Kenya is three hours ahead of GMT and observes Eastern Africa Time (EAT) all year round so in the summer the time difference is two hours with the UK.
The currency is the Kenyan Shilling (KES). It is a closed currency so you won’t be able to order any before you go. However, cards are widely accepted and ATMs are widely available. There are coins of one, five, ten and 20 KES and notes of ten, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 KES. The US dollar is accepted everywhere.
You can exchange GBP at the airport or in hotels, although Scottish and Northern Irish notes are unlikely to be accepted. Some hotels require that bills are paid in USD but we will advise if this is the case for your hotel. Banks are open from 09:00 to 14:00 and are closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Electricity and Plugs
220 volts and plugs are the same as in the UK, type G. In some lodges, electricity is provided by a generator which only works at certain times. Power cuts are frequent.
Shops are open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 16:00. Saturday they’re generally open from 08:00 to 12:30 (some shops stay open later, particularly in Mombasa). Museums are open daily from 08:00 or 09:00 to 18:00.
Television is the major medium in Kenya with free-to-air digital terrestrial TV.
The newspaper landscape is the most developed in east Africa although the freedom of the press has been called into question in the last few years, with the current political situation and security concerns being used as excuses to slowly erode journalistic integrity. International newspapers can be found in Nairobi and other major cities. Radio is flourishing in Kenya, particularly in more rural regions.
Post offices are usually open from 08:00 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday and from 09:00 to 12:00 on Saturday. Stamps are sold in most hotels and, of course, in post offices.
To phone Kenya from the UK, add 00 254 to the front of the number you’re dialling (removing the first zero from the number you’re dialling). To call the UK from Kenya, use 00 44 before dialling the number (again, without the first zero).
- Diani, 127;
- Eldoret, 321;
- Kericho, 361;
- Kisumu, 35;
- Kitale, 325;
- Lamu, 121;
- Malindi 123;
- Mombasa, 11;
- Nairobi, 2;
- Naivasha, 311;
- Nakuru, 37;
- Nanyuki, 176;
- Nyeri, 171;
- Watamu, 122.
Internet and Mobile Coverage
As of 2019, internet penetration is at 90% in Kenya and broadband is widely available. Kenya also has some of the best mobile signal coverage in Africa. Contact your network operator before travelling for full details of how to access local networks while in Kenya.