The Tanzanian Shilling is the official currency of Tanzania. You can use the Tanzanian Shilling for smaller expenses like shopping at local markets, restaurants and super markets. The US dollar is in all places used too, especially at tourist areas they prefer dollars over local currency. So make sure you have shillings as well as dollars in your pocket. If bringing cash in US dollars, make sure bank notes are in good condition and not older than 2006. Money can only be exchanged in banks (don’t forget to bring your passport). Please do not exchange money on the street.
The Tanzanian banknotes are in 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10000 Shilling. The coins are available in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Shilling.
1 US Dollar is about 2250,- Tanzanian Shilling. Check a currency calculator for the latest exchange rate.
ATM and credit cards in Tanzania
We recommend travelers to bring enough cash on your safari. At airports or in big cities like Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Moshi there are plenty of ATM’s, but in smaller villages ATM’s are rare. If you visit the northern part of Tanzania, you can also find ATM’s at the towns Karatu and Mto wa Mbu, on the way to the national parks. The withdrawal limit is normally 400.000 Tsh, but lower in rural areas. Since you probably do not want to have your pockets full of money, we also advise you to bring a credit card.
How much money to bring on safari?
How much money to bring on safari depends on each individual, for example: do you like to do a lot of additional activities or plan to buy lots of souvenirs? It is also common to give your guide a tip of $8-10 per day. Of course the safari is paid in advance (including accommodation and meals), but our experience is that most people spend more than they think. The prices in the tourist areas are more or less the same as in western countries, so we advise to bring enough money for several days.
Money in Zanzibar
Make sure you bring enough cash when visiting Zanzibar. The ATMs are only at the airport and in Stone Town (Barclay’s is the most reliable). There are no ATMs at the beaches or the islands Pemba and Mafia. Our experience is that travelers spend more money in Zanzibar than on the mainland, since they have lots of leisure time for excursions, drinks and dinners at restaurants. Of course you can also choose to relax at the beach all day and spend less money. It depends on your preferences, but we advise you to take enough cash to Zanzibar so you won’t run short of money.
If you have other questions about money, don’t hesitate to contact us. We also wrote a blog about Tipping in Tanzania.