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Urgent Query: Exchange Rate, Crafts Market, Weather, Tipping

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Lagos, Nigeria
posts: 22
reviews: 2
Urgent Query: Exchange Rate, Crafts Market, Weather, Tipping

hi leaving for kenya & tanzania tomorrow.

what is the going xchange rate of usd & gbp in kenya & tanzania... which is the best place to encash & which currency gives a better value, what is the usual tip amount in restaurants & safaris in both places? whats the best market to visit in nairobi for best priced bargains...will be there for only a day so a central one would be better... how's the weather like now? thanks

Bungoma, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
posts: 2,458
reviews: 2
1. Re: Urgent Query: Exchange Rate, Crafts Market, Weather, Tipping

Weather COLD!!! Today's forecast for Nairobi on the radio this morning was high 19C and low (night) 5C (did I hear right!!?) Bring a sweater and a jacket for Nairobi. Lower is warmer, but I am sitting here at 5600ft wearing a thick sweater!!!

Xchange rate in newspaper today is GBP 134.8 and $ 67.5 Going rate will be less (maybe by 5/-) - need to shop around. It changes daily.

Enjoy your trip.

Calgary, Canada
posts: 299
reviews: 10
2. Re: Urgent Query: Exchange Rate, Crafts Market, Weather, Tipping

you will also find in Kenya there are some currency exchange locations (not all) that will give you a better rate of exchange when you exchange larger bills.

I agree with the other post, sometimes you have to shop around for the best rate as one place one block away may be better or worse in exchange rates.

I'd say it's safe to tip restaurants 10% and more of course if the service and meal is exceptional.

Usually from what I found (others may have found different), a tip of $15 USD per day per person for the safari guide is sufficient and if you have a good driver too, usually about $10 per day per person is good for him/her.

In Nairobi, there is an artisan's market that appears at different locations in the city depending upon the day of the week. Just ask some locals, a cabbie, or the hotel you will be staying at--they will know where you need to go. It is an open-air market with many people selling their wares. It is a bargainers's paradise if you like to bargain.

Lagos, Nigeria
posts: 22
reviews: 2
3. Re: Urgent Query: Exchange Rate, Crafts Market, Weather, Tipping

Thanks all....is visiting karen blixen museum a good idea? will be in nairobi for a day...will go 2 bomas of kenya, crafts market & carnivore...anything else?? still not sure about the museum...

Calgary, Canada
posts: 299
reviews: 10
4. Re: Urgent Query: Exchange Rate, Crafts Market, Weather, Tipping

Unless you are a Karen Blixen fan, I wouldn't bother. Had some travelling companions go, and they said it was just okay, but nothing overly exciting.

You may want to consider checking out the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe park (both in Nairobi). The Elephant orphange is only open from 11am to noon for the public. The entry fees for both is very cheap.

I was a bomas of kenya in mid June. It's pretty cool if you can see the performers in the theatre doing the dances and songs of various tribes.

London, United...
posts: 1,156
reviews: 13
5. Re: Urgent Query: Exchange Rate, Crafts Market, Weather, Tipping

Get your currency in Nairobi for kenyan Shillings Usually best places are Capital Forex on Wabera Street (almost next door to the Akamba bus office) and sometimes the Bay Exhange just around the corner from the Thorn Tree Cafe Kimanthi Street there are about 15 Forex's in a small square route and wil compete with each other. The pound gives better value usually but there are some except incertain circumstancess Pay your visa(if uyou need one)in dollars it works out cheaper. Dont know how much to tip in Restaurants. Ask a local about the markets. Kenyan wife says its cold in Nairobi and that I should bring a jumper with me-she usually says bring one for her and that i wont need one

6. Re: Urgent Query: Exchange Rate, Crafts Market, Weather, Tipping

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