Unfortunately, I am not very well located for mediumwave listening as I live just a mile or so from the Voice of Kenya’s (VOK’s) main MF transmitting station for the Nairobi area. This has three 100 kW units operating on 612, 747 and 1269 kHz so it is obviously impossible to hear any other signals on these frequencies. In fact the situation is somewhat worse as various combinations of these frequencies can be found across the band, and of course the field strength is so high that it can overload a receiver, giving background “hash” right across the band. Reading this, you may be surprised that I can hear anything at all! In fact, the list below shows that this is not the case. To compensate for these problems there are many advantages to MF DXing here. The level of locally-generated electrical interference is much less than suffered by DXers in urban areas in Europe as the ownership of many electrical appliances is much lower here; for example, none of our immediate neighbours owns a TV set.


So what can be heard on MF? During the day the band is largely empty. The VOK operates half-a-dozen or so relay stations around the country to carry the two nation-wide services (one in Swahili, the other in English) and most of these are audible, although with weak signals. This is largely because Kenya’s terrain is unsuitable for groundwave propagation; the south-west of the country, where most of the population lives, is highland country with mountains and valleys to block signals, while most of the remainder of the country is desert or semi-desert and the scattered population in these areas relies on the VOK’s shortwave service. Although the VOK’’ transmitter network is quite extensive compared to some neighbouring countries, residents of the more remote areas complain that they can hear programmes from neighbouring countries better than those from Nairobi. The VOK MF relays also suffer from the fact that they appear to receive their programme feeds over “telephone quality” circuits with consequent degradation of audio quality.


Apart from the VOK, the only station audible during the daytime is a relay of Radio Tanzania on 1215 kHz from Arusha in the north of that country.


The list below shows some of the stations audible during the evening. It is by no means a comprehensive list as my MF DXing has been rather limited and only positively identified stations have been included. The band is dominated by signals from the Middle East, which is unsurprising; very few countries in sub-Saharan Africa have transmitters of more than 100 kW (in fact most are below 50 kW) whilst many Arab states have a number of transmitters of several hundred kW or even MW.


The letter “J” after a frequency indicates that jamming is observed on the channel (not necessarily targeted against the station listed).


540           Radio Bophuthatswana;  Voice of Kenya General Service

549           Zambia General Service // 630

558           Voice of Kenya Western Service

567           Syria // 666

576           Radio Metro, South Africa

585           Saudi Arabia // 1521;  Zanzibar // 6015

594           Malawi // 675

612           Voice of Kenya National Service

621           Tanzania National Service // 4785

630           Zambia General Service

639           BBC Cyprus relay

648           Saudi Arabia // 1521

657           Tanzania Commercial Service (656)

666-J        Syria // 567

657           Malawi // 594

693           Voice of the Masses, Baghdad (692)

702           Voice of Kenya National Service ; BBC Masirah relay

716-J        Arabic “numbers station”- sometimes

720           Voice of Kenya National Service ; BBC Cyprus relay

729           Voice of the UAE, Abu Dhabi // 1315

747           Voice of Kenya General Service

756           Malawi // 594

765-J        VIRI Arabic // 1386

792           Voice of Kenya National Service / South Yemen

819           Egypt



846           Voice of Kenya Western Service; RAI Second Programme

855           Harar, Ethiopia

864           Egypt, Koran Service // 9755;  Saudi Arabic Koran Service // 1512

873           Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

900           Saudi Arabia // 1521

909           Voice of the Masses, Baghdad // 692

918           Voice of Kenya National Service

954           Voice of Kenya National Service

963           Somalia

981           Voice of Kenya National Service

1008         North Yemen // 9780

1017         Voice of Kenya National Service

1053         Romania Second Programme // 1152

1080         Voice of Kenya General Service

1098         Radio Bophuthatswana

1107         Voice of the Arabs, Cairo // 11665

1134         Kuwait // 9840;  Yugoslavia

1143         Radio Moscow external service

1152         Romania Second Programme // 1053;  Bamenda, Cameroon

1188         South Yemen // 792


1206         Voice of Kenya General Service

1215         Tanzania National Service // 4785

1233         Radio Monte Carlo, Cyprus

1242         Oman // 6085

1251         UAE Radio, Dubai // 1481

1260         VOA Rhodes relay

1269         Voice of Kenya General Service

1296         Sudan

1314         Voice of the UAE, Abu Dhabi // 1539

1323         BBC Cyprus relay


1368         Voice of Kenya General Service

1377         Swazi Radio // 4980

1386-J      VIRI Arabic // 765;  Radio Moscow external service

1395         Tirana

1413         BBC Masirah relay



1440         Saudi Arabia // 1521

1449         VIRI Russian (1630-1730 GMT)

1458         Mayotte (early evening);  Tirana (swamping Mayotte)

1467         TWR Monaco;   USSR “Mayak” service

1485         UAE Radio, Dubai (1481) // 1251

1494         Radio Moscow external service;  Pemba, Mozambique

1503         VIRI home service // 15084;  Benguela, Angola

1512         Saudi Arabia, Koran Service // 864

1521         Saudi Arabia // 1440

1530         Vatican

1539         Voice of the UAE // 1575;  Deutschlandfunk

1548         Radio Moscow external service

1557         Deutsche Welle, Malta relay

1566-J      Switzerland, German service;  Tunisia // 12005

1575         Voice of the UAE // 1539;  Voice of the GDR/Radio Berlin International

1593         Westdeutscher Rundfunk



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Updated: 6 Nov 2001