We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Changing US$ to Kenya Shilings

Level Contributor
211 posts
28 reviews
Save Topic
Changing US$ to Kenya Shilings

I was wondering what is better. Changing at the FOREX at the airport or ATM. I will need around 500$ changed over so I don't think the ATM would give me that. I will not be near any ATM while on safari.

Nyeri, Kenya
Level Contributor
2,330 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Changing US$ to Kenya Shilings

I can get approximately Ksh 40,000 per day from an ATM.

The airport FOREX will not give you the best rate. However, last time I passed through Jomo Kenyatta Airport, the FOREX just before the customs area was offering quite good rates and better than the ones 'outside'.

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
Level Contributor
15,204 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Changing US$ to Kenya Shilings

In Kenya you can withdraw between 10,000/- and 40,000/- per transaction, it depends on which bank owns the ATM and on its location. Different banks have different limits and ATMs that are in more remote locations and are not refilled as regularly as those in central locations, or those that have high traffic but are not physically at a bank, often have a lower limit than the ones located at a bank to prevent them running out of funds.

Limits of 20,000/- or 30,000/- are the most common. If the limit placed on your card by your own bank is greater than the ATM transaction limit you can make multiple transactions in a day up to your bank's daily limit on your card.

Barclays typically have a limit of 30,000/- to 40,000/- (both my local Barclays are 40,000/- per transaction), Equity banks ATMs have limits up to 35,000/-. Diamond Trust Bank, KCB, Family Bank and NIC Bank is 20,000/-.

There is a Barclays ATM (and bank) in the Arrivals area so its limit is likely to be 40,000 and they accept both the Visa and Mastercard families of card.

Although the best return will be at a good forex the ones in the airport, like airport forexs everywhere will not have the best rates as they have a 'captive' audience, However the return from an average forex will not be much different from that of an ATM withdrawal (better exchange rate but incurring fees). In your case a single transaction there might be little difference.

The current CBK rate is around 87.80 shillings to the dollar, assuming your bank charges a transaction fee of $5 and a percentage fee of 3% (not familiar with US banks but both would be pretty much worst cases for a UK bank) then if you can get between 84 and 85 at the forex there should be little difference. However if the forex rate was as low as 80 then your $500 would only get you 40,000 the same as an ATM withdrawal but it would cost you around $20 to $25 more than the ATM withdrawal

3. Re: Changing US$ to Kenya Shilings

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 15 July 2015, 02:16