Kenya‘s currency is the shilling (Sh). As the Kenyan shilling is the most stable and strongest currency in East Africa, it is used outside the country mostly in unstable places like Somalia and southern Sudan and is favoured over the local currency.
The unit is the shilling and the sign is Ksh and code KES. Bills are in 5,10,20,50,100, 200, 500 and 1,000 notes.
Coins are 50 cents and 1, 5, 10, 20 and the commemorative 40 shillings. In 1966, Central Bank issued KSh 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 notes.
Coins replaced Ksh5 notes in 1985, and 10 and 20 notes in 1994 and 1998. In 1986, KSh200 notes were introduced, 500 in 1988 and 1000 in 1994.
President Kenyatta’s portrait appeared on the notes issued until 1978, with President Moi’s replacing him in 1980. In 2003, when President Kibaki replaced Moi, KSh 5, 10 and 20 notes in the Kenyatta series were issued.
Five, 10, 25 and 50 cent coins and 1 and 2 shillings were issued in 1966. 25 cents coins were not minted after 1969 and 2 shillings last minted in 1971.
Kenya Currency: Tips for tourists and visitors to Kenya
Travelers’ cheques are widely accepted, and many hotels, travel agencies, safari companies and restaurants accept credit cards. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency brought to Kenya.
Before departure, travellers are advised to convert any excess Kenya shillings into foreign currency at a bank or bureau de change before departure. Departure taxes can be paid in local or foreign currency. Anyone wishing to take more than 500,000 Kenya Shillings out of the country will require written authorization from the Central Bank.