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First time to Kenya...

Holmfirth, United...
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17 posts
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First time to Kenya...

Hi, my family and I are travelling to Kenya next month, and will be staying at the Diani Sea Resort. I was just wondering what currency we should be taking - we were in the Maldives last year and Sterling was fine for everything from purchases in the shop to tipping the staff. Will Sterling be okay here, or should we get some Kenyan money?

Next question...is the weather in August as bad as the BBC weather app will have us believe? It looks like lots of rain and thunderstorms. Getting concerned now!!

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Newcastle upon...
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1. Re: First time to Kenya...

Hi,

weather wise I think you will probably be fine. There will be plenty sun unless your super unlucky. Even in the main rainy months such as June it is more often than not heavy showers. August is not a rainy month.

As for cash. If your in shops in Kenya then you will need local shillings, for organised trips etc sterling is fine. Tips wise then either does it, a lot of locals get pound coins as tips and they generally change them themselves.

Holmfirth, United...
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2. Re: First time to Kenya...

That's fantastic Mallamombasa. Will start saving our pound coins up! Was hoping the weather would be more settled than it seems to be...we've got a couple more weeks yet, fingers crossed for some sunshine!

Mtwapa, Kenya
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for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
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3. Re: First time to Kenya...

As Malla says in local shops, bars, etc you will need shillings, just bring your debit card and withdraw cash when you need it.

I would also suggest that you tip in shillings as well, although some people know regular visitors from the UK who they ask to change the coins for them many don't and have to go round the bars, etc asking strangers, who immediately suspect it's a con (which it isn't). They end up with lots of £ and € coins that they can't change at Forexs, who will only accept notes, so they need friendly regulars or they lose out changing them with a local who has contacts and wants to take his cut. (Before I lived at the coast I was a regular visitor I'd regularly be approached by people with bags of coins)

Most larger shops, hotels, restaurants will accept pounds, dollars or euros but at a very poor exchange rate

South West England...
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for Mombasa, Diani Beach, Kenya
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4. Re: First time to Kenya...

Definitely tip hotel staff in Shillings otherwise they have to find someone to change £1 coins up for them - usually me!

Holmfirth, United...
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5. Re: First time to Kenya...

Thanks everyone...I will order some shillings rather than take Sterling. We are all very much looking forward to our trip now, having booked our safari and taken delivery of our malaria tablets! Need it to stop raining now though...rain equals mossie bites!

Nairobi
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6. Re: First time to Kenya...

USD is accepted in Kenya with series not lower that 2000. You may also change some in Kenya Shillings. The weather in Kenya especially coastal side is rainy but not heavily.

Romford, United...
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7. Re: First time to Kenya...

get your kenyan shillings in kenya, you can get some to keep you going at mombasa airport,and you can get some at forex/western union wherever you are staying, if you order them in the uk you will get a bad rate.

Edited: 5:17 am, July 31, 2013
Mtwapa, Kenya
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8. Re: First time to Kenya...

Hi,

I wouldn't worry too much about the forecasts of rain, I'm sure you will get plenty of sun. Just because the BBC and others forecast rain doesn't necessarily mean you will see any, over the last couple of years I've done regular weather reports from the coast. I started these reports, because people were regularly worrying about the forecasts while we were basking in sun. to be fair to the forecasters, they are talking about the statistical probability of rain falling in an area during a 24 hour period, and given the way that rain can be extremely localised here (it can be raining in one location and fine half a mile away) they could be technically accurate but the majority of the area may be fine and sunny.

I'm currently between reports as I'm in the UK for a few weeks (will be away most of August) but if you want to see what the weather was like last August have a look here (also have a read of the very first post)

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g294210-i9512-k5…

and here is the previous August

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g294210-i9512-k4…

Holmfirth, United...
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9. Re: First time to Kenya...

Thanks all for your advice, particularly Doffcocker as I feel a little more hopeful weather wise! Now starting to think about our safari and what to pack...hadn't considered that we might need fleeces. Best have another look at the guide books!

Bize-Minervois...
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10. Re: First time to Kenya...

A light fleece or a sweater for early morning drives and often also in the evening on safari. You wont need them at the coast unless you are very unlucky which I am sure you wont be. Have a wonderful time you will love Kenya and remember to tip your driver/guide