Nairobi - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

It's a very large community here, and morale varies. Overall, people really love Kenya. We have loved it as a first post: safaris, friendly people, English being spoken, good schools, beautiful weather, great shopping, the ocean easily accessible have all made it wonderful. That said, morale among those who live at the Grove tends to be low. - Mar 2024

Huge expat presence from diplomatic missions, the UN, and people who have just moved and stayed in Nairobi. Morale varies - it seemed relatively low at the US Mission but I can’t speak for others. - Aug 2023

Large, probably in the thousands. - Mar 2022

There is a huge expat community. You're kind of forced to stay in the expat bubble. Kenyans don't want you to integrate. In my four years there I had one Kenyan friend - she was married to an expat. Morale...hard to say. It all depends. Embassy people stick together, as in within their own embassies. There's a huge German community and they are a lot of fun. I didn't meet many Americans. - Aug 2021

Large and varied. There is a big UN post here, and also there are quite a lot of expats that aren't part of the development/foreign affairs crowd (business, tech startups, etc). I'd say morale is good, people love Kenya and many stay long-term. - Apr 2021

Plentiful. - Nov 2020

Overall we have good morale. There is a heavy UN expat community as well, and many "old-timers" that have been here for decades or even generations. - Dec 2018

The expat community here is massive. There are a ton of folks here from around the world for a wide variety of reasons. As for the American government community, it too is big. U.S. Embassy Nairobi is the ninth biggest Embassy in the world. We have DOS, USAID, DOD, DHS, CDC, etc. The list goes on.

Morale appears to vary, though it's generally positive. We've had a good time in Nairobi, as have most of our friends, but there are others who dislike it here and find the safety concerns to outweigh the positives. - Dec 2018

If you are a trailing spouse, it is very important to find something you enjoy doing here or I think it could be difficult. - Jun 2018

Huge. There are many government missions, the UN, and lots of NGOs here. Morale is good. - Jul 2016

Big. Morale differs - Sep 2015

Very large and very good morale for the most part. A few people are not happy, but they probably wouldn't be anywhere. - Aug 2015

Lots of expats. With so much aid coming into Kenya there are large functioning embassies from all the larger countries, and the UN complex here is one of the largest in the world. Lots of International NGOs too, hiring many Europeans and Aussies. Morale seems high. The Embassy community is very sociable and close-knit. The thing that gets people down the most is the traffic (and bad roads.) - Jul 2015

Huge expat community here. The American Chamber of Commerce holds weekly events. - May 2015

Large, most people seem happy to be here. - Dec 2014

Very large. Pretty good overall except people are extremely concerned about crime and the growing threats of terrorism. This is becoming a major worry for many folks. - Jun 2014

It's huge. Moral is great. - Jun 2014

Size of expat community is huge. The UN has 1500 expats in Nairobi, and the NGO community is also large. Morale is medium-low - security really gets to people after a while. Nairobi is the only post rated critical for both crime and terrorism that is fully accompanied. - Mar 2014

Huge. Between embassies, aid workers and the UN. - Jul 2013

HUGE. It's a hub for east Africa and UNEP, and UN HABITAT is headquartered here. - Jun 2013

Enormous, as Nairobi is the East African hub for many of the international organizations, including the UN. Almost every country has Embassy representation and there are tons of expats working on microfinance and NGOs. - Dec 2012

Large, very large. UN, missionaries, NGOs, embassies, etc. Nairobi is a regional hub for most organizations. - Aug 2012

Huge. - Dec 2011

Huge. The US government has a large presence through the Department of State, USAID, and affiliated organizations. The UN has a large facility here, with expats from all over. There are tons of NGOs, nonprofits, and missionaries from all over. Great Britain has a large official presence here, as well as many non-gov't related expats. It's easy to get out of the "embassy bubble" or "American bubble" if that is what you like. - Dec 2011

lots of expats. lots of missions. lots of NGO's. big UN presence. - Sep 2011

Huge. It feels like a quarter of the population, but that is an exaggeration due to where we shop and dine and the people that we run into in our daily lives. - Dec 2010

Pretty large, as this is the regional hub for East Africa. UN headquarters is here. Over 70 embassies are here. - Dec 2009

Large. - Jul 2009

Huge. - Jun 2008

Massive but fragmented, though there are not many centralized groups for meeting. The UN has a spouse club and the embassies take good care of their own. The local AWA is open to members from anywhere in the world and has interesting outings and monthly speakers. People kind of do their own thing. - Feb 2008

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