life in mombasa, kenya


I am considering moving to mombasa- kenya for employment purpose. Would like to know details on the cost of living/ educational /medical facility/safety environment etc..

how much ksh shall be sufficient to lead a decent living for a couple and a kid...

response shall be highly appreciated..



Couple with a kid in Mombasa to have a decent livestyle

Rent - 60 000 Kshs
Car - 10 000 Kshs
Petrol - 10 000 Kshs
Food - 40 000 Kshs

I say at least 150 000 kshs but then as always you can save on rent, car and food.

Thanks peperuka,,,,

i am obliged for your kind reply. shall appreciate if you can advise on the general living conditions in mombasa as well. viz safety/medical/weather etc..


Safety - Relatively safe... Safer than Nairobi (aka Nairobery) although I find people from Mombasa more stressed than these in Nairobi.  Same rule - do not go out at night alone, no your road and safely tips)

Medical - There is one main hospital at Mombasa (Aga Khan Hosp.).  I guess doctors are good (especially Indians).  The main danger I guess is paludism/malaria.

Weather - Tropical = hot and wet !!  Beurk !!

Please refer to some travel guides to get the basic information about living in Mombasa.  And come back to me if you any specific questions about living in Kenya.



Thanks again peperuka,

I have gone through few of the travel guide on mombasa,but  the detailed information is not available over there.

I was wondering whether my driving licence shall be valid in kenya or is there a need to get the same made over there.

Also, how is the life of expats in kenya? I guess the figures for the expenditures mentioned by you in the earlier post were monthly -pls clarify..

Shall be grateful if u can throw some inputs on educational system and cost involved over there for class 1 -3.

look forward to hear from you.



If you have a valid driving license, you can get an international driving license (valid 3 months) or do the necessary to get a Kenyan driving license

Go to Customs House (Mombasa) with :
- Original driving license or international driving licences, two photocopies
- Two ID picture
- Original passport and two photocopies (ID page and pages with visa/work permit/dependant pass stamps)
- The form filled
- And 1000 Kshs to pay fee

hi, i'm considering moving to Mombassa kenya for a while a single male , and i would like to know the rental cost for units or cattage and if they are payed on a monthly or weekly bases ?
i see that up here in a previous note the rent is 60.000 i would like to know if its monthly and how hard is it to find work there atm
kind regards

sorry i forgot is there a site where i can find out the difference between the australian dollar and the kenyan shillings
thank you so much .

Normal prices in Mombasa. (Not mzungu prices)

1. Rent will range from anything from KSH 4,000 up to KSH 10,000 depending on what you go fore and how many bedroom apartment you are looking at.

2. Local transport on a mini bus (matatu) will cost you on average about KSH 30.00 for a single trip, it is the most common method of transportation in Kenya, or in the city there are bus services but they charge around KSH 50.00.

3.Buying Cd's - Varies, you can buy fake coppies at KSH 200.00 or the origionals at KSH 1,500.00

4. CD's at concerts, usually not on sale until they hit the local shops.

5. Regarding Net, you are looking at about KSH 60.00 -80.00 depending on where you go.

6. Foods costs around KSH 2200.00 on a weekly basis, but again this depends on what you consume, it may be less if you stick to supermarket brands.

7. Buying a mobile can range from KSH 4000.00 up to 60,000.00 it solely depends on what you buy, and the here we use a top up system so a KSH 1,000.00 card can last about a week, depending on how many calls you make and SMS's you send.

8. Other living expenses such as utilities depend on the consumption of electricity and water. Usually for a small flat i woudl say electricity and water would come to a total of around KSH 4,000.00 - 8,000.00 per month.

I've not been to mombosa though but have friends there. will post when i find out


Living in Mombasa will cost you a bit expensive at the beginning and less and less months after months as soon as you get to know the local network and the pricing. It's a bit difficult to know the prices at the beginning, so I advice you to buy first everything to the main supermarket "Nakumatt" as you don't need to discuss and spend time in bargain.

Hi there Chef français ! Bonjour everyone ! I'm just discovering this great website. As I intend to come over to Mombasa (but not before Jan, 2012, earliest....ça c'est du planning...), I may have a few questions. I'm already learning a good deal thx to your advices on this forum.

Hi Babu,
Safety : yes if you are with one local when going to public crowded area otherwise to be avoid.
Medical : there is good hospitals nad many private owned by Indian doctors.
Purchasing daily life items : I recommend that you go to Nakumatt where you will not be cheated by tourist price and save time of negotiation. Also you will get quality items. Then slowly slowly you will get to know locally where and what to buy.
I would estimate for myself 200 000 Ksh for your family

Mombasa rocks!! My next destination after 25 years in Nairobbery and 5 years in the Mara.
in mombasa you will be fine. Rental prices will fall as the housing shortage its currently facing will get soem relief from the proposed 400 new units being put up over the next 2 years.
As for food - nakumatt is the bench mark. You pay for anythin more than what you see priced in nakumatt then your being conned.
Big tip - make a friend. Even if its your local taxi guy. Visit town. Go to the market. see whats being sold. Anything you like ask the price. Then offer half. Bargain for a bit and ul get what you want. It will be 30% cheaper than whats in the supermarket.
as for rent. well if its by the beach you'll pay thru your nose. dont go to the fancy real estate agents. They are there for profit.
Buy the local paper and check out the notice boards in malls or outside supermarkets. You will get a better deal for sure.
u can survive at the coast on between 50k - 80k a month without a problem.
Responsible living.
drinking pina coladas and dining on crab and you will definitely need more money.
if your with a family (school fees etc etc) then add another 50k to your budget.

its lovely leaving here and the cost of leaving is average about 85,000 for me and my daughter who is 8 years old, with a small car toyota IST

I have lived in Mombasa for about 20 years and I can say that Mombasa is relatively safer than Nairobi. If you are new in Mombasa and are looking for a house, if the agents realise you do not know the market rate then you can pay almost double for a house.

I recently helped my friend get a house behind Nakumatt Nyali a 3 bedroom house with a swimming pool just at Kshs.55,000.

Transportation is also affordable and with a car, it never cost me more than Kshs.10,000 on fuel. As for food you can buy in Nakumatt or get a local friend who can take you to the market and get food for reasonable prices.

About hospitals, I would say that Mombasa hospital and Agakhan are the best private hospitals. About schools there are many GCE/IGCSE schools so it basically depends on what you want.

In my experience life in Mombasa is waaaaayyyyyy cheaper than Nairobi and quite affordable depending on whom you know and if you also know the right places.

The weather is nice although sometimes too humid but manageable.I would say a budget of 120-150,000 should do for a small family with a possibility of reduction on the costs.

Life is less expesible than Europe but it will depends on how you adapt yourself to your new living area...

go to market for. Local produ t but you will still need Nakumatt to maintain your culture and tradition.

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