Money in Tanzania

Safari twilight

The local currency in Tanzania is Tanzanian Shillings (TZS). It is mostly used in shops, while USD is the tourism currency.

Tours, and hotels are usually quoted in USD. In Zanzibar and on safari some hotels have menu in USD, while others have in TZS. It is always possible to pay in any of the two currencies. In most hotels in Zanzibar it is also possible to pay with card. On the safari it is not always possible.


You always need to bring USD for your visa, and you may also travel with the calculated tip for your guides, but you may also pay tip in local currency according to the exchange rate.

If you are shopping it is almost always possible to use USD or TZS as they just calculate the exchange rate.

When bringing USD to Tanzania only bring large bills, 50 or 100 USD bills, as the smaller bills have less value.

The 100 USD bills need to be from 2006 or newer, if not they will not be valid in Tanzania. They are scared they might be fake as they don’t have good ways of validating the old bills.

Small bills are less worth in Tanzania, so don’t bring small bills for tipping, use local currency.

Example calculation:
If the exchange rate is 1 USD = 2250 TZS you may get the following

  • 100 USD – 225.000/=
  • 50 USD – 112.500/=
  • 20 USD – 20.000/= don’t bring 20$ bills
  • 10 USD – 10.000/= don’t bring 10$ bills
  • 1 USD – 1.000/= don’t bring 1$ bills


Money is available in ATM in the large cities as Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Moshi, Morogoro, Iringa, Stone Town, Mwanza and others. It is most easy for travelers to withdraw money at the airports so you can be as efficient as possible on your journey. Hunting for a working ATM will take lots of time.

Bureau de Change

It is possible to exchange USD or Euro to Tanzanian Shillings at Bureau de Change, although we advise to use ATM cards.