM
Employees with diplomatic titles enjoy duty‑free privileges
during their entire tour in Kenya. Administrative and Technical
Staff have duty‑free privileges the first three months only.
Shipments must be in the name of the employee, not addressed to a
family member or the Mission. A packing list or inventory is
required for customs clearance of unaccompanied air baggage and
household effects. A copy should be presented to the Embassy or
USAID Shipping and Customs Section. Long customs clearance delays
occur often, so it is important to present proper documentation.
Five passport‑sized photographs per employee, four per spouse and
one per child under 18 are required to obtain a Kenyan
identification card. An extra supply of these photos is helpful.
Passage Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
All employees assigned to Kenya and their family members must
have a valid Kenyan visa and up‑to‑date immunization records. Visas
may be obtained at any Kenyan Embassy or Consulate or upon arrival
at the airport in Nairobi. Bearers of diplomatic or official
passports pay no fee. Yellow fever immunizations are often checked
upon entry into Kenya.
Pets Last Updated: 3/18/2004 6:58 AM
If you are bringing a pet to Kenya, obtain all the documents
below. Any animal arriving in the country without the proper
certificates will be quarantined at the owner’s expense for up to
six months. A forwarding company will clear pets that do not arrive
on the same flight as their owner. All fees are payable by the
owner. Some kennels provide delivery/retrieval services for people
who have not arrived in or are departing from Kenya.
If coming from the U.S., obtain an import permit from the Kenyan
Embassy in Washington, D.C., to process the pet through customs at
the airport. Americans bringing pets are advised to have a copy of
the permit attached to the animal’s shipping container and to hand
carry the original in order to claim the animal at the airport.
After the permit form is completed and the certificates described
below are obtained, all papers must be returned to the Kenyan
Embassy, where the permit will be signed. If you are unable to
obtain an import permit for your pet, inform your sponsor, giving
full particulars on the animal, and the Embassy or USAID will try to
obtain the permit. If you are coming from another country, contact
the Customs and Shipping Section in the Embassy or USAID for forms.
A small fee is charged upon entry of the pet, and there is an
additional service charge of about $200 if a pet arrives as
Certificate of Vaccination Against Rabies. The certificate,
signed by a veterinarian, must state the following: the type,
manufacturer, and batch number of the vaccine; the apparent age of
the animal at time of vaccination; and the date of vaccination.
Animals vaccinated against rabies less than six months before
arrival must have a certificate signed by a government veterinary
officer of the country of origin stating that there has been no
rabies within 30 miles of the place of origin in the last six
Certificate of Health. The animal must have a veterinarian's
certificate stating that it is free from any contagious or
infectious disease. It must be signed not more than five days before
the animal's date of departure.
Certificate of Isolation. If an animal enters by ship, it must
have a certificate from the ship’s master stating that it did not
leave the ship and was isolated from other animals while on board.
Animals arriving by air must have a certificate stating that
transport was in crates effectively isolating them from other
animals and that they remained aboard the plane from the point of
embarkation until arrival.
Post policy regarding pets indicates that pets shall not be a
significant Housing Board consideration when making housing
assignments. Acceptable pets for government housing include dogs,
cats, aquatic life in aquariums, and small pets in cages (e.g.,
birds, hamsters, gerbils, mice, turtles, frogs, lizards).
Unacceptable pets include “canine pit breeds,” domesticated farm
animals, wild animals, and venomous species. Pet owners are required
to have their pets vaccinated and registered in accordance with
local requirements. No pet shall disturb the quiet or physical
enjoyment of any person.
Dogs maintained within multi-unit compounds will be kept on a
secure leash while being walked on common property. Voice control is
not considered adequate. Owners must remove pet waste in common
areas. Dogs may be confined within a fenced yard as long as the dog
is confined in a manner which will not allow it to bite, menace, or
be a nuisance to persons on the other side of the fence. Dogs of any
size exhibiting threatening or menacing behavior must be collared
and leashed to a firm, securely‑anchored stake or otherwise
maintained in an enclosure such that they do not pose a hazard to
visitors or guard personnel. Dogs that bite individuals or exhibit
other dangerous or aggressive behavior in otherwise normal
circumstances will not be tolerated. A single complaint of animal
biting or attacking may require the immediate removal of the animal.
A second such incident will automatically require removal.
Cat owners have a responsibility to ensure that their pets do not
become a nuisance to neighbors by wandering into neighbors’ houses,
disturbing gardens, etc.
