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Currency: Kenyan Shilling (KSh) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of KSh1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of KSh 40, 20, 10, 5, 50cts, 10cts, and 5cts. There are no restrictions on the foreign exchange you may bring to the country. You will need to get a letter of authorisation if you wish to take more than Kshs. 500,000/- out of the country.

Currency exchange: Money can be exchanged at the major banks and the numerous Foreign exchange bureaus that can be found on literary every other street. There are also several of them at the airport. There are over 170 ATMs. Barclays has the largest network followed by Standard Chartered Bank. Most ATM's serve a majority of the international credit cards like Visa, Master etc.

Credit & debit cards: These are all widely accepted. Major hotels and big outlets now accept payment by credit card. Cards accepted include Visa, Master Card,

Travellers cheques: These can be changed at banks. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling.

Banking hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1500; 0900-1100 on the first and last Saturday of each month for Nairobi Banks. For special customers with special accounts, banking hours can run upto 1700 hr. Most banks upcountry are open on Saturdays. Many of the banks and bureaux de change at the international airports open 24 hours a day

How Exchange Rates Can Affect Your Traveling Budget

For those of us who observed the public elections held in the European Union regarding the common currency, it comes as no surprise that currency exchange is seen as a big nuisance to many travelers. One of the most successful arguments made by the supporters of the Euro was that vacationers going to another country within the union would no longer have to worry about currency rates and traveling with cash on hand. Even though some European tourists no longer suffer from these problems, to most of us, exchanging currencies is still a necessary evil in the course of traveling to another country and in some cases one that may turn out to be very expensive.

Letís say that youíre leaving your homeland for a trip to France, and you have $1000 in your pocket which you plan to exchange for Euros at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, in just two or three days. You may think that this is a short period of time, but currencies are volatile and fluctuations reaching five hundred points (which means a $50 decrease in the value of your travel funds) can take place over the course of just a few days. The case with currency fluctuations is even more serious if you consider the possibility that you plan your trip months in advance. In that case, there is no way of knowing how deep or long-lasting the fluctuations will be, and if you set the travel expenses aside beforehand, you may discover that they have dwindled considerably by the time you need them. Apart from minor market changes, there are also issues related to sudden shocks in the currency market which might leave you flabbergasted and dismayed at your misfortune. For example, if there is an impending devaluation in an emerging market youíre traveling to (such as Argentina, Russia, or Hungary) you could lose hundreds of dollars overnight if you exchange your cash at the wrong time. Unless you have very deep pockets, and donít care about bleeding dollars, this is a clearly unacceptable situation. Fortunately, there are some simple measures that you can take to minimize the impact of the exchange rates to your traveling budget.

If you have planned your trip a long time ahead one of the simplest measures you can take is applying a currency cost averaging scheme. This basically means that you accumulate the currency of your travel destination by buying small amounts over a reasonable time period, and thus reducing the role of fluctuations. This method has a number of advantages over a onetime conversion or using your credit card at the location you travel to and putting the conversion in the hand of your credit card company (that usually converts your money at rates well above the current market price). The most obvious advantage of cost averaging is that it means you more or less bought the foreign currency at its average price over the period when you applied the scheme. It also reduces any angst you might feel over not getting the best rates, or even worse, regret over choosing a less then optimal day of converting your funds. Of course, it is possible to just let your bank do all the conversions for you, or you can exchange for cash at the airport, in case youíre willing to be fleeced. However, a cost averaging scheme will generally serve you better in the end, especially if you are taking a longer trip and will need large amounts of foreign currency.

As a final note, you should be aware that crossing the border with large sums of cash might be illegal in some countries. Also, keep in mind that carrying large amounts of cash might increase your risk of being the victim of crime. Make sure you store your money in a secure place once you have reached your final destination (preferably a safe) and never keep large amounts of money in your wallet or purse where they can be seen by others.

This article was brought to you by the experts of We are passionate about currencies, and spend our days analyzing, discussing, and studying this dynamic market. If you are interested in more information about forex trading or currency exchange, please visit our site.






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