“After working from home for months between the same four walls, I decided to pack my laptop and get on the plane. Where to? Unpleasant Kenya!
Working for a month in a new environment, and what kind! A lovely sun every day, beautiful co-working spaces with good internet and great weekend trips by the sea, in the bush or through the desert. I wrote down six reasons that make remote working in Kenya so great for me and why you should pack your bags now!”
Also read: Buying a scooter in Uganda & ViaVia Guesthouse | #pipikikitour2021 ? (1)
Table of contents
Remote working = fully enjoying
For four weeks I thoroughly enjoyed every day. Two weeks in bustling Nairobi where you can find a new place to work remotely every day. I could work in peace with good internet + delicious drinks and food in the different co-working spaces and work cafes (my favorites are Kofisi and CJ's).
The coast in Diani was also a daily pleasure. View over the sky blue ocean from my 'office' and refreshing dives between meetings or during the lunch break. Snacking in between is possible with refreshing pieces of watermelon and pineapple.
6x reasons to start working remotely
But, remote working is more than just enjoying the weather and the views. These are my 6 reasons why you remote work must try.
1. Slow Travel
The ultimate form of slow travel: Live and work like a local for a month, really get to know big cities like Nairobi and Mombasa and go out in the evenings to discover the best places. Everything at your own pace.
2. Work Hard
work hard: Nairobi is East Africa's tech hotspot and it shows. Professional and modern coworking spaces that also look great and have excellent internet. I completely relaxed and was able to get to work full of motivation.
Fun fact: Kenya has faster mobile internet than the United States.
3. Play Harder
play louder: After the hard work, I enjoyed twice as much. Extensive city trips, nice drinks or sports in the evening and kite surfing on the coast. I was never bored. In addition, unforgettable weekend trips are possible every weekend: I cycled among giraffes and sailed past hippos, rode a motorcycle through the desert, explored the Taita Hills, and visited Kenya's most beautiful safari parks.
4. Networking and friendships
Networking and friendships blacksmiths: You don't go out alone. I was together with other like-minded remote workers: social people who work hard but also enjoy life just as hard.
5. Barely any time difference
Barely time difference: Since Africa is directly below Europe, the time differences are minimal. In winter it is only two hours later in Kenya than in the Netherlands. I was able to work undisturbed for the first two hours of my day and if you don't schedule your meetings too late, they won't even notice that you're on another continent at work.
Enjoy! Experience all the best Kenya has to offer: bustling Nairobi, cozy Mombasa and all the diversity in between. All this while getting all your work done!
Nairobi: three worlds in 1 city
In addition to remote working, Kenya is also a top country to call 'home' for a month. The first and last week I was in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital and one of the largest cities in Africa. A real metropolis with many contrasts, rapid development, wildlife and densely populated areas, interspersed with green oases.
1. Urban Nairobi
The Central Business District (CBD) in Nairobi is the heart of the city: the shops, restaurants and colorful matatu's (small buses for public transport) ensure a wonderful bustle where you will find everything you need. Souvenirs for family or yourself (you haven't been to Kenya without a Kenyan bracelet), local and international cuisines and music from gospel to reggae on the way to your hotel or apartment. It is a chaotic bustle but with a lot of charm.
2. Green City in the Sun
Nairobi has several nicknames and 'The Green City in the Sun' is one of them. It owes its name to the warm climate and the abundance of greenery.
There are several parks where you can walk around in peace and serenity and enjoy nature, such as the Nairobi Arboretum. This park is within walking distance of the center. It was lovely to have a picnic here, with some monkeys sitting next to me on the couch.
Further out of the center there is the Oloolua Nature Trail, a hiking tour in the Oloolua Forest that takes you past a waterfall and cave. It is also right next to the Karen Blixen Museum, the setting for the Oscar-winning movie “Out Of Africa”.
