The official currency in Tanzania is the Tanzania Schilling (TSh). This currency comprises banknotes valued at 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 TSh. Furthermore, there are coins valued at 50, 100, 200, and 500 TSh. For payments, however, most tourists prefer banknotes, for 1 € or 1 US $ are worth more than 2,000 TSh. You can see the current exchange rates here.
Cash payment / credit cards
In Tanzania, you usually pay in cash. Since Tanzanian Schillings must neither be imported nor exported, we recommend taking Euros or US Dollars with you at the beginning of your trip. The US Dollar has become a type of parallel currency and is accepted particularly in tourist areas. Also, in most cities, such as Arusha, Moshi, or Daressalam, you can easily pay with US Dollars. You should, however, prepare for exchange rates that value the Tanzanian Schilling a little higher.
We recommend taking US Dollar banknotes of small denomination. This way, you can pay smaller amounts flexibly and avoid possible discussions over the amount of change you get. Taking Euros is possible, too, but they are usually not accepted as payment currency. In this case, the exchange into TSh or USD is necessary.
Credit cards are used rather seldom in Tanzania, and if so mainly accepted in expensive hotels, restaurants, and shops. In most cases, you will get charged an extra fee on top of the purchase price. This fee can differ and go up to 5 to 10 percent. In rural or suburban areas, it is harder to withdraw money or to pay with credit cards. You should therefore carry sufficient amounts of cash on you.
Banks / ATMs
The big European and American banks, such as Barclays, HSCB, and Citigroup, usually have branches and ATMs in all larger cities of Tanzania, as is the case in Arusha and Moshi. The opening hours of the bank branches are mostly from Monday to Friday between 8:30 am and 6 pm, Saturdays between 8:30 am and 4 pm. Attention: In Tanzania, foreigners can withdraw money at the counter only upon presentation of their passports. Thus, carry your passport on you in any case. If you do not bring it with you, as we did, you can alternatively withdraw money at an ATM.
Further information on „money in Tanzania” you will find here.