We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Exchange Currency

Bundaberg
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Exchange Currency

Hi There, I am travelling to Arusha from Australia in June and are needing some advice concerning exchanging of the Australian Dollar. Are we required to exchange our Australian Dollar to US Dollars? Or can we exchange our Aust $ directly to Tanzania Shillings? Exchanging to US Dollars, we are going to lose about half of our money - yikes! Any help you can give would be very appreciated.

Mentioned in this post
Arusha
Arusha
Arusha Region, Tanzania
Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
38,899 posts
408 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Exchange Currency

Most Upmarket places quote in US$ and take payment in that currency, But no need to swop twice. It'll hurt enough the first time.

Use TZ shillings where you can and keep some US$ for use in case of need.

Bundaberg
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: Exchange Currency

Thank You - can we exchange Australian Dollars once we arrive? We are firstly travelling to Johannesburg and spending a night there before flying to Arusha.

Mentioned in this post
Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa
Arusha
Arusha
Arusha Region, Tanzania
Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
38,899 posts
408 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Exchange Currency

Now that is one question I cannot help with. I would suppose so. Forex will have a note of the A$/Ts rate no doubt but I have only seen £/$/€ changed in the main. Maybe a local could check on the Au$ bit for you?

One thing you could do is bring your ATM card and it will pay out in Ts. Watch the rates though.

You would then only need US$ where TSh is not possible. I understand that Tanzanian Govt has recently insisted that everywhere MUST quote and take Ts.

Saint Paul...
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
Level Contributor
1,871 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Exchange Currency

I don't know either, but here's the email address of a bureau de change based in Arusha:

federal@cybernet.co.tz

Mentioned in this post
Arusha
Arusha
Arusha Region, Tanzania
Bundaberg
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Exchange Currency

Thank you all for your help - wonderful that so many of you take the time to offer advice to us new travellers - cheers!

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
112 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Exchange Currency

I am in Arusha and took down these figures from SHIA Exchange Office, near the bus station, this morning (Thursday 19 Feb). You may well find that you will get more money if you change AUD to USD, even if you are paying double commissions. Note, also that the rate is different for different sized US$ bills. These are all buying rates

US$ 50/100$ bills 1325

US$ 5 to 20$ bills 1300

US$ 1$ bills 1100

US$ Traveller cheques 1100

Australian $ 700

Canadian $ 850

GBP cash 1830

GBP traveller cheque 1300

Euro Cash 1640

Euro Traveller cheq 1500

Note you get better rates on 50 and 100$ bills

Mentioned in this post
Arusha
Arusha
Arusha Region, Tanzania
Bundaberg
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: Exchange Currency

Thanks Donard for being so helpful. Are those amounts you gave conversion to Tanzanian Shillings?

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
731 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Exchange Currency

Most places (yet to find one that doesn't do this) exchange your aussie $'s into Tanzania schillings then the tz schillings into US$'s!!

And I only know of one beuro group that does exchange aussie $'s. And the rest are just diffucult about it.

The rate for aussies dollars here is well.. it's amazing that the Tz eqivulant is worth more then our little gold coin.

My advice is change it into $US at a buro at home.. like thomas cook. My olds got a good deal with them.. I think my brother got some exchange thing with RACQ as well!!

If you can get a good rate for the aussie dollar into euros even better as that is holding strong here.

If you are bringing US$'s check that they are all over the printing date 2002 as anything under this date, you will get a lower rate here.

The lower the note ($1, $2, $5, $10) the lower the exchange rate. They will also not exchange coins!

When you leave you cannot exchange your tz schillings anywhere else in the world except here in Tz and kenya (very poor rate).

If you are heading to zanzibar, the rate is even better for exchanging $'s euros pounds.. into tz schillings.

If all else fails.. just have a drink of bundy (and one for me!)

Mentioned in this post
Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
38,899 posts
408 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Exchange Currency

My advice FWIW is to minimise changes. i.e From Au$ to US$ doe when you need to spend US$. AU$ to TZsh for the rest. If you go round the houses you simply give the struggling Banks another opportunity to stick their claws into your cash!

Whitehorse, Canada
Level Contributor
40 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Exchange Currency

I'm a Canadian just returned from a trip to Tanzania. I was sorry I did not take a lot more US cash. I found I could have paid for lots of bigger ticket items with US cash and the conversion when I asked to pay in Tanzanian shillings (TSH) was not great. To get shillings you can either exchange US large bills ($50 or $100) at a foreign exchange place at a good rate or you can use an ATM. (Many foreign exchange places also took other currencies but I can't tell you if the rate was good or not. I know it was significantly worse for small US bills or travellers cheques than for large US bills.) We usually used ATM to get shillings and using a 4-digit PIN withdrew directly from our home bank account (better than getting a cash advance on credit card as avoids the immediate interest issue and only had one conversion). For ATMs we found both Cirrus (Mastercard) and Plus (Visa) machines but Cirrus seemed to be in more locations.

Mentioned in this post