Money Useful tips on money for tourists visiting Kenya

  • Published:

What you need to know about spending money in Kenya.

Foreign tourist jumping like the Kenyan Maasai play Foreign tourist jumping like the Kenyan Maasai (Magical Kenya)

Many Kenyans in the tour travel industry are not paid significantly well and therefore rely on tips. Therefore a tourist should tip the Kenyan staff according to the service they get. As a tourist you should tip according to what you know is well-deserved and you should do it in Kenyan shillings.

It is usually hard for Kenyans to change foreign currency since a significant amount is lost to commissions. It is also very fundamental to note that foreign coins cannot be changed.

These are some quick tips concerning money for tourists visiting Kenya

  1. It costs Ksh. 200 for baggage porters who carry bags into hotel rooms at the beginning or end of the holiday.
  2. An airport Transfer Driver is paid starting from Ksh.100 (shared package transfer) to Ksh. 500. You will part with Ksh. 5000 for private transfer to the South Coast Ukunda where Diani beach is located.
  3. A pool attendant is paid Ksh. 100 per day while room staff receive Ksh. 1000 per week. Ksh. 50 – Ksh. 100 per round of drinks is well befitting bar attendants. When running a tab round up to the nearest convenient figure up to 10 per cent total.
  4. A rough estimate of about Ksh. 100 to Ksh. 200 can be paid to a food waiter at a local restaurant up to 10 per cent of the bill.
  5. A safari guide is worth being paid Ksh. 1000/- per day payable at the end of the safari.
  6. It is advisable to tip room staff and pool attendants half of what you intend to tip them at the beginning of the holiday. You could then tip the rest at the end of the holiday depending on the kind of service you received.
  7. Remember to tip gardeners, handymen, kitchen staff and other support staff by placing them in a tip box where the money is shared between all the staff.
  8. Changing money in a bank ATM may pose float challenges. For the simple reason that you may be given notes of Ksh. 1000 and Ksh. 500. Many small- scale shops may not have enough float to give you the balance for merchandise like snacks and a bottle of water. Therefore it is highly advisable that you ask the bank or foreign exchange bureau to give you notes of smaller denominations Like Ksh. 50, 100 and 200 notes.
  9. When withdrawing money from an ATM it is highly advisable to ask for Ksh. 19,900 instead of Ksh. 20,000. You will at least get some smaller notes of either Ksh. 200 or Ksh. 100.
  10. These are the exchange rates for the Kenyan currency according to the Central Bank of Kenya as at 4th December 2017:


04/12/2017US DOLLAR103.0389102.9389103.1389
04/12/2017STG POUND138.8600138.7089139.0111
04/12/2017SA RAND7.51417.50497.5233
04/12/2017KES / USHS35.278035.195335.3608
04/12/2017KES / TSHS21.749121.679521.8188
04/12/2017KES / RWF8.32648.29838.3545
04/12/2017KES / BIF17.094516.956617.2324
04/12/2017AE DIRHAM28.053828.022828.0849
04/12/2017CAN $80.612580.521780.7034
04/12/2017S FRANC104.5603104.4429104.6777
04/12/2017JPY (100)91.476391.379491.5732
04/12/2017SW KRONER12.299512.285312.3136
04/12/2017NOR KRONER12.419412.404412.4345
04/12/2017DAN KRONER16.438416.421116.4556
04/12/2017IND RUPEE1.59751.59581.5992
04/12/2017HONGKONG DOLLAR13.191513.178713.2043
04/12/2017SINGAPORE DOLLAR76.469676.381276.5580
04/12/2017SAUDI RIYAL27.474827.447427.5022
04/12/2017CHINESE YUAN15.583015.560315.6058
04/12/2017AUSTRALIAN $78.010877.924778.0968
Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Live Kenya?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +254708994405, Social Media @pulselivekenya: #PulseLiveEyewitness & DM or Email:

Top 3

1 Keep off! These cars will cost you more than you bargained forbullet
2 #Pulse Kitchen How to make mouth-watering pilau like a coasterianbullet
3 How to make the perfect Dawa for your coldbullet

Food & Travel