Kenya Has Overtaken South Africa as Best African Country for Expats to Settle

Kenya has been ranked as the best country in Africa for expatriates to start and settle, getting an advantage as a desirable location for overseas investors looking to expand into the continent. 

It was ranked ninth in the world, first on the African continent, ahead of South Africa (28th) and Egypt (37th). InterNations’ Expat Essentials Index, ranks the best and worst places for professionals based on housing, language, digital life and local governance. 

This ranking comes amid an increase in the development of residential units aimed at high-net-worth individuals as the country’s economic position as an East African hub. Kenya has also become a favored investment destination for multinational corporations incentivized by the government’s investment in rapid infrastructure development such as the elevated 27-kilometer Nairobi Expressway

“Kenya (9th), like Indonesia (6th), offers ex-pats a smooth transition in two areas in particular: language (3rd) and housing” (12th). The high level of performance in the former subcategory is most likely because English is still one of the country’s two official languages and is widely used in business, education and government offices,” according to the survey. 

“Many ex-pats also have few or no trouble finding housing, with Kenya ranking 9th out of 52 destinations in this regard.” And 43 percent believe housing available is affordable, which is slightly higher than the global average of 39 percent.” 

Many ex-pats live in affluent areas such as Kilimani, Ridgeways, Westlands and Lavington, popular neighborhoods with the middle and upper classes.   

Professionals working for international organizations like the United Nations prefer exclusive locations such as Muthaiga, Runda, Riverside, Rosslyn and Karen. 

The findings follow a recent wealth report by property firm Knight Frank, which named Kenya one of the world’s top real estate investment destinations, alongside France, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom (UK). 

Kenya was also ranked second by super-rich Africans looking for second homes. 

Foreigners make up a sizable portion of the market for prime properties in Kenya, helping to drive up real estate. 

Local red tape, however, continues to irritate many ex-pats.

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