The currency is either the Kenyan or Tanzanian Shilling.  The exchange rate varies but is roughly £1=140 KShs and £1=2,200 TShs. It is possible to get Kenyan Shillings before you go and we suggest that you do this so you have some local currency as soon as you arrive in Kenya. It is not possible to get Tanzanian Shillings outside of the country.

ATMs are common in most towns and can be used to get shillings. Most shops in Nairobi accept credit cards such as Visa. This is rarely the case in other places. It is also possible to change travellers’ cheques, but does mean a marginally lower exchange rate, and normally queuing for a long time in a bank.

Cash, both sterling and dollars, can be exchanged in most major towns but remember to get a receipt for everything. Do not try and change money on the street or anywhere outside of a recognised exchange bureau, you will get ripped off! This even includes some banks where changing money will normally take a long time.

Keep all money, and any other valuables, with you at all times or in the hotel safe if available. Do not leave it in your room!

If you are taking money for your school then please ask developmentDirect about the best way to take this money across. If you are intending to take money it is normally better not to hand the cash over to the school, but rather find out what they need, e.g. stationery, building materials, water barrels, etc. and then buy these items locally. This achieves two ends, it ensures the money is spent appropriately and it also benefits the local economy. developmentDirect can help source and purchase these materials if required. Ascertaining what schools need should be made on your first visit at the start of the trip, allowing time to locate, procure and deliver the items.

Apart from the costs of the accommodation and transport additional expenses will include meals not already paid for, drinks, souvenirs, etc. Remember you will need dollars for Visas and Park entry fees if you are going on safari.

Costs
The trip has been planned so that all of the travel and accommodation costs will have been met prior to the trip. In some cases accommodation  is on a bed & breakfast basis so you may need money for evening meals. Schools often provide lunch but you should check beforehand and ask for a packed lunch if not. If schools do provide lunch it is normal to offer a financial contribution towards this. The only other additional expenditure will be for staff tips and any personal items or souvenirs people might choose to buy.  The opportunity to go shopping will be limited but there will be the chance to buy beadwork, material, carvings and other local artefacts.

Tipping
Tipping is expected for almost any service from carrying your bags, to service in restaurants, to taxi drivers. However, don’t tip too much. Although the tip may look embarrassingly small to you, it would be wrong to tip the hotel porter the equivalent of a daily rate for a teacher! Try to keep small change for tipping. At hotels and safari lodges it is normal to leave a group tip at the end of your stay that will be distributed amongst all the staff.