Frequently Asked Questions, FAQs

Hosts Guests
  1. What is a Homestay and how does it work?
  2. How do I apply?
  3. What does the certification process involve?
  4. How much do I get paid?
  5. What do I have to offer guests?
  6. How long do I have to host a student for?
  7. Do l need to publish my personal photos online?
  8. What support do I get from MH?
  1. Where are the homestays located?
  2. How do l get to stay in a Kenyan Homestay
  3. Can I choose my host family and when will l meet them for the first time?
  4. Does living in a Homestay mean that you don't get any privacy?
  5. How can I extend my stay at a particular Homestay?
  6. How can I book further Homestays after my arrival?
  7. Do Homestay owners speak fluent English?
  8. Are meals generally eaten with the family or shared separately?
  9. How well connected is the Homestay for local travelling?
  10. Are the Homestays always clean?
  11. Are the Homestays safe to stay in and do they have good security?
  12. What is the price range of the Homestays?
  13. Have the Homestays been visited and checked by the company?
  14. Is payment via credit-card possible and safe
  15. What happens if my arrival is delayed?
  16. Will there be any house rules?
  17. Is there a number I can call for any enquiries?

HOSTS

What is a Homestay and how does it work?

Homestay is accommodation offered by host families to guests (usually international visitors) who will be visiting the country for an extended period of time on various reasons like internship, volunteering, research or guests interested in experiencing cultural tourism at it's finest. The guest lives for an agreed period of time in your home thus facilitating intercultural exchange.

As a host you would generally be required to provide the guest with all their basic needs, including their own room, food and space. Over the period of their time together the host assists the guest to become familiar with the local area and customs in a relaxed and friendly household setting. The guest is also encouraged to share with the host information about their home country and culture. This interaction is what Msengoni Homestays strives to promote and is ideal for guests and hosts looking for a unique cultural experience.

How do I apply?

Fill in this brief Host Form and MH team will contact you within 24 hours to initiate the certification process.

What does the certification process involve?

MH people will visit your home on an agreed date to confirm the information that was uploaded and to verify that your premises conform to the East African Guidelines for Homestays. Main hosts will be given tips on hosting homestay guests, preparing for a new guest and cross-cultural understanding to ensure a smooth hosting period.

How much do I get paid?

The guest pays a weekly/monthly fee to cover management and supervision costs and to reimburse the host for day to day food and accommodation expenses support. This fee varies between towns & areas, on the amenities that hosts offer, proximity to the Central Business District and transport hubs etc

What do I have to offer guests?

Hosts must be prepared to spend some time with the guest and display a friendly, flexible attitude. The guest requires their own bedroom, bed, desk, chair, cupboard space and at least two meals per day. The accommodation offered to guests will need to be clean, orderly and in good repair, and not currently being renovated. It must comply with current council building regulations, be properly furnished, within the family living area, and private.

How long do I have to host a student for?

This is up to you in discussion with Msengoni Homestays. Most initial placements are for 1 week so as to familiarise new host families with the concept. You are not obliged to take any guests for periods longer than you agree to.

Do l need to publish my personal photos online?

This is entirely up to the host family to decide what photos will be published on their web page though we usually recommend publishing the guest bedrooms, living room, dining rooms and kitchen.

What support do I get from MH?

Hosts have access to full management support including a homestay consultant during business hours and in emergency cases that may happen after hours and at weekends.

GUESTS

Where are the homestays located?

Msengoni Homestays homes are located in various parts of Kenya, such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Malindi, Kisumu and Eldoret. Msengoni Homestays is also working to increase the number of homestays in major towns and areas close to major tourist attractions. Our aim is to bring homestays to the fore-front of the accommodation market in East Africa.

How do l get to stay in a Kenyan Homestay

All you need to do is fill in this guest form and MH will contact you via mail, Skype or phone to confirm your accommodation needs and ensure that you experience an enriching cultural holiday or just stay in a safe homestay. Peruse the Kenyan Homestays list to get a glimpse of some of the homestays that are in our network.

Can I choose my host family and when will l meet them for the first time?

Yes. Take your pick among some of the homes that have been published but should you have something different in mind, do get it in touch with us so we can ensure that your stay conforms to your needs and wants. The first meeting will most likely take place at the homestay though particular host families in Nairobi & Mombasa prefer to welcome guests on arrival at the airport.

Does living in a Homestay mean that you don't get any privacy?

Living in a homestay does not mean loosing your privacy at all. The homeowners are experienced hosts and they will be there to assist as you adjust to a new home & country but also leave you with sufficient space and time so that you enjoy an enriching and hassle free holiday.

How can I extend my stay at a particular Homestay?

To extend your stay with one of our affiliated homestays, just call Msengoni Homestays offices or the homestay consultant and place your request for an extension. Kindly note that Msengoni Homestays will only be able to fulfill your request if earlier bookings do not exist for the extension period you request.

How can I book further Homestays after my arrival?

Upon arriving in one of our affiliated homestays, if you wish to make further bookings for other Msengoni Homestays homes, you can make them online or by calling your homestay consultant.

Do Homestay owners speak fluent English?

Yes, in most of the homes all members of the family speak fluent English.

Are meals generally eaten with the family or shared separately?

The host families can provide both options depending on Guests' preference. If you would like to have dinner or lunch with the hosts, they would be delighted to share a meal with you.

How well connected is the Homestay for local travelling?

All the homestays can be easily reached using local transportation systems. If one wishes to travel in comfort, private chauffeur driven vehicles can be organised by MH.

Are the Homestays always clean?

Yes, cleanliness and hygiene are maintained in all the homes. Msengoni Homestays conducts periodical audits to ensure that your homestay experience is safe and comfortable.

Are the Homestays safe to stay in and do they have good security?

Yes. Security is of the utmost importance when liaising with potential homestays and host families. The homes are located in safe neighbourhoods and the families have been assessed before welcoming them into the Msengoni Homestays fold.

What is the price range of the Homestays?

Homestays prices range widely to accommodate different kinds of guests requirements and are dependent on location, amenities being offered, internet access, laundry services etc.

Have the Homestays been visited and checked by the company?

Yes, all the homestays have been visited and assessed by personnel from Msengoni Homestays.

Is payment via credit-card possible and safe

Msengoni Homestays makes all reasonable efforts to ensure the safety of your credit card details while performing reservation transactions through its website. At the moment, we make use of manual credit card authorisation but efforts are underway to have an online payment portal in place.

What happens if my arrival is delayed?

In case of delayed arrival, Msengoni Homestays will retain your reservation for 72 hours after the day of your arrival. To extend it beyond this period, it is recommended that you inform Msengoni Homestays within this time frame.

Will there be any house rules?

Any house rules are catered for in the placement process which is facilitated by the extensive host and guest forms. Other "Helpful Titbits" will be included in the guest proposal and through interaction with the host.

Is there a number I can call for any enquiries?

Yes, we are available on call from Monday through Saturday from 0900 - 1700 hours (EAT) or via Skype at specific times. You can also check out the Kenyan Homestays Blog for more information.

Contact Homestay Consultant
Msengoni Homestays
House No. 1, MNG Apartments
Ndemi Road, next to Bible Society of Kenya
P.O. Box 35395 - 00100
Nairobi, Kenya

T: +254 788 814 022
C: +254 728 604 632

E-mail: info@msengonihomestays.com