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Money and duty free for Kenya

Currency and Money

Currency information

Kenyan Shilling (KES; symbol KSh) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of KSh1,000, 500, 200, 100 and 50. Coins are in denominations of KSh20, 10 and 5.

Credit cards

Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted; American Express and Diners Club less so. Major hotels accept payment by credit card, as do major safari companies, travel agencies and restaurants. ATMs are common.


ATMs are common especially in major tourist destinations.

Travellers cheques

Very few banks or foreign exchange bureaus accept travellers cheques; when they do, they charge high commissions.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1500, Sat 0900-1200. Banks in Mombasa and the coastal areas open and close half an hour earlier. Banks in airports tend to open earlier and close later; typical hours are 0700-1900.

Currency restrictions

Residents may import up to KES 500,000 and must declare if currencies exceeding US $10,000. Non-residents may import local and foreign currencies without restrictions but amounts exceeding US $10,000 must be declared.

For residents and non-residents leaving Kenya, you need to have documents indicating the source of fund and the purpose of this amount if you leave with US$5,000 or more.

Currency exchange

Currency can be exchanged at the major banks, bureaux de change or authorised hotels. The banks at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Moi International Airport have 24-hour exchange services. The easiest currencies to exchange are US Dollars, Pounds Sterling and Euros.

Kenya duty free


The following goods may be imported into Kenya by passengers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:

• 250g of tobacco products.
• 1L of spirits or 2L wine.
• 1L of perfume and eau de toilette, of which more than a quarter should be perfume.

Banned Imports

Prohibited items include counterfeit money and goods, pornography, matches made using white phosphorus, narcotics, soaps and cosmetics containing mercury, and used tyres.

Restricted items include animal traps, unwrought precious metals and stones, arms and ammunition, ivory, hippopotamus teeth, rhinoceros horn, tortoise shell, whalebone, antlers, coral, endangered species, and historic artefacts.

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