Tanzania Currency the Shilling, Credit Cards
Tanzania’s currency is the Shilling and because it can’t be imported into this country, I recommend that all foreign visitors carry with them foreign currency for their Tanzania Safari or any other business. The finest currency to bring with you to Tanzania can be US$ Dollars, or Euros or even GB Pounds.
At the moment, the US$ Dollars are the safest currency ass they offer large notes of up to US$ 50 or US$ 100 which are exchanged at very good rates. However, the smaller denominations such as US$ 1 are quite hard to exchange so the only way you can away with them is through tips. It is also much recommended that tourists paying for safaris do it using larger denominations to avoid any penalties.
Where to Exchange your Money in Tanzania
Banks as well as foreign currency exchange bureaus accept traveler cheques although they lower exchange rate and at times may turn out to be aggravating so it is much better to limit their use and if possible entirely avoid them. Credit cards like the Master or Visa are widely used and accepted through the country today unlike 5 years back. Important to note is that if you are planning to withdraw money using your credit card, it is better you do it in the bank as most hotels highly charge for this service. Very crucial is to inform your bank when as well as where you will be traveling so as to limit any misfortunes that may arise as you use your card.
Denominations of the Tanzania Shillingi
The local Tanzanian Shilling / Shilingi notes include TSH 10,000 in red; elephant, TSH 2,00 in brown; Zanzibar Fort, TSH 5,000 in purple; rhino, TSH 500 in green; buffalo, and TSH 1,000 in blue; former President Nyerere,. Among the available coins: TSH 20, 200, 25, 100, 10, 50 and 5 although the TSH 20, 5 and the 25 are no longer in circulation, although they are being used in the different banks, they are actually not issued for public use. Fortunately, Bureau of Exchanges where across the large cities, and the rates vary from one point to another so it is advised that you first make a comparison between at least three shops before finally making the transaction. In addition, Tanzania Hotels also offer foreign currency exchange, through at a higher rate.
Tanzania Shillingi; the Commonest Means of Payment
Payment for day-to-day purchases such as groceries is mainly done using cash. So it is very recommended that you carry some cash on you for basic expenditures like food in restaurants, cooking gas, drinks in the bar, car fueling, taxis, and any additional purchases. Of late, the large shopping malls have begun allowing Visa Cards as well as Master Cards and a few others also allow American Express. However it is strongly recommended that nonetheless you have some cash with you in case any of the machines fails since some of them are not very reliable.
Although a number of hotels and a few restaurants accept credit cards, they offer this service with an up 5% fee charge. In addition, a number of institutions persist on payments being done US Dollars, although if you have the local Shilling, you can clear up the payment with it.
How to Open a Bank Account in Tanzania
Foreign visitors are allowed to open privately owned bank-accounts with at least TSH 50,000, or USD$1,000, or even 1,000 Euros. However this can only become practical if you have either a resident or working permit, an appointment letter from your work employee, 2 passport sized photos as well as a cash deposit. All banks in Tanzania use both English plus Swahili as the communicating languages. And given that you have enough money on your account, you have the right to forward any amount of money into another country. You can also receive money from other countries to your account but this will be transferred into the currency you opened your accounted in.
Tanzania Banks; when they Operate
Tanzania banks open through the week-days from 0830 hours to 1530 hours and on Saturday from 0900hours to 1200hours. The country is served with more than 30 banks country-wide with Standard Chartered, Bank of Baroda, Citibank, Barclay’s, Stanbic and FBME standing out as the most prominent. Many of the banks offer ATM services that allow use of Visa Cards plus Master Cards. Cash is distributed in the local currency; Tanzanian Shilling with a maximum of TSH 400,000 allowed being withdrawn at a time.