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    Currency in Kenya KES - Things to know

    Foreign exchange guide to Kenya and the Kenyan shilling


    What currency is used in Kenya?

    The official currency of Kenya (country code: KE) is the Kenyan shilling, with symbol KSh and currency code KES.

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    An example Kenyan shilling banknote


    Travel money for Kenya

    Save money and time by Ordering your Kenyan shilling online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the KES cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.

    Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.

    For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Kenyan shilling otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.


    Travel Ideas and Money Tips for Kenya

    Kenya is one of the most vibrant and welcoming countries in Africa. The Kenyan people are friendly and hospitable, and the country has a lot to offer in terms of natural beauty, wildlife, and culture.

    Kenya is a great place to visit for safaris, as it is home to some of the best game reserves in Africa. The country also has a rich history and culture, with many interesting sites to visit and things to learn.

    For travelers and expats, Kenya is a safe and enjoyable place to live, work, and travel. There are many opportunities to explore and experience all that the country has to offer.

    What currency should I use in Kenya?

    Nairobi uses the Kenyan Shilling. ATMs are readily available in Nairobi. Be sure to always carry cash as a backup in case the power goes down, the ATM is out of order, or you lose or break your plastic. If you plan on withdrawing money or using your credit card while travelling, don’t forget to notify your bank before you go for security purposes and check what international withdrawal fees may apply to your card. Credit cards are accepted at a growing numbers of shops, restaurants and hotels in Nairobi. You can usually use plastic to pay for flights and train tickets too. However, be wary of scams. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted cards; double check with your bank before you travel about accessing your various accounts while in Nairobi.

    Best things to do and see in Kenya

    1. Visit the Maasai Mara National Reserve

    2. Go on a safari in the reserve

    3. See the Big Five animals in the reserve

    4. Take a hot air balloon ride over the reserve

    5. Visit Lake Nakuru National Park

    6. See the flamingos at Lake Nakuru

    7. Visit Amboseli National Park

    8. Go on a safari in the park

    9. See Mount Kilimanjaro from the park

    10. Visit Tsavo East National Park

    Travel tips for Kenya.

    While Kenya is a comparatively safe African destination, there are still plenty of pitfalls for the inexperienced traveler. From everyday irritations to more serious threats. A little street sense goes a long way here, and getting the latest local information is essential wherever you intend to travel.

    There are a few security considerations to think about when taking a bus in Kenya. Some routes, most notably the roads from Malindi to Lamu and Isiolo to Marsabit, have been prone to attacks by shiftas (bandits) in the past; check things out locally before you travel. Another possible risk is drugged food and drink: it is best to politely refuse any offers of drinks or snacks from strangers.

    Before you travel to Kenya, make sure that you are up to date on all immunizations. Although there are currently no inoculations that you must have when traveling to Kenya, if you intend to visit other countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Egypt, or other such areas that may be deemed infected, you will need inoculations. If you will be traveling to the Kenyan coast or Western Kenya, it is advisable to take anti-malaria pills.


    USD/KES Market Data

    The below interactive chart displays the USD/KES change and UP📈 DOWN📉 trends over the past 1 Year.

    1 USD =
    127.44We compare provider deals to this wholesale mid-market rate. Read more
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What currency should I use in Kenya?

    The domestic currency in Kenya is the Kenyan shilling.

    What is the Kenyan shilling currency code and symbol?

    The three letter currency code for the Kenyan shilling is KES — symbol is KSh.

    Which countries use the Kenyan shilling?

    It is the domestic currency in    Kenya.

    Is the Kenyan shilling a closed currency?

    No, the Kenyan shilling is freely available and convertible. See guide: What is a closed currency?

    What are equivalent amounts of USD and KES?

    Here are some popular conversion amounts for USD to KES (US dollar to Kenyan shilling)*.

