Currency & Communications

CURRENCY:  The currency unit in Kenya is the Kenyan shilling (KES). Bank notes bills are in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 while coins are in 1, 5, 10 and 20 shillings. The exchange rate varies from time to time.  As of April 2011, 100 KES was worth US$1.20.  To check on current rates, go to

From the moment you land at the airport and into the city, you will notice banks, foreign exchange bureaus (Forex) and ATMs are all over. You can use their services to convert your money to Kenya currency. The major banks are open for business from 9.00am to 4.00 pm Mondays through Fridays, and 9.00am to 12.00pm Saturdays. The airport offers banking during normal business hours and a 24hr Forex Bureau services.
The major banks have branches as well as automated teller machines (ATMs) in Nairobi. You can use your foreign ATM/debit card in Nairobi as well. However, you will incur a small international transaction fee every time you use your card.

Traveler's Cheques are not widely used. Credits cards are widely accepted in all major hotels and establishments, the most recognized being Master Card and Visa, less so with American Express. However, you will also need some cash  because smaller shops will only accept cash.

Remember, all of your expenses are covered when with the team, including tips.  You are not going to need much cash to do anything other than buy souvenirs. $100-200 is suggested, based on spending by previous teams. If you are staying longer than the team dates and will be in Kenya on your own, you will need to factor in extra cash.

COMMUNICATIONS:  I have yet to find out the possible use of cell phones and/or laptops.