Money in Kenya

The currency is the Kenyan Shilling (KES) and this is the preferred currency to have on hand while in Kenya. You can check the current exchange rate on

One Kenyan Shilling comprises of 100 cents. Kenyan notes are available in 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 denominations.



If you arrive in Kenya with cash (Sterling, Euro's US Dollars, etc) then you can exchange cash at a Forex exchange (however, you'll only find Forex exchanges in the larger cities - Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu). It is advisable to take some cash with you as a backup and for emergencies.  US Dollars are widely accepted in hotels and National Parks/Game Reserves.



Cash withdrawal from ATMs are available in most major towns and all major cities in Kenya. Most ATMs allow a max withdrawal of KES 40,000 per day. A lot of ATMs are manned with security, but do take care of your money when at the ATM. It's important to consult with your bank before travel to check whether your card will work. 


International credit and debit cards (Master Card, Visa Card, etc) are accepted in all leading hotels, shopping centers, bars and restaurants in Kenya. Travellers cheques are not widely accepted.


However, banks and credit card companies charge every time you make a transaction so a good option is to have a traveller card, which won’t charge you when you withdraw money. You can load up the card online in pounds so you only have to go through one exchange rate, and they offer a competitive exchange rate when you withdraw cash. This is also a good option to protect your credit and debit cards and means your bank won’t presume your debit or credit card has been stolen and stop your card. Some credit cards also offer good deals when using them abroad.

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