Animals kept in such numbers that cause health problems, attract
other animals, or create a nuisance must be removed from the
premises. An employee who has a legitimate complaint about a pet or
pets in his/her immediate neighborhood should first discuss the
problem with the pet owner. If the problem persists, a memo
outlining the nature of the complaint may also be forwarded to the
Management Counselor or to the USAID Executive Officer, who will
contact the owner and ask him/her to comply with post policy. Three
complaints may result in the loss of pet privileges and the
requirement to remove the animal from the premises. Prior to the
housing inspection before departure from post, pet owners must
professionally clean/sanitize carpeting to include treatment for
fleas/mites as part of the checkout process. Where soil or odors
remain, pet owners will pay a prorated fee, based on the age of the
carpeting, to replace the carpeting. Employees will also be
financially responsible for any other damage to residences.
Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Mission personnel and Mission dependents are not permitted to
carry firearms on their person, nor are they permitted to keep
firearms in their residences other than for the purpose outlined
below. The only persons exempted from this policy are law
enforcement officers, security officers, and Marines who are
required by law to be armed while performing their official duties.
Mission staff members who wish to import firearms for sport
purposes must first obtain the Ambassador’s approval. Once this
approval has been received, it is the responsibility of the Mission
staff member to make advance application to import firearms and
ammunition to the Central Firearms Bureau, P.O. Box 30263, Nairobi.
All Mission staff members are required to follow the Kenyan firearms
law regarding importation, storage, and club membership requirements
for the use of firearms for sporting activities.
Some bird hunting is now permitted in Kenya, and there are also
sport shooting clubs available (skeet and trap). Employees wishing
to import shotguns for hunting and sport shooting must request the
Ambassador’s permission in writing before the weapon is shipped.
Employees should be prepared to surrender the shotgun to Kenyan
authorities until a weapons permit is obtained. Normally, the
licensing process takes at least 2 months and involves meeting
certain prerequisites. Shotgun ammunition is available on the market
and can also be obtained from sport shooting clubs. If no permit is
granted, the weapon may have to remain in the custody of the Kenyan
authorities until the employee’s tour is completed.
Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 3/18/2004
The unit of currency is the Kenya shilling (Ksh). The exchange
rate is about 76 shillings to the dollar. Coins are in denominations
of .50, 1, 5, 10, 20, and 40 shillings; bills are in denominations
of 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 shillings.
The Commercial Bank of Africa has branch offices at the Embassy
and at the AID complex and provides accommodation exchange for all
U.S. Government employees and authorized dependents. In addition,
Americans may open shilling and U.S. dollar accounts in a local
bank. Hotels, supermarkets, large stores, and some restaurants
accept certain credit cards, including VISA, Master Card and
Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 3/18/2004 7:09
No direct taxes are levied on the official wages of U.S.
Government employees. The vehicle registration fee varies with
engine capacity; however, this fee is waived for employees on the
diplomatic list. All employees must pay a one‑time license plate fee
of 2,000 Kshs. Driver's licenses are issued free to diplomats. All
licenses must be renewed annually.
A value‑added tax (VAT) of 18% is levied on most goods, although
not on goods imported by employees with duty‑free privileges. VAT
exemptions can be processed though Customs and Shipping for
individual purchases, but groceries and electronics cannot be
Imported personal vehicles must be registered and licensed within
three months of arrival in Kenya. When a vehicle imported duty‑free
is sold, the seller must pay the duty and VAT regardless of the
vehicle’s age unless the buyer also has duty‑free privileges.
Customs clearance is required in both cases.
Recommended Reading Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
The following titles are provided as samples of relatively recent
publications on Kenya and region. The Department of State does not
endorse unofficial publications or Web sites.
Amin, Mohamed, et al. Beautiful People of Kenya. Westlands
Sundries: Nairobi, 1989.
Amin, Mohamed. Insight Guide Kenya. 4th rep. ed. Apa Productions:
Blundell, M. Love Affair With the Sun: A Memoir of Seventy Years
in Kenya. Kenway Publications Ltd: Nairobi, 1994.
Finlay, Hugh, Mary Fitzpatrick, et al. Lonely Planet East Africa.
5th ed. Lonely Planet Publications: Melbourne, 2000.
Hempstone, Smith. Rogue Ambassador: An African Memoir. University
of the South Press: Sewanee, TN, 1997.
Kabaji, Egara. Jomo Kenyatta: Father of Harambee. Sasa Sema
Publications: Nairobi, 2000.
Kenyatta, Jomo. Facing Mount Kenya. London, Secker, and Warburg,
1938; Random House: New York, 1962.
