Prices and Expenses for Travel to Tanzania

tanzania cost and currency

Tanzania is becoming an ever-more popular tourist destination for foreign visitors, thanks in part to the many opportunities to visit vast wilderness areas such as Mount Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti National Park and experience an authentic African Safari. In order to visit the country, the majority of foreign passport holders are required are obtain a visa for Tanzania, which has just become much easier through the implementation of a visa online.

The online Tanzania visa application form allows citizens from eligible countries to obtain a visa for tourism, business, or transit purposes exclusively online, eliminating the need to apply for a visa from an embassy or consulate, or queue for a Tanzania visa on arrival.

Once they have obtained the correct document to travel to the country, visitors will want to plan an itinerary and Tanzania travel budget. Read on for our complete guide to which currency to bring, how to budget, and other money tips for travel to Tanzania.

What Currency Can I Use in Tanzania?

The official Tanzania currency is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS). One Tanzanian Shilling is the equivalent of 100 Tanzanian cents. Tanzanian currency comes in bills of 10, 000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, or 5000 TMZ, and coins of 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 TZS, and 50, 10, and 5 cents. Travelers to Tanzania are able to exchange money at a variety of authorized dealers, banks, and currency exchange in the country.

If withdrawing money in Tanzania, visitors are advised to only use ATMs located within a bank to minimise the risk of card cloning. Most banks in major cities have ATMs, but travelers should be aware they are not always reliable and can often break down or run out of money.

Banks in Tanzania are open from Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 12.30pm (although some banks may stay open until 4pm), and from 8.30am to 1pm on Saturdays.

Touristic areas of Tanzania will accept US dollars, although bills printed before 2009 are generally not accepted. Many establishments frequented by tourists will also accept payment in Euros or British Pounds, although the prices may not reflect the current exchange rate.

Although many places in Tanzania will accept a range of currency in cash, payments with credit or debit card are not widely accepted by small businesses. However, some upmarket stores and large hotel chains may allow card payments. Traveler’s checks are also not commonly accepted in Tanzania.

How Much Money Do I Need to Travel in Tanzania?

In general, Tanzania travel costs are relatively low when compared to the cost of a holiday in many other tourist destinations. The biggest expense most travelers can expect to pay in the country is for a safari, but even then the average price per day for an upmarket Safari package is only around $250 per person.

Still, how much money you choose to bring to Tanzania will depend on what you plan to do in the country, as well as how much money you will be comfortable with carrying.

Although some tourists may not think twice about traveling with thousands of dollars in cash on their person, visitors to Tanzania are only advised to do so if they feel they will be able to store money safely between excursions, such as in a hotel safe.

Nevertheless, those who wish to experience a safari in Tanzania but have not paid for one before the trip are advised to bring a substantial amount of USD to do so. Although many safari operators accept payments in Tanzanian Shillings, travelers are more likely to get a better rate if paying in US dollars.

Visitors are also advised to bring some extra bills for tipping. Although you will not be expected to tip in small establishments, especially in rural areas, tips are expected in restaurants in larger towns and touristic areas.

Tipping around 10-15% of the total bill is considered the standard practice. It is also customary to tip drivers, guides, and other staff who may assist you if you decide to take a safari in Tanzania.

Tanzania Travel Budget Breakdown

See below for a rough guide on how much to budget per day for Tanzania, depending on how much you plan to spend during your trip. All prices are in US dollars.

Budget ($50)

  • Camping ($5-10 per person)
  • Hostel or budget guesthouse ($15-25 per person)
  • Meal in an economic restaurant ($2-5)
  • Long-distance bus fare ($5-25)

Midrange ($50-200)

  • Double room in midrange hotel ($50-150)
  • Restaurant meal ($5-10)
  • Car Hire ($100)

Top End ($200)

  • Double room in a luxury hotel (from $150)
  • Safari package per person (from $250)
  • Domestic flight, one-way ($75-300)