Tanzanian Shilling: The Local Currency
What is the Tanzanian Shilling?

The Tanzanian Shilling (TZS) is the official currency of Tanzania. It’s the primary means of payment for everyday transactions, including shopping in markets, dining in local restaurants, and purchasing groceries from supermarkets. The TZS is abbreviated as “TSh,” 

Exchange Rates and Availability

Before your trip, it’s a good idea to check the exchange rates for the Tanzanian Shilling. You can do this at local banks or currency exchange offices. While major international airports also offer currency exchange services, rates may not be as favorable as those found in the city.

US Dollar: The Preferred Currency for Tourist Spots

The Popularity of the US Dollar

Tanzania is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. In many touristical sites, local people often prefer to receive payments in US Dollars. It’s widely accepted in hotels, tour agencies, and souvenir shops. This preference is mainly due to the stability and global recognition of the US Dollar.

When to Use US Dollars

If you plan to visit national parks, go on safaris, or explore Zanzibar’s beautiful beaches, having some US Dollars on hand is advisable. Entrance fees, guided tours, and accommodations in these areas are often priced in US Dollars. It’s also a good idea to carry small denominations for convenience.

Payment Convenience: Credit Cards
Acceptance of Credit Cards

Tanzania has made significant strides in embracing modern payment methods. Credit cards, particularly Visa and Mastercard, are widely accepted in most touristical sites. This includes upscale hotels, upscale restaurants, and even some smaller businesses. However, it’s essential to have a backup payment option, as not all places may have card facilities.

Cash is Still King

While credit cards offer convenience, it’s important to note that cash remains the primary payment means in Tanzania. Many local markets, street vendors, and smaller establishments may not accept cards. Having a combination of Tanzanian Shillings and US Dollars in cash is a practical approach to ensure you can make purchases wherever you go.


Tanzania is a captivating destination that offers a blend of cultural experiences, wildlife adventures, and natural beauty. To make the most of your trip, it’s vital to be prepared when it comes to currency and payments. The Tanzanian Shilling is your go-to currency for day-to-day expenses, while the US Dollar is favored in touristical sites. Credit cards are convenient but may not be universally accepted. So, remember to carry a mix of local currency and US Dollars for a seamless and enjoyable journey.

  1. Can I use Tanzanian Shillings everywhere in Tanzania?

    • Tanzanian Shillings are widely accepted for most transactions within the country. However, some tourist areas may prefer US Dollars.
  2. Should I exchange currency at the airport?

    • While it’s convenient, exchange rates at the airport may not be as favorable as those in the city. It’s advisable to compare rates before exchanging.
  3. Are ATMs readily available in Tanzania?

    • Major cities and tourist hubs have ATMs that accept international cards. However, it’s wise to carry some cash in case you find yourself in remote areas.
  4. Do I need to carry small denominations of US Dollars?

    • Yes, having small denominations of US Dollars can be handy for small purchases and tips in touristical spots.
  5. What’s the best way to handle payments in Tanzania?

    • It’s recommended to carry a combination of Tanzanian Shillings and US Dollars. Use Tanzanian Shillings for daily expenses and US Dollars for touristical sites.

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