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Money in Tanzania

TLV
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57 posts
5 reviews
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Money in Tanzania

Is there a need for local currency or Dollars are acceptable everywhere?

Thank you

South Riding VA
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1. Re: Money in Tanzania

Dollars are accepted at lodges and the tented camps we used. In fact, prices were given in dollars. But in Arusha and when buying from local businesses, including markets, Tanzanian schillings (TSH) are used.

Money withdrawn from ATMs is in TSH.

chris

Boulder, Colorado
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2. Re: Money in Tanzania

I withdrew a few hundred dollars in TSH from an ATM.

But it was darn near frowned on when I tried to use it. Worse, there would be a terribly unfavorable double conversion.

I don't think I would bother if I had it to do over again.

Except, I like foreign currency and the TSH is kind of cool. :)

melbourne
Destination Expert
for Tanzania
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3. Re: Money in Tanzania

I would change a few hundred dollars at the ATM and use it for tips with, other misc. things, small souvenirs and at markets.

You can also use it in tip boxes even though on the safari circuit US$ and also Euros are well used.

If you wan to buy a packet of biscuits or a bottle of water at a small shop then TSH is a better way to pay.

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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4. Re: Money in Tanzania

I change my money into Tsh when I get to Tz and never use USD unless it's for something which I've been quoted as USD beforehand.

And I would never allow someone to give me a bad exchange rate when it's them quoting something in USD (like in a lodge). I would tell them very quickly that it is illegal to not accept Tsh in Tz, per the Bank of Tanzania and I would immediately email the BOT and inform them of this. They are not to do this and several years ago they were looking closely at the tourist areas as places which were not accepting Tsh, and they stopped that (but it's probably raised its ugly head again).

Boulder, Colorado
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5. Re: Money in Tanzania

Well, I finally used most of my TSH in tip boxes. But when I inquired a few times, the answer was clear. They prefer USD. So, changing money and paying the modest ATM fee just to dump them in a box seemed like a waste of time.

If you are traveling in places off the beaten path, I can't imagine NOT having local currency, though USD seem to be universally accepted.

On the exchange issue, some prices were in TSH. On the final check out, there was a conversion to USD. Then an effort to convert back when I offered TSH. Hence the double conversion. I questioned it and it wasn't a problem. But most prices are in USD. I saw no advantage to having my bill converted to TSH (at an unfavorable exchange rate - which is any business' right I suppose) just to pay in TSH. I bought a beer knowing the price in dollars. I didn't have a problem paying USD.

From a keep it easy standpoint, I would use USD next time, especially when I have prepaid so much of the trip.

Chicago
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6. Re: Money in Tanzania

When I go to another country, I expect to fit into the country and use their currency and speak to them in at least a few phrases of their own language. It is a small way to feel part of the environment and culture and not just a total foreigner. It also earns more respect from the local people that you have made that effort. I just returned from a tour of 4 countries, and I used the local money in each place. It might be a little more work, but it is worth it.

Massachusetts
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7. Re: Money in Tanzania

If you're just going on safari and staying at tourist lodges and tipping your guides, then pay in the currency you were quoted. If you want to do anything in town at local restaurants or shops, use Tsh.

Boulder, Colorado
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8. Re: Money in Tanzania

Yeah, I agree Scuiguy. Generally. This is the only time traveling internationally I can think of where there was no need. And I've been to a few countries.

Prices were largely in dollars, people receiving tips stated that they preferred dollars. There was no "fitting in" by using TSH.

Using Swahili on the other hand was enormously fun and well received. Our family made a real effort.

But to the OP, if you are going on a northern circuit itinerary, you can certainly pick up some TSH from an ATM as I did. But you absolutely don't need to, nor will you fit in more or less if you don't.

TLV
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57 posts
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9. Re: Money in Tanzania

Thank you

I see that you talk a lot about tips.

Who should get tip beside our guide? and what are the norms when you give someone a tip?

melbourne
Destination Expert
for Tanzania
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10. Re: Money in Tanzania

You should if you wish and the service is great..

the driver/guide about $ 10 + per day for the group maybe up to $ 20 per day 15,000/- per day

the staff at lodges camps via the tip box about $10 -$50 if you wish for the group

the guys who carries your bags 1000/-

the driver guide of a night drive $20 per group or even less

the guide on a bush walk 5000/- depending on the hours

the guy who paddles the canoe 5,000/- to 10,000/- for the group

others as you see fit or help

and I like this comment as it also sums up my ideas: when referring to loacl currency and language:

"It is a small way to feel part of the environment and culture and not just a total foreigner. It also earns more respect from the local people that you have made that effort.

When I am in SA I pay in Rand so why not pay a few things in Tz in shillings.