Nairobi - Post Report Question and Answers

What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

answer - Mar 2024

I miss aerosols, and I always have visitors bring spray sunscreen with them. I also recommend having visitors bring chocolate if you have specifics you like. I have mine bring good chocolate chips and Dove chocolate. If you ship it or buy it in the commissary, it typically doesn't survive the heat well by the time it arrives. Also, makeup. It can be expensive here and I stock up on the cheap staples from home when I go. Additionally, it's really hard to find a good trashcan here, so we ordered those on Amazon. The same goes for kids' liquid cold medicines and American convenience snack foods, but the availability of DPO makes a lot of things non-issues. Take a good vacuum! Post does not always supply them and when they do they are not great. Import taxes are super high here so buying one locally is not ideal, nor will the quality be the same. I wish all the time that I had brought a decent vacuum with me, even if I do have to lug around a step-down transformer to use it. - Mar 2024

I could get most things locally. - Aug 2023

More cleaning vinegar, dish soap, toilet paper. - Mar 2022

For grocery - none. For household - mesh laundry bags, bandaids, Neosporin, anything home-gym related, extra computer peripherals, and cables. - Aug 2021

You can get everything via DPO. - Nov 2020

Specialty items that are liquid or semi-liquid and thus not always able to ship via mail. - Dec 2018

Take a gas grill to post and have it converted to run a local gas tank. Gas grills here are outrageously expensive. Local potato chips are pretty weak, so you might want to take those, too. - Dec 2018

A blender and a Crock-Pot! If you use protein shakes or supplements for working out you will need to ship those to post as they are triple the price here. - Jun 2018

Our family is fairly accustomed to adapting to local availability, though we do ship in a few items. The kid's snacks and the peanut butter, mainly. Local peanut butter is dangerous to the gastrointestinal health of most westerners. - Jul 2016

Many things, especially foods like cheese and wine and some spices we use. - Sep 2015

Tires for our car, but we got them shipped just fine. I wish I had brought a trampoline in our shipment because we bought one for our kids locally and paid at least double. Clothes and shoes!!! They are poor quality and too expensive here. - Aug 2015

Trader Joe's items, esp decaf tea and coffee good surge protectors; UPS are better (uninterruptable power supply) Not a TV unless you already have a 220v. Get one here (store or from someone departing post.) The highest number sunblock you can find. Even walking from the car to the Embassy every day gives you lots of exposure. Bring lots of step-down converters (220 to 110) and adapters. Type G plugs in Kenya. - Jul 2015

You can get anything here in Nairobi. Ship peanut butter though. - May 2015

Cat litter (very expensive to buy locally). - Dec 2014

Clothes for cooler weather. June-August can be a bit cold. - Jun 2014

I have pretty much everything I need and what I don't have I can order through DPO. - Jun 2014

Salsa and enchilada sauce has been key. Bring cheese in your suitcase as it is expensive here. - Mar 2014

Nothing. You can get anything here or have it sent in though Amazon. Anything you need is here, you just have to pay for it. - Jul 2013

Walnuts, pine nuts, sunscreen, pet food (quality pet food is crazy expensive). - Jun 2013

Since it was our first time living in Africa we shipped everything we could possibly ever potentially need when we came. - Dec 2012

We're really glad we brought our mattresses, cookwear and kitchen appliances, clothes and shoes for our child, and dvd's and sports/camping equipment (thanks to the other post reports). Wish we had the KitchenAid mixer -- we do lots more cooking here. Do stock up on toys/birthday gifts for the kid's friends. Toys are very expensive. Also bring a few simple household/auto tools. Medicine (cold medicine, pain-killers) is expensive. - Aug 2012

Not too much, but here's what I'd recommend - ship sporting goods, kids toys, shoes, clothes, tolietries and plan to order all of those things online when you need them. You can find lots more than you expect in the grocery store and there's always the overpriced commissary when you're desperate. - Dec 2011

Holiday items (candy canes, candy corn, decorations, wrapping paper) are good to ship. Clothes are expensive and not of great quality here. I’d stock up ahead of time. There are great used markets, though, if you are willing to sort through things. The mud here is RED and kids’ clothes seem to get stained and worn out, even if your household help is amazing with laundry (ours is). Crocs or sandals are great for kids, wellingtons, extra shorts, jeans, etc. - Dec 2011

More paper goods (toilet paper, paper towels) and laundry detergent. American toilet paper is the best. - Sep 2011

More cleaning products, paper products, beauty products, cupcake liners, over-the-counter meds - Dec 2010

Chocolate chips, US food stuffs that your children may like, children's clothes and shoes. - Dec 2009

Toilet paper, tampons, canned chicken and tuna, spaghetti sauce, stationery. - Jul 2009

Quality furniture is hard to find. Get a Webber grill and bring it. Charcoal is plentiful and cheap for grilling. - Jun 2008

Most things are available here, but certain types of cheap home items (shower curtains, plastic dish racks, etc.) are overly expensive here. Same goes with small appliances – if coming from a 240V country, it might be best to stock up on things like coffee makers, toasters, irons, etc. Do ship any of your favorite brands of snacks or non-perishables and all the clothes you might need, as selection and prices here aren’t good. - Feb 2008

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