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Insider guide on how to start your new life in Nairobi


How to make friends fast in Nairobi

This article will help answer the following questions:
1) I will be going to Nairobi Kenya and don’t know anybody there. Where do I start?
2) I got a new job in Nairobi and don’t know my way around. Where should I start?
3) I want to visit Nairobi. How do I find my way around?

If you are one of the people asking the questions above, you are either a tourist who plans to stay for a month or more, are an expatriate trying to seek information about Nairobi, or a Kenyan planning to start a new life in the city.

Friends reach out when you are down

Changes are part of life, but moving to a new city where you don’t know anybody or anywhere can be challenging. Kenyans are quite hospitable, but just like anywhere else, you must cultivate your own relationships.

If you are looking for people to show you around, new friends and a chance to build meaningful relationships, you need to avoid Tinder and other online dating sites. Well, you can develop some really good long term friendships over these sites, but short-term travellers are the ones who benefit most from relationships created from these dating apps. By now you may be asking, if I should not look for friends on Tinder, where should I go?

Where to find genuine friends in Nairobi

Are you looking for good people who can become your friends for life? If you are looking for meaningful long-lasting friendship with genuine people in Nairobi and it is your first time in the city, the best place to start is the church. You may not be a church person, but most big churches welcome visitors and help them integrate into the society.

I know about the protestant churches I have attended that ask visitors to meet at the visitors’ room for a cup of tea after service. Parklands Baptist Church, CITAM and other big protestant churches will take time after the service to get to know you, obtain your number and help you connect with other people. In church, you meet people from all walks of life. There are plenty of fun activities you do with the church members, from camping to mountain climbing to movies. Also, the people you meet on your first day in church are likely to help show you around if you ask them or show interest. You can make friends very quickly this way. Just Google ‘church near me’ and you will surely find a home.

Events are a sure way to meet new friends. Majority of people go to the pub, salon/barber shop, or restaurant to find friends, but I will advise against it for your own safety. Go to this online meetup platform and find meetups that interest you. You cannot spend 1-2 hours with a group of like minded people and leave without a friend. If there is no group that interests you, you can start your own and invite like-minded people to join. You can aim at monthly meetups till you get a sizeable crowd who can eventually become your friends.

Insider guide on how to start your new life in Nairobi 2
Meetups in Nairobi

Uber drivers can also be great people who will teach you a lot about the city. There are many taxi services but my experince with Uber drivers has been the best. Book an Uber online if you want someone to meet you at the airport. When he picks you, start a conversation. It is okay to tell them that you are new in Nairobi and don’t know your way around. Most of these drivers are quite knowledgeable and can be able to advice you.

Read Also: Faster and cheaper ways to move around Mombasa

If you don’t know where to stay yet, I suggest you begin at Booking.com or Airbnb. Booking.com has very fair hotel rates, and you can always read reviews before booking. Ensure that the place you are booking has all the facilities you need.


However, if you need a community kind of a setup, Airbnb will be the ideal place to seek accommodation. You can book for one week and choose a house that you share with the host or has a family setup. This way, you can get to learn about the city and the environment before making a final decision. These hosts can also help you rent an apartment of your own when you are ready, or if you like the place become part of their family.

Read Also: Nairobi Guests: How to get a Nairobian to host you

Now that you have found a place to stay and made some friends, we shall look at fun activities you can engage in Nairobi in our next post. Is there something you would like us to address? Post your questions in the comment box below.

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