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Money and costs

Shillings (KES)
Exchange Rates
Rates provided by Open Exchange Rates. Last updated July 30, 2016 6:10AM UTC

  • The unit of currency is the Kenyan shilling (KSh), which is made up of 100 cents. Notes in circulation are KSh1000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20, and there are also coins of KSh40, 20, 10, five and one in circulation.
  • Locally, the shilling is commonly known as a ‘bob’, after the old English term for a one-shilling coin.
  • The shilling has been relatively stable over the last few years, maintaining fairly constant rates against the US dollar, euro and British pound.
  • Both US dollars and British pounds are easy to change throughout the country, as is the euro, which is replacing the dollar as the currency quoted for hotel prices on the coast (but rarely elsewhere).
  • The most convenient way to bring your money is in a mixture of cash and a debit or credit card.


Tipping is not common practice among Kenyans, but there’s no harm in rounding up the bill by a few shillings if you’re pleased with the service.

Hotel porters Tips expected in upmarket hotels (from Ksh200 and up).

Restaurants A service charge of 10% is often added to the bill along with the 16% VAT and 2% catering levy.

Taxi drivers As fares are negotiated in advance, no need to tip unless they provide you with exceptional service.

Tour guides, safari drivers and cooks Will expect some kind of gratuity at the end of your tour or trip. Count on around US$10 to US$15 per day per group.