The official Tanzanian currency is the Tanzanian Shilling. They have coins for 50, 100, 200 and 500 shillings; and notes for 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10,000 shillings.
The US Dollar is widely used, but may not be accepted in some establishments. It is also important to note that most businesses that do accept US currency will not do so if it is torn or wrinkled.
Notes must not be older than 2006, as local businesses will automatically reject these due to a past counterfeiting problem.
Banks & Currency Exchange: Currency can be exchanged at banks, currency exchange offices (which are plentiful in Arusha), and in most hotels. Hotels generally offer the least favourable exchange rates.
Banks in Tanzania are open from 9am until 3.30pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am until 11am on Saturdays.
Tax: The tax rate in Tanzania amounts to 16% for most products and services. There is no process for reclaiming this amount upon departing the country.
ATMs: ATMs that accept both Visa and MasterCard are available in most cities. You will be able to withdraw from your accounts in local (Tanzanian shillings) currency by entering your PIN. The daily withdrawal limit amounts to roughly $300 USD.
Be sure to alert your bank that you will be traveling to Africa. Many banks will deem transactions made out of your native country as suspicious, and may lock access to your accounts if you have not forewarned them.
Credit Card: International credit cards (especially Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Thomas Cook) are accepted in most stores, restaurants, hotels, camping sites, lodges, car rental companies, etc. Many smaller stores will not have EFTPOS facilities, so it is generally better to carry cash.
Credit cards typically attract a 5-15% tax.
Traveler’s Cheques: Traveler’s cheques are not accepted anywhere in Tanzania.