Is There An Atm In Zanzibar? How To Manage Cash In Zanzibar : Is there an ATM in Zanzibar? Zanzibar is a popular tourist destination known for its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and rich cultural history. It is located off the coast of Tanzania. While it’s easy to get caught up in the beauty and excitement of the island, it’s critical to plan ahead of time for your trip, including how you intend to access money during your stay.
Zanzibar is like stepping into a piece of paradise, with its turquoise sea, sandy beaches, sunshine, and the most delectable fresh fish and seafood dishes. However, because the island’s infrastructure is still quite rustic, one common question for visitors is whether there are ATMs on the island. Thankfully, the answer is yes. While the number of ATMs is limited, major towns and cities such as Stone Town and Nungwi have options.
Using an ATM in Zanzibar is the same as in any other country. The majority of ATMs accept major credit and debit cards, such as Visa and MasterCard. However, before traveling, check with your bank to ensure that your card will work internationally and to inquire about any fees associated with using your card abroad.
In this article, we’ll look at the ATM availability in Zanzibar, where to find them, and what you need to know to ensure you can access your money safely and conveniently during your stay.
THE ATM ZANZIBAR SITUATION
There are only a few ATMs in Zanzibar, and the majority of them are in Stone Town, at the airport, or near the ferry terminal. When you arrive in Zanzibar, your driver will usually take you to an ATM before taking you to your car. This is due to the scarcity of ATMs in Zanzibar. Carry at least ten dollars in cash with you in case the airport ATM fails and you need to pay your driver for the ride into Stone Town.
In Zanzibar, there aren’t many ATMs. Apart from Stone Town, most places in Zanzibar are quite small, and there is simply no need.
There is one at the airport, which is convenient because most visitors to Zanzibar arrive by plane. If you can, try to remember to withdraw some cash here, or ask your taxi driver to take you to an ATM as a first stop. The ATM at the airport accepts debit and credit cards.
Stone Town is home to the most convenient ATM in Zanzibar. Take your money here if you’re stopping in Stone Town before heading to the coast.
Paje, Nungwi, and Dunga
If you don’t want to use the ATMs in Stone Town, you can find them in Paje, Nungwi, and Dunga, but be aware that they run out of money quickly and aren’t a reliable way to get cash.
When you find an ATM, you will discover that you can only withdraw 400,000 shillings. This may appear to be a large sum, but it only amounts to about $140, which will not get you very far in Zanzibar. You should also be aware that, as is common in many countries, the cash machines here charge a fee.
If you’re staying in Tanzania beforehand, it might be worth withdrawing cash there instead, or in addition, so you have enough for your stay in Zanzibar and don’t waste your vacation looking for an ATM.
CAN I USE MY DEBIT CARD IN ZANZIBAR?
Yes, as long as your debit card is linked to a major payment network like Visa or MasterCard, you can be able to use it in Zanzibar. However, before traveling, check with your bank to ensure that your card will work internationally and to inquire about any fees that may be associated with using your card abroad.
Furthermore, it is always a good idea to have some cash on hand in case your card malfunctions or you visit a location where cards are not accepted.
WHERE CAN I EXCHANGE MONEY IN ZANZIBAR?
Although you can exchange money at the airport or in Stone Town, you may find that the exchange rates are better in your home country or in Tanzania.
CAN I WITHDRAW DOLLARS IN ZANZIBAR?
It is possible to withdraw US dollars in Zanzibar, but this is dependent on the availability of US dollars at the ATM or bank that you use. The Tanzanian shilling is the official currency of Zanzibar, but US dollars are widely accepted in tourist areas and can be used for some transactions, such as paying for hotels, tours, and souvenirs.
It is important to note, however, that using US dollars in Zanzibar may not always result in the best exchange rate, and some establishments may charge a higher price for goods and services when paid in dollars.
Carrying small denominations of US dollars is also advised, as larger bills may be difficult to exchange or may not be accepted.
Overall, it is best to carry Tanzanian shillings for everyday transactions and US dollars as a backup option. It is also a good idea to check with your bank ahead of time to see if they can provide you with US dollars or Tanzanian shillings.
HOW MUCH CASH SHOULD I TAKE TO ZANZIBAR?
The amount of money you should bring to Zanzibar is determined by your travel plans and spending habits. Because some places may not accept cards or you may have limited access to ATMs, it is best to carry a mix of cash and cards.
Many expenses, such as lodging and meals, may be included in your booking if you stay in a hotel or resort, so you may not need as much cash for these expenses. However, if you intend to explore the island, take tours, or buy souvenirs, you should plan accordingly.
I’d budget around $50 for any tours you want to take (some are cheaper, some more expensive). Snorkeling in Zanzibar is one of the less expensive tours, or you can splurge on a multi-day tour of the island to see the best of the island.
An even better option is to book your tours in advance through a reputable and widely used tour operator, such as Focus East Africa Tours. You can pay in advance online and have access to a variety of reviews on the trip you’re going on!
Private taxis can be expensive, so budget $50 for any longer trips you may want to take, or rent a moped for around $50 per day.
Carrying around $100-$200 in Tanzanian shillings should be sufficient for small purchases such as snacks, drinks, and local transportation for a few days. However, if you intend to participate in more activities or buy more expensive souvenirs, you may need to bring more cash. It is always a good idea to keep a bit of extra cash on hand for emergencies.
CONCLUSION: IS THERE AN ATM IN ZANZIBAR?
To summarize, while the number of ATMs in Zanzibar is limited, they are located in major towns and cities and can be accessed using major credit and debit cards. When traveling to Zanzibar, it is critical to be prepared and to have a mix of cash and cards on hand to ensure that you can access your money when you need it.
Checking with your bank prior to travel and understanding any fees associated with using your card abroad can help you avoid unpleasant surprises while on the island. You can enjoy all that Zanzibar has to offer with peace of mind, knowing that your money is easily accessible if you are informed and prepared.