Kyle, Keith. The Politics of the Independence of Kenya. Palgrave:
Hampshire, UK, 1999.
Miller, Norman and Rodger Yeager. Kenya: The Quest for
Prosperity. Westview Press: Boulder, CO, 1993.
Nelson, Howard. Kenya: A Country Study. Area Handbook Series.
Government Printing Office: Washington, D.C., U.S. 1984. [Out of
Saitoti, Tepilit Ole. The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior. Reprinted.
University of California Press: Berkeley, CA, 1988.
Throup, David W. and Charles Hornsby. Multiparty Politics in
Kenya. Ohio University Press: Athens, OH, 1998.
Trillo, Richard. Kenya: The Rough Guide. 6th ed. The Rough
Guides: London, 1999.
History, Geography, and Culture
Bale, John and Joe Sang. Kenyan Running: Movement Culture,
Geography and Global Change. Frank Cass and Company: London, 1996.
Croegaert, Luc. African Continent: An Insight Into Its Earliest
History. Pauline’s Publications Africa: Nairobi, 1999.
Else, David. Lonely Planet Trekking in East Africa. 2nd ed.
Lonely Planet: Melbourne, 1998.
Kasfir, Sidney Littlefield. Contemporary African Art. Thames and
Hudson USA: New York, 2000.
Maxon, Robert M. East Africa: An Introductory History. 2nd ed.
West Virginia University Press: Morgantown, WV, 1994.
Njagi, D. Last Mau Mau Field Marshals: Kenya’s Freedom War,
1952-63 and Beyond: Their Own Story. Ngwantaniro Self Help Group:
Somjee, S. Material Culture of Kenya. East African Educational
Publishers: Nairobi, 1993.
Sutton, J.E.G. KILWA: A History of the Ancient Swahili Town with
Guide to the Monuments of Kilwa Kisiwani and Adjacent Islands.
British Institute in Eastern Africa: Nairobi, 2000.
Throup, David W. Economic and Social Origins of Mau Mau, 1944‑52.
Ohio University Press: Athens, OH, 1988.
Novels, Short Stories, and Essays
Blixen, Karen (Isak Dinesen). Out of Africa. Random House: New
Dawood, Y.K. Behind the Mask. Longman Kenya: Nairobi, 1995.
Donelson, Linda. Out of Isak Dinesen in Africa: Karen Blixen’s
Untold Story. Coulsong List: Iowa City, IA, 1998.
Le Carré, John. The Constant Gardener: A Novel. Scriber: New
Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Grain of Wheat. Reprint ed. Heinemann: London,
Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Petals of Blood. Reissue ed. E.P. Dutton: New
Wildlife and Environment
Andrew, David and Susan Rhind. Lonely Planet Watching Wildlife:
East Africa. Lonely Planet: Oakland, CA, 2001.
Birnie, Ann. What Tree is That? A Beginner’s Guide to 40 Trees in
Kenya. Jacaranda Designs: Nairobi, 1997.
Blundell, Michael. The Wild Flowers of Kenya. Collins: London,
1982. [out of print]
Davis, G. and E. V. Berghe, eds. Checklist of the Mammals of East
Africa. East Africa Natural History Society: Nairobi, 1994.
Eley, R. M. Know Your Monkeys: A Guide to the Primates of Kenya.
International Centre for Research in Agroforestry: Nairobi, 1989.
Estes, Richard D. The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching
African Mammals. Rev. expanded ed. Chelsa Green Publishing Co.: Post
Mills, VT, 1999.
Fanshawe, John, Norman Arlott, John Gale, et al. Field Guide to
the Birds of East Africa. Pocket ed. Academic Press, 2001.
Leakey, Richard, and Virginia Morell. Wildlife Wars: My Fight to
Save Africa’s Natural Treasures. St. Martin's Press: New York, 2001.
Richards, Dave. A Photographic Guide to Birds of East Africa. New
Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd.: London, 1995; Ralph Curtis Books:
Sanibel Island, FL, 2000.
Zimmerman, Dale A., Donald A. Turner, David J. Pearson, et al.
The Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania. Princeton University
Press: Princeton, NJ, 1999.
Local Holidays Last Updated: 3/18/2004 7:13 AM
New Year’s Day January 1
Good Friday Varies
Easter Monday Varies
Labor Day May 1
Madaraka Day June 1
Moi Day October 10
Kenyatta Day October 20
Jamhuri Day December 12
Christmas Day December 25
Boxing Day December 26