U.S. dollars (and to a lesser extent, Euros and British Pounds) are the primary form of currency during your safari trip. Prices at all of the lodges will be in dollars, and the locals actually prefer dollars over Tanzanian shillings as they hold their value better and are easier to carry (Tanzania’s largest note — 10,000 shillings — is only equivalent to roughly USD$5).
You will be able to exchange most major currencies upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (there are multiple ATMs and currency exchanges outside of the baggage claim area). Arusha — the city you will be starting your safari from — also has numerous banks where you can exchange money into Tanzanian Shillings, and ATMs where you can withdraw money using your debit card (be sure to call your bank to let them know you will be traveling to Tanzania, so they don’t freeze your card due to suspected fraud ).
You should exchange as much money as needed before leaving Arusha, as banks and ATMs are less plentiful outside of the city (and non-existent in the parks).
Credit and debit cards may be used at most of the lodges and some of the souvenir stores, but relying 100% on cards may not be wise, as sometimes the Internet communication with their terminals goes down.
Travelers Checks are no longer accepted in Tanzania.
If you have any other questions regarding currency, withdrawals, or exchanges in Tanzania, please let us know.
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