Depending on the country being visited 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!

Charity
If you want to give money to a charitable cause be very careful that you are not being conned. The country is full of people out to scam money from visitors to support what appear to be very worthwhile causes. If you want to support projects in East Africa then you are far better off channelling your donations through a registered UK charity. More details can be found on our Charity Support page.

Costs
Normally all of your travel and accommodation costs will have been paid for prior to the trip. In some cases accommodation is on a bed & breakfast basis so you may need money for evening meals. The only other additional expenditure will be for staff tips and any personal items or souvenirs you might choose to buy. The opportunity to go shopping can be limited but there is normally the chance to buy beadwork, material, carvings and other local artefacts. In places like Naivasha there are often a range of additional activities available including boat trips and bike rides.

Remember you will need US dollars for Visas and also for Park entry fees if you are going on safari and haven't already paid these to Willetts Safaris in advance.

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.

It is normal to tip the local safari drivers and guides around £5 per day.