    $ 1 KSh 127.44
    $ 5 KSh 637.20
    $ 10 KSh 1,274
    $ 20 KSh 2,549
    $ 50 KSh 6,372
    $ 100 KSh 12,744
    $ 250 KSh 31,860
    $ 500 KSh 63,720
    $ 1,000 KSh 127,440
    $ 2,000 KSh 254,880
    $ 5,000 KSh 637,200
    $ 10,000 KSh 1,274,400
    $ 20,000 KSh 2,548,800
    $ 50,000 KSh 6,372,000
    $ 100,000 KSh 12,744,000
    $ 0.0078 KSh 1
    $ 0.0392 KSh 5
    $ 0.0785 KSh 10
    $ 0.1569 KSh 20
    $ 0.3924 KSh 50
    $ 0.7847 KSh 100
    $ 1.9618 KSh 250
    $ 3.9235 KSh 500
    $ 7.8470 KSh 1,000
    $ 15.69 KSh 2,000
    $ 39.24 KSh 5,000
    $ 78.47 KSh 10,000
    $ 156.94 KSh 20,000
    $ 392.35 KSh 50,000
    $ 784.70 KSh 100,000

    More amounts

    *Converted at the current USDKES interbank exchange rate. Calculate actual payout amounts for Send Money and Travel Money exchange rates.

    Send Money to Kenya - Best Rates

    To get a good (and fair) exchange rate when sending money to Kenya you need to find and compare exchange rates for International Money Transfers (IMTs).

    The available FX rates for sending money abroad can be very different to the mid-market (wholesale) rate which you see reported online and in the News.

    You should especially compare your own bank's exchange rates to those available from Money Transfer specialists to see how much you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.

    Get a better deal for foreign transfers to Kenya

    When sending money to Kenya it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :

    1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
    2. You specify the local or Kenyan shilling amount you want to transfer
    3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
    4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted KES amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Kenya.

    Use the above calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Kenyan shilling deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!


    Expat Money & Business Guide to Kenya

    Managing your money effectively while living and working abroad can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that your finances are in order.

    By following these tips and managing your money effectively, you can reduce financial stress and enjoy your experience living or doing business in Kenya.

    h3>How is the cost of living in Kenya?

    The cost of living in Kenya is relatively low. The average cost of a basic meal is about $2, and a loaf of bread costs around $0.50. A ticket to the movies costs around $5, and a gallon of gasoline costs around $4.

    How is the expat life in Kenya?

    There is no definitive answer to this question as everyone's experience as an expat in Kenya will be different. That said, there are a few general things that can be said about the expat life in Kenya. For starters, it is important to note that Kenya is a country with a lot of cultural diversity, which means that there are a variety of things for expats to experience. Additionally, Kenya is a country with a lot of natural beauty, which can be a great draw for those who are looking for a place to live that is both beautiful and exotic. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the cost of living in Kenya is relatively low, which is another factor that can make it an attractive destination for expats.

    Any laws in Kenya that foreigners should be aware of?

    There are a few things that foreigners should be aware of when visiting Kenya. Firstly, it is important to respect the local culture and traditions. Secondly, visitors should be aware of the local wildlife and take care not to disturb them. Finally, it is important to be aware of the potential for crime and scams, and to take precautions to avoid becoming a victim.

    What is doing business like in Kenya?

    The business climate in Kenya is fair. The country has a well-developed legal framework and infrastructure, and there is a relatively high level of transparency and accountability. However, businesses can experience significant delays and bureaucracy when dealing with government bodies. Additionally, businesses may be subject to crime, including corruption, and time-consuming and costly regulatory processes.

    How is the economy in Kenya?

    The economy in Kenya is in a growth phase, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $69.9 billion in 2019. The country's economic growth is driven by the services and manufacturing sectors, which account for 60% and 30% of GDP, respectively. The agriculture sector contributes to 10% of GDP and employs more than 70% of the Kenyan workforce. The main export products are coffee, tea, flowers, and fruits. The main trading partners are the United Kingdom, the United States, China, and India.

    Managing your finances in Kenya

    Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in Kenya:

    1. Understand Kenyan shilling currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the KES exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.

    2. Use a local Kenyan shilling bank account: A local KES bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in Kenya. It may also be more convenient to use a local KES bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.

    3. Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in Kenya. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.

    4. Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in Kenya. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.

    5. Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in Kenya, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.


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