AFRICA 4X4 CAFE: Nairobi for beginners:
Welcome to Nairobi! The first weeks here are not always easy, but
many people think it is a wonderful place to live. Here are some
of the bureaucratic hurdles you have to overcome - and tips from
people who were successful. Primarily this is for foriegn journalists,
however most work permits follow a similar procedure. If you've
just been through all of it, I'd be grateful for updates and comments.
You'll need loads of them for all sort of forms. Get negatives and
ask for 30 copies at least.
Takes two to three months. You need it to get a container out of
customs if it comes by ship.
Kenyan press card
application forms from Nyayo House
pass port sized pictures
letter by employer
money (200.000 KES), security bond from insurers (e.g. Thanawalla)
Multiple Entry Business Visa
You need to present a letter and fill a form. Recently, it seemed
to be a bit erratic who was granted a business visa.
You should ask for it as soon as you get the work permit. Otherwise,
you pay a tourist visa (50 USD) every time you return to Kenya.
The Kenyan ID, easier to carry around than a passport. You can apply
for it when you have a work permit. They take all ten finger prints,
and there is nothing to wipe the ink off.
Ministry of Information, Jogoo House, block A on Harambee Avenure.
Cost: 50 USD, they take a picture with a very old fashioned camera.
Bring a letter from your employer and a couple of copies of your
passport (they have no photocopier in the whole building, apparently).
You need the press card to apply for the work permit.
You need an international driving licence. Legally, you are supposed
to have a Kenyan driving licence after having been for 3 months
in the country, but many cops are okay with international driving
You need to apply and pay a deposit. Can take ages. Ask for the
mobile number of the people dealing with your application and keep
There are two providers: Celtel and Safaricom. You can buy a prepaid
line (100 KES) at many shops and use scratch cards. For a post paid
line, you need to apply and pay a deposit. With a postpaid account
and a mobile phone with data cable you can go online (Celtel: create
a new dial up, no username/password, phone number 350).
and Safaricom offer an sms subsription for news alerts.
There are several provider for dial-up (Africaonline, Wananchi,
Swiftkenya etc). Telkom offers dial-up without subscription. Landlines
are very slow and unreliable. In several areas, you can get an ISDN
(takes time) or ADSL. More reliable and quite expensive are Wireless
(Acceskenya, Uunet) or Vsat. If you have a data cable, you can connect
with your mobile phone. As international calls are rather expensive,
it might be worth investing in a good internet connection to use
Voice over IP like skype.
6.30, 7.30, 8.30 Focus on Africa
18.00, 20.00 Network Africa
African News in French and English at full hour
News at 7.00, 9.00, 13.00, 16.00, 19.00,21.00
For international channels, you need a dish, a receiver and a subscription
with Multichoice (tel. 442614 or 0722 322 964, firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com). The monthly fee is around 65 USD.
If you pay in advance for a year, you get one month discount.
Enzo, +44 (0) 7878 010 352 - enzo(at)africa4x4cafe.com