Straddling the equator, the East African country of Kenya has been enticing tourists for many decades now. People head to this country to experience the immensely diverse range of animals that run freely in the national parks and if you have ever been lucky enough to enjoy a Kenyan safari, you will know how very few things in life are ever able to beat this. Kenya may not be at the top of your list when it comes to great cheap places to retire, but when you sit back and think about this option seriously, you may come to find that this part of the world is exactly right for you. This article will provide you with a number of examples as to how you are able to enjoy a good way-of-life here for a fraction of the cost in most other countries around the world.
Ref. currency exchange rate: the Kenyan Shilling (KES) has an exchange rate of 137 KES to GBP and 85 KES to USD (as of 27 November 2012).
You are likely to find that the cost of renting and purchasing property in Kenya is so much cheaper than in many other countries. There is usually an additional premium for securing accommodation in the heart of a main city or in one of the more affluent resorts on the Indian Ocean coast, but nevertheless, you would still find prices to be at an affordable level for the vast majority of people. To give you some examples here for average rental prices: a one-bedroom property in the centre of a city is around 30,100 KES, whilst away from the city this will be around 27,000 KES. A three-bedroom property in the city will usually rent for around 55,000 KES, and outside of the city this will be around 44,300 KES.
National Park Kenya
For the most part, the cost of living in Kenya will be significantly cheaper than most other countries around the world—especially First World nations. If we take a look at the average cost for staple groceries, we will notice that there is quite a significant difference here. For example, a litre of milk costs on average 85 KES; bread appears to be even cheaper with a 500g loaf costing as little as 50 KES. The cost for taking transport in Kenya is also exceptionally low and the average cost of a one way ticket has been calculated at just 43 KES. You would need to bear in mind that there would be a significant compromise when it comes to comfort with the main public transport system in Kenya.
Eating Out in Kenya
If you would be looking forward to the type of lifestyle that would permit you to comfortably eat out in Kenya, this would most certainly be a distinct possibility. The average cost for a meal for two at a medium-class restaurant would work out at around 2,260 KES, which is massively cheaper than in First World nations. A quick meal in a fast food restaurant would work out at less than 300 KES and it is always easy to pick-up bottles of spring water in the country for around 50 KES for a 500ml bottle. This is recommended for people looking to retire to Kenya as the water is not potable.
The Healthcare System in Kenya
Hmm! I have had personal experience of the healthcare system in Kenya to a small extent and I would have to say that it was shockingly bad! A doctor (if you could call him that!) was called to our hotel resort as my travelling companion was suffering badly through their malaria medication. Just before we went on our safari, we were advised to stop taking the medication as there was no danger inland and there were no mosquitoes. We chose to ignore this flawed advice and it was just as well as around the safari lodges there were literally millions of mosquitoes. If you are looking to retire to Kenya the very best advice would be to ensure you take-out the most comprehensive health insurance policy. Hospitals and healthcare in the main towns and cities can actually be better than many people may have imagined. Also be sure to keep up-to-date with malarial medication.
Where is it Best to Live in Kenya?
Many people who retire to Kenya often choose to settle around the capital, Nairobi. There are some nice parts of the city in which to settle. However, based on my own personal experience of the country, I would say that the Indian Ocean coast is the best part of Kenya to retire to. If you would prefer to be close to a large city, choose Mombasa instead of Nairobi. Specifically, the resorts of Kilifi and Malindi are perfect for retirees as you have everything you could ever desire in these areas. You would also be right next to the fantastic beaches along the Indian Ocean coast. Avoid venturing too far north in Kenya and stick close to Mombasa. The farther north you head the closer you will come to Somalia which is an exceptionally dangerous nation for westerners.