Kenya’s capital is the most expensive city in Africa to buy a meal


Nairobi residents must be feeling the heat of living in the ‘City in the Sun’. 

Kenya’s capital city is Africa’s fourth most expensive city to live in, according to Expatistan, an online cost of living calculator which measures the cost of living index prepared for various cities across the world.

The most expensive cities in Africa are Pretoria, followed by Port Louis and Harare.

Pretoria. (Thousand Wonders)

However, In terms of accommodation and meals, Nairobi leads Africa. Expatistan found out that Nairobi has the most expensive furnished accommodation and fast food restaurant combo meals in Africa.

A combo meal in a fast food restaurant such as Big Mac Meal costs an average Sh724 ($7.24), while a basic lunchtime menu, including a drink in the central business district, costs Sh914 ($9.14).

What Nairobi residents go through however is nothing compared to Harare residents where inflation has been at an all time high for years. Monthly rent in a leafy Nairobi suburb averages Sh173,704 ($1684) and the cost of Internet per month at a speed of 8Mbps stands at Sh4,447 ($43.1) nearly half of what residents of Harare pay.

Harare. (Nyati Travel)

Similarly, a flat screen 40-inch television set costs Sh64,567 ($626) in Harare compared to Sh37,816 ($366) in Nairobi.

The high cost of living may however not be Kenya’s own making but the fact that it hosts various international organisations including UN offices and the World Bank. Oxfam International also recently announced it would be relocating its headquarters to Nairobifrom the United Kingdom.

There is a silver lining though. According to the survey, Nairobi has the fourth cheapest domestic labour in the world and the lowest purchase price for a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI as well a pair of basic denim jeans.

A customer in Nairobi buying demin jeans. (Bizna Kenya)

Last year, domestic consumption analysis by Nation Newsplex and the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) found that residents of Nairobi had the highest spending power in the country.

The average monthly consumption per person stands at Sh19,625 ($190), or more than twice the national average of Sh9,237 ($89).

Kenya is East Africa’s largest economy and Nairobi has been looking to cement its position as the region’s business hub.



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