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Preface Last Updated: 3/19/2004 1:55 AM

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 produce.

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 northeast.

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 lower grades.

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 larger cities.

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 Kenya.

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 and durability.

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 facilities.

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 everywhere.

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 goods.

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 Nairobi.

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 phone charges.

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
Full Name
American Embassy
P.O. Box 606 Village Market
00621 Nairobi, Kenya

Full Name
P.O. Box 30261
Nairobi, Kenya

Peace Corps
Full Name
U.S. Peace Corps
P.O. Box 30518
Nairobi, Kenya

Library of Congress
Full Name
Library of Congress
P.O. Box 30598
Nairobi, Kenya

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:

Full Name
Unit 64100
APO, AE 09831‑4100

Full Name
Unit 64102
APO, AE 09831‑4102

Public Diplomacy
Full Name
Unit 64103
APO, AE 09831‑4103

Library of Congress
Full Name
Unit 64110
APO, AE 09831‑4110

Full Name
Unit 64109
APO, AE 09831‑4109

Full Name
Unit 64112
APO, AE 09831‑4112

Peace Corps
Full Name
Unit 64107
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 DVDs.

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 Nairobi.

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 rumormongering.

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 available locally.

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 pharmacy.

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 to post.

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 Embassy provides.

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 U.S.

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 Hepatitis B.

Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 3/11/2004 6:34 AM

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 encouraging.

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 year.

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 transnational terrorism.

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 Amsterdam.

International addresses, telephone numbers and e‑mail addresses are listed below.

American Embassy
P.O. Box 606 Village Market
00621 Nairobi

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

Peace Corps
Grevillea Grove, Westlands
P.O. Box 30518
(254‑20) 444-8694

ICIPE / Duduville
P.O. Box 30261
(254‑20) 862‑400


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 house.

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 the U.S.

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 fairly priced.

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 students.

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 results.

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 Nairobi.

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
Tel: 444-7283

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

Greek Orthodox
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

Children’s Church
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

Nairobi Chapel
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)
Tel: 729223

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 Serena
Services: Sunday 8:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m. (English), and 6 p.m.
Tel: 722415

Roman Catholic
Catholic International Community, Loreto Convent
James Gichuru Rd.
Sunday Mass in English, 9 a.m.

Consolata Church
Chiromo Road, next to Riverside Park
Sunday masses in English: 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 5:30 p.m.
Daily masses: 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Tel: 444-2417

Holy Family Basilica, Parliament Road
Sunday masses in English: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m., and 10 a.m.
Tel: 220971

Friends International Center, Ngong Rd, near Adams Arcade
Service: Sunday 10 a.m. unprogrammed meeting in English
Tel: 567601

Seventh Day Adventists
Nairobi Central Church
Milimani Rd opposite CID
Service: Saturday 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Tel: 272-1461

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

Jewish Synagogues

Nairobi Hebrew Congregation
northwest corner of University Way and Uhuru Highway
Friday night service: 6:30 p.m.
Saturday morning service: 8 a.m.
Tel: 222770


H H Aga Khan Mosque
Tel: 764330

Jamia Mosque Committee, Muindi Mbingu St.,
Tel: 221790, 444-3290

Muthurwa Mosque, Haile Selassie Ave.,
Tel: 210207

Somali Mosque A R School,
Tel: 764225


Hare Krishna Temple, Muhoroni Close
Tel: 374-4365

Kamnath Mahadev Temple, Batu Batu Road
Tel: 374-8689

Maruti Nandan Temple, 1st Park Avenue
Tel: 374-2935

S S S S Mandal Temple, Kirinyaga Road
Tel: 226880

Shree Ambaji Temple
Tel: 607322

Siri Gurdwara Ramuaria Railway Temple, Enterprise Road
Tel: 558096


Dependent Education

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 progress.

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: or e‑mail:

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 in Africa.

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: or e‑mail: rosslyn@rosslyn.iconnect.

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‑ 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. 254‑20‑566‑350.

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 children.

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 environment.

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‑ or

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.

Official Functions

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 airfreight.

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 months.

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 7:08 AM

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 American Express.

Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 3/18/2004 7:09 AM

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 exempted.

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: Nairobi, 2000.

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 Print]

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: Nairobi, 1993.

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 York, 1979.

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 York, 2001.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Grain of Wheat. Reprint ed. Heinemann: London, 1994.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Petals of Blood. Reissue ed. E.P. Dutton: New York, 1991.

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.

Internet Links

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
Eid‑al‑Fitr Varies
Moi Day October 10
Kenyatta Day October 20
Jamhuri Day December 12
Christmas Day December 25
Boxing Day December 26

Adapted from material published by the U.S. Department of State. While some of the information is specific to U.S. missions abroad, the post report provides a good overview of general living conditions in the host country for diplomats from all nations.
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