Whether you are staying in Kenya for a few months or you are planning to make Kenya your new permanent home, it is important to find a town that you can start off easily and cheaply. Cities like Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu can be quite expensive given the high standards of living. However, there are a few towns that have a manageable pace of life that can be a good starting point for you. Here are some:
The best thing about Nakuru is that it is an upcoming town that is almost gaining city status, yet still has the perks of having affordable living. The house rent charges in Nakuru, for example, can be almost half of their counterparts in Nairobi. A decent 2 bedroomed house in a safe neighbourhood with all amenities such as water, electricity and security, can go for as low as 10,000 shillings. You would be lucky to find even a bedsitter with the same price in Nairobi.
Although geographically situated in the northern Rift Valley, Kitale is assumed to be in Western Kenya thanks to the large population of Luhya people living in the town. The town is almost similar to Nakuru, with agriculture being its main economic activity. The standards of life are similar if not cheaper than Nakuru and it is a great place to establish a small business.
Also in the Rift Valley, Bomet is land to the Kipsigis sub-tribe of the Kalenjin. Bomet is especially great if you find work within the town. With lush green mountains and valleys, tea estates and some of the best milk the country has to offer, you are bound to enjoy the nice and quiet life of the town.
Now in proper Western Kenya, Kanduyi is a town between Bokoli and Bungoma. It is a small settlement that highly benefits from the Bungoma-Malaba highway and is used as a common stopover for long-distance travellers. Kanduyi has cheap accommodation options, readily available food and a bubbling economic hub in the nearby Bungoma town. You will also end up learning the Bukusu language that is common in the area.
Down to the coastal area of Kenya is Voi. It is situated in Taita-Taveta county and is the largest town in the region thus far. Voi is not only a natural hub, but it is also popular for having some of the most hospitable communities in Kenya. Starting life in Voi can be challenging especially if you are not used to the high temperatures and slow pace of life. However, thanks to the tourism overflowing from the more popular Mombasa town, Voi is slowly growing as a hotel and safari destination. Housing and food are affordable but might be as fancy as Nairobi.