There is a wide range of tourist hotels in Nairobi, from backpacker campsites (Upper Hill campsite on Hospital Road) to five-star establishments such as the Norfolk Hotel. There are a number of other guesthouses that offer private rooms with shared bathrooms and self-catering rooms for between €1,000 and €4,000 per night. As long as you don’t mind basic accommodation, you should not spend more than $100/night in a hotel or hostel. In less touristy areas, you can find accommodation for as little as US$5 per night. However, beware of bed bugs – it may be wise to buy insect repellent and bring your own bedding if you plan to travel very cheaply. There are also the international chains Intercontinental and Hilton, as well as some very reputable local chains (Serena and Sarova Hotels). Small hostels and accommodation are ubiquitous in the central areas of the cities for little money, although they are rarely safe as in high crime areas.
Stays with host families are gaining in popularity. One of the reasons is that you can experience Kenyan culture in a deeper and more meaningful way. Most homes charge around $20 per night, including meals. For some, linen is also included in the price.
People who stay longer can rent accommodation; prices range from “international style” rentals by a real estate agency for $150 or more per month, to private furnished flats, from $50 to $100 per month, to “local” accommodation, usually unfurnished, with prices ranging from Ksh 5-7,000 per month with windows, water and electricity, to Ksh 500 per month without windows, no electricity, noisy neighbours, mosquitoes and shared access to a tap. To find privately rented accommodation, you need to find out – taxi drivers, shopkeepers, merchants, all could save you the brokerage fees.