A third park for nature lovers is Karura Forest where, in addition to walking, you can also play football, cycling and tennis. This is the largest park of the three. It is minutes away from Village Market, one of the modern shopping centers in Nairobi. Here you will find international shops and restaurants. There are relaxation options for young and old such as a trampoline park, a bowling alley and a Virtual Reality platform.
In addition, there are also many green zones where you can live and work. The best example of this is Charlie's Jungle Villa where the whole team enthusiastically welcomed me on arrival. There are also plenty of nice and quiet co-working spaces where I got all my work done with good internet.
3. Safari Capital of the World
A second nickname is 'The Safari Capital of the World'. Nairobi is a hub for tourists going on safari. There are also many wildlife activities in the capital itself.
The most famous is without a doubt Nairobi National Park. This is the only national park in the world that is located in a capital. You have the opportunity to see the Big Five with the skyline of Nairobi in the background! Spectacular images guaranteed.
There is also a mini zoo, the Nairobi Safari Walk. And Mamba Village, a village with crocodiles, turtles and ostriches. The most popular spots are the Giraffe Center and David Sheldrick's Wildlife Trust.
The Giraffe Center gives you the chance to feed giraffes in person. You can even have a romantic moment with a deep kiss. The David Sheldrick Trust takes care of young, vulnerable elephants and rhinoceroses. They are cared for until they are ready to return to their natural habitat. The animals can be admired for half an hour every day while they play with each other and are fed by the staff. A must-see for any animal lover!
Swahili vibes on the coast
The other two weeks I spent on the coast, in a villa on the beach, with a private chef. I left from the train station in Syokimau just outside Nairobi and 6 hours (and elephants, zebras and even a lion along the railway) later I arrived at the beautiful station of Mombasa. This is a cozy port city where you will be immersed in the Swahili culture, a mix of Arab, Asian and Persian influences.
Here I completely relaxed and there are many nice trips to do. For example, there is Fort Jesus, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At English Point Marina you can enjoy beautiful views over the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Mombasa in all luxury – which I tore through with a jet ski.
Then I took the ferry to drive an hour to Diani, where I stayed for two weeks in a villa on the beach. A few meters from the beach, with the swimming pool for refreshment and a good connection to work in peace and serenity. In the evenings I kept looking for a nice beach bar to end the day perfectly.
Unforgettable weekend trips
Of course I have not only worked in Kenya. I wanted to make the most of my time in East Africa so I decided to do an awesome trip every weekend.
1. Motorbike safari in Magadi
I have seldom felt so free as between the sand and stones of Magadi. What a great experience! Bumping over the sand and rocks, through water, with zebras and giraffes running past you at 40km/h. Like being on a National Geographic live broadcast! In between we also made stops at hot springs to rinse the dust off our noses and in the evening we spend the night under a full starry sky.
2. Bike and Boat Safari in Naivasha
An active weekend trip at Lake Naivasha and Hell's Gate. Cycling among the elephants is a bit slower than with the motorbike in Magadi, but it is wonderful to be able to cycle among these beautiful animals.
3. High end safari in conservation Lumo
A relaxing safari in Lumo, managed by the locals. I'm not normally a morning person but I thought it was perfectly fine to set the alarm at 6 am to watch the animals wake up early in the morning with a rising sun. In the evening we all enjoyed a delicious drink and snacks in the middle of the savannah and at night we went looking for lions with a flashlight that were out for a midnight snack.
4. Trek through the green Taita Hills
Both on foot and by motorbike I set out through the Taita Hills, surrounded by greenery and full of wonderful views. The welcome at Mama Rose's was, if possible, even more cordial than at Charlie's. Fun guaranteed!
5. Spot the Big 5 in the Masai Mara
Of course I couldn't go to Kenya without visiting the Mara. The mecca of the safari, where I felt lost in the endless views and spotted the entire Big Five without any problem. This is Africa!
My productivity has only benefited and I have had the time of my life. Remote working in Kenya is highly recommended for anyone who has the opportunity to do so. Don't hesitate, just do it!
Seen a mistake? Ask? Remark? Let us know in the comments!