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 Currency    Tipping    Time, Public Holidays, Business Hours
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The official currency in Kenya is the Kenya Shilling, abbreviated “KSh” or “/=”. There are 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 shilling bills. Available coins are 5, 10, and 20 Shillings.

When visiting Kenya you should change foreign currency at banks, bureaux de change or authorised hotels. The easiest currencies to exchange are US Dollars, Pounds sterling and Euros. Travellers Cheques are widely accepted, and many hotels and restaurants accept credit cards, which you can also use at most banks for cash withdrawal. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought into Kenya. It is recommended to exchange any surplus cash before departing for your home country. The departure tax can be paid in both local and foreign currency. Anyone wishing to take more than 500 000 Kenya Shillings out of the country will require written authorisation from the Central Bank.

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Tipping is not mandatory in Kenya, however drivers, waiters and hotel staff can be tipped at your discretion.

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Time, Public Holidays and Business Hours

The time-zone in Kenya is GMT+3 in the whole country.

Public holidays include:

1st January   New Years Day
February/March   Idd il Fitr (Muslim festival that celebrates the end of Ramadhan)
March/April   Good Friday and Easter Monday
1st May   Labour Day
1st June   Madaraka Day
10th October   Moi Day
20th October   Kenyatta Day
12th December   Jamhuri Day
25th December   Christmas Day
26th December   Boxing Day

Kenyan businesses are open 9 to 5 from Monday to Friday, though some also trade on Saturday. (lunchbreak between 1 and 2pm). Banks close earlier at 3pm, however many banks are now equipped with 24 hour cash withdrawal machines.

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Kenya has a good postal service for both local and international post. You can obtain stamps at most lodges or hotels and there are post offices and post boxes in most towns. The rates vary depending on weight and sizeof the letter/parcel.

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Kenya has a telecommunications network of telephone, cellular and satellite connections and is in the process of introducing fibre optic cables.

Most hotels and lodges offer international telephone and fax services. In larger towns, private telecommunication centres also offer international services. If your mobile phone has a roaming connection you can make use of Kenya’s cellular networks, which cover most larger towns and tourist areas. When calling Kenya, the international prefix is +254.

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Many hotels and lodges offer email and internet services. You can also go to one ofthe many internet cafés or private business centres that offer access to the WWW.

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There are several English language newspapers in Kenya i.e.The Daily Nation or The East African Standard, a weekly newspaper sold throughout Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. There are two seperate Swahili newspapers, Taifa Leo and Kenya Leo. There is also locally produced television and radio media. International newspapers and magazines are also widely available in Kenya. Digital Satellite Television has become widespread throughout Kenya. Many hotels provide this South African based service, offering a range of channels.

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The electricity supply in Kenya is 220/240 v 50hz. Plugs are 3 point square. If you intend to bring electrical equipment, please also bring voltage and plug adaptors.

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