Money – Atm – Simcards in Tanzania
Money – ATM – Simcards in Tanzania | Buying a Simcard in Tanzania | Money Tips for Travel to Tanzania | Prepaid Simcard in Tanzania | Tanzania Travel Guide | Money – ATM – Simcards in Tanzania |
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Money Tips in Tanzania
Currency in Tanzania
The Tanzanian Shilling is the official currency of Tanzania. You can use the Tanzanian Shilling for smaller expenses like shopping at local markets, restaurants and super markets. The US dollar is in all places used too, especially at tourist areas they prefer dollars over local currency. So make sure you have shillings as well as dollars in your pocket. If bringing cash in US dollars, make sure bank notes are in good condition and not older than 2006. Money can only be exchanged in banks (don’t forget to bring your passport). Please do not exchange money on the street.
The Tanzanian banknotes are in, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10000 Shilling. The coins are available in 100 and 200 and 500 Shilling. 1 US Dollar is about 2350,- Tanzanian Shilling. Check a currency calculator for the latest exchange rate.
Tanzania ATM’S Guide
ATMs in Tanzania are usually not such a problem for the traveler, however there can be issues with the computer links, or the machines can run out of money. In addition, cash points aren’t found outside major cities e.g. Arusha, Moshi, Dar & Zanzibar.
If there are no ATMs close by, the ATMs in Tanzania are not working with your card, or you want to avoid paying ATM fees / make larger withdrawals, check back here for our guide below. It explains how you can send yourself money online and pick it up at an authorized local cash pick up point.
It is a very similar process to buying something online with your debit card and is probably the quickest way to send money to yourself in Tanzania.
ATM Fees & General Information
Most ATMs in Tanzania charge fees. These usually range from $3 – $4, with the standalone machines in shops and tourist areas sometimes charging more whilst also taking a surprisingly high commission with the currency exchange rate they offer.
You will also probably get charged a fee by your own bank.
Having a TransferWise MasterCard can help reduce your home bank fees and gives a great exchange rate on purchases. With their borderless account / card you can hold your money in more than 40 currencies and use the debit card to get your cash out with low conversion fees and zero transaction fees. Click here for more info.
Withdrawal limits depend on the bank, and even vary as the cash point runs low.
They are usually between 200,000 and 400,000 Shillings, meaning fees from multiple withdrawals can really add up.
It’s also worth noting that in small villages, cash machines may have limited funds available.
With the method of sending yourself money to Tanzania outlined below, you can send much more than ATM withdrawal limits and avoid having to make multiple withdrawals and the associated fees.
Major hotels take debit/credit cards, but cheaper accommodations, tourist sites / safaris and restaurants tend to only take cash.
You’ll find Visa cards are more widely accepted than MasterCards, with both attracting a 5% service charge for purchases.
Buying a SIM Card in Tanzania
The dazzling white-sand beaches of Zanzibar, the snow-capped summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the endless plains of the Serengeti. Tanzania has a wealth of attractions to impress even the most jaded of travelers.
It’s a large country, though, and while you’ll find Wi-Fi in the majority of tourist destinations, it’s never going to set speed records.
Fortunately, getting set up and staying connected within the country with a local SIM card is easy and inexpensive, and data speeds can be surprisingly fast.
Here’s everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Tanzania.
- We recommend Vodacom for the vast majority of travelers to Tanzania
- If you’re spending significant time in the Serengeti, consider Airtel instead
- If you’re only visiting Zanzibar, go with Zantel
There are five network providers operating in the country. In order of market share, these are Vodacom, Airtel, Tigo, Zantel, and Halotel. Vodacom has the widest coverage in the country, and Zantel has the best coverage for Zanzibar.
If you’re going to be traveling across large parts of Tanzania, Vodacom has the greatest all-round coverage and is the best choice.
If you’ll be spending the majority of your time in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro, however, Airtel has better coverage there, with slightly cheaper prices than Vodacom.
For those mostly visiting Zanzibar and spending little time on the mainland, Zantel is the best provider on the island.
Buying a Prepaid Simcard
The easiest way to purchase a SIM card in Tanzania is to do so immediately outside the international terminal at Dar es Salaam airport. Upon exiting the arrivals area, you’ll find yourself face to face with a Vodacom store, and it’ll take just five minutes to get set up with a SIM card.
Around the country, just look for a vendor sitting beneath an umbrella with the provider’s branding on it. Keep in mind that you’ll need your passport for a SIM card purchase from any network, so make sure you’ve got it with you.
Tanzania introduced new SIM card registration requirements in 2019, but in general they have affected local residents more than visitors. For now at least, you should still be able to register your SIM at an official store or registration agent using only your passport.
If you’re flying into Zanzibar, you’ll be able to pick up a Zantel SIM at the airport on the island. You can also get one at Darajani Bazaar outside of the old town in Stone Town. Just look for the group of men under umbrellas.
Prepaid Sim Costs
A Vodacom SIM card and package valid for a week costs 15,000 TZS (~$6.50.) This includes 1000 TZS for the SIM card, 4000 TZS to cut it down to nanoSIM size, and 10,000 TZS for 4.5 GB of data, 200 minutes of domestic calls, and 100 domestic text messages.
Zantel SIM cards are also 1000 TZS. 1.2 GB of data valid for a week costs another 5000 TZS.
More about Tanzania Travel Guide:
Planning your trip? Whether you’re looking for things to do in Tanzania such as events and attractions, key traveller information to make your Tanzania visit run smoothly or are planning where to stay in Mwanza, you’ll find everything you need for your Tanzania holiday on Our Website. Tanzania Travel guide has the information about latest events not to miss while you visit Tanzania – there’s always something going on, so don’t miss out on the latest exhibitions, shows and more on your trip Tanzania
Discover the best day trips from Dar-es-salaam or other Tanzania’s Cities. If you’re here as a family, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Tanzania with kids and find suitable accommodation such as Tanzania holiday apartments. Whether you’re looking for the best weekend breaks in Tanzania or planning a longer holiday in, you can be sure you’ll find all the information you need.