Kenya Currency

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Kenya Currency

Useful and important information when travelling to Kenya

What is Kenya's Currency called?

Kenya's currency is called Shilling and banknotes are in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 Shillings. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 40 Shillings, whilst 50c coins are rarely used nowadays.

Kenyan Shilling Currency Code: KES

"KSh" - This is the symbol you'll see alongside (some) prices / rates

Can you pay or use US Dollar (USD) in Kenya?

Yes, the US Dollar (USD) is widely accepted by many local businesses and Accommodation Lodges in Kenya however it's also wise to carry a sufficient amount of local Shillings for those smaller businesses who prefer or deal only with their local currency.

You will notice that most Accommodation Lodges in Kenya quote their rates in the US Dollar currency (USD)

Currency Conversion Services:

Travellers to Kenya can quite easily convert the South African Rand, US dollar, British Pound and Euro currencies into Shillings at bureaux de change and banks in main towns & cities such as Nairobi. Some hotels are authorised to offer currency conversion services but be sure to confirm this service with the hotel prior.

Credit Cards & ATMS:

Major credit cards including MasterCard and foreign Visa cards are widely accepted by most hotels, restaurants, retail outlets & tour operators, and can be used to draw money out of ATMs found in Kenya's larger towns & cities. If you are travelling to a rural or remote location in Kenya then keep in mind that some shops and fuel stations can only accept cash, and may not have any ATMS to draw money out of - therefore cash in hand is very important. Note: Diners or American Express credit cards aren't accepted by some businesses and Travellers Cheques are no longer accepted in Kenya.

Commercial Banks:

There are 42 commercial banks in Kenya:

  • ABC Bank
  • Bank of Africa
  • Bank of Baroda
  • Bank of India
  • Barclays Bank of Kenya
  • Chase Bank Kenya
  • Citibank
  • Commercial Bank of Africa
  • Consolidated Bank of Kenya
  • Cooperative Bank of Kenya
  • Credit Bank
  • Development Bank of Kenya
  • Diamond Trust Bank
  • Dubai Islamic Bank
  • Ecobank Kenya
  • Equity Bank
  • Family Bank
  • First Community Bank
  • Guaranty Trust Bank Kenya
  • Guardian Bank
  • Gulf African Bank
  • Habib Bank AG Zurich
  • Housing Finance Company of Kenya
  • I&M Bank
  • Imperial Bank Kenya
  • Jamii Bora Bank
  • Kenya Commercial Bank
  • Mayfair Bank
  • Middle East Bank Kenya
  • National Bank of Kenya
  • NIC Bank
  • Oriental Commercial Bank
  • Paramount Universal Bank
  • Prime Bank
  • SBM Bank Kenya Limited
  • Sidian Bank
  • Spire Bank
  • Stanbic Bank Kenya
  • Standard Chartered Kenya
  • Trans National Bank Kenya
  • United Bank for Africa
  • Victoria Commercial Bank

7 Representative offices of foreign banks: HDFC Bank, Nedbank, FirstRand Bank, Bank of China, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of Kigali, Bank AL Habib Limited

Banking Hours:

This may vary depending on the bank but operating hours are generally from:

09:00am → 3:00pm from Mondays - Fridays
09:00am → 11:00am on Saturdays
*Banks in Airports are generally open from 07:00am → 7:00pm.

Money Saving Tip:

Most hotels, lodges and tour operators in Kenya quote in US dollars but also keep an eye out for related services quoting in Shillings because you might find yourself saving a lot of money paying in Kenya's local currency as opposed to the monetary exchange rate loss from KES-USD conversions.

Cash in Hand:

When travelling to Kenya via vehicle, make sure you carry a sufficient amount of cash in Kenya's local currency for border fees because not all border posts accept credit cards nor have the facilities to do an electronic transaction as such. Most border posts accept currencies from the country you're entering from however kindly contact the border authorities directly to confirm.

Kenya Exchange Rate Calculator:

Terms & Conditions: cannot be held liable for any change in exchange rates and information above.

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