What Currencies are used and accepted in Zanzibar

What Currencies are used and accepted in Zanzibar : Like in the mainland, Tanzanian shillings (TZS) are the official currency of Zanzibar Island; however, USD and EUR are accepted, though they are unlikely to be used to exchange goods in the daily market. On Zanzibar, the majority of lodges, hotels, and resorts charge in US dollars; very few accept traveler’s checks, but most accept credit cards, with a possible transaction fee.

If you’re traveling to Zanzibar, we advise you to bring enough US dollars with you. ATMs are available in Stone Town and the airport, but they are uncommon in resorts. Because it may be difficult to find Tanzanian shillings in Europe or America, most tourists choose to buy local currency when they arrive in Zanzibar or mainland Tanzania.

In addition to notes for 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 shillings, there are coins for 50, 100, 200, and 500 shillings in Tanzania and Zanzibar. The majority of local businesses, including supermarkets, marketplaces, and restaurants, operate in local currency. The favored currency in the travel industry is the US dollar. In addition to accepting US dollars, hotels, tour operators, tipping guides, and even souvenir sellers will also accept Tanzanian shillings as payment if that is all you have. It is also crucial to remember that the majority of companies that do accept US cash won’t if it is damaged or wrinkled.

The US Dollar is the most preferred form of payment on Zanzibar Island main attractions, while many items also accept payment in Tanzania Shilling, the regional currency, Euro, and British Pound. Other currencies that can be converted but have low rates are the South African Rand, Canadian Dollar, and Australian Dollar. They are all generally acknowledged and can be changed. Bring as many US dollars as you can with you on your Tanzania, Zanzibar vacation.  Methods of payment accepted in Zanzibar includes:

  • MasterCard
  • Visa
  • Cash
  • Debit cards

Your bank statement will indicate the exchange rate and, typically, a small fee when you withdraw money from an ATM. The exchange rate is determined by the bank at the appropriate rate for that day. The best value will be provided when you pay for items on the island if you use one of the cash machines to withdraw some Tanzanian shillings before traveling to another area of the island.


A few locations do accept credit cards, but they all charge a transaction fee that can range from 5% to 20%, depending on the size of the transaction. The majority of establishments still don’t accept credit cards; instead, they send you to Stone Town to get cash and then charge you for the transfer.

It is also possible to withdraw cash from the bank using your card over the counter, but the process is time-consuming and laborious. Only a few locations on Zanzibar Island accept American Express, and they charge a premium over regular cards.

What Currencies are used and accepted in Zanzibar
Zanzibar Currencies


The few locations that accept them charge fees of between 10% and 25%, making travelers’ checks less advantageous than cards (a couple of Stone Town Hotels and some high-end resorts). Only to be used on the island of Zanzibar as a backup in case of emergencies. The traveler’s checks, the receipts from when you bought the checks, and your passport are required , What Currencies are used and accepted in Zanzibar


Locals pay for everything with their own money and receive better prices. Anyone offering you a wonderful exchange rate on the street is likely pulling one type of fraud or another because the currency is fixed, making it impossible for locals to profit from money conversion.

Do not accept the sad tale that locals need US cash to travel to the mainland to visit a sick family in exchange for your assistance. Locals are required to account for any foreign currency they possess.

Money in Zanzibar? A few banks with ATMs are located in Zanzibar Town, albeit not all of them accept foreign bank accounts. It is best to use authorized bureaus de change when transferring money.


Officially, all lodging in Zanzibar must be paid for in US dollars, hence rates for hotel rooms and other travel-related services are frequently given in this denomination. However, paying in Tanzanian shillings is virtually never an issue.

The Tanzanian Shilling is the local currency. Many hotels demand payment in US dollars, not just for lodging but also for food and drink, tours, and other services. Renting a car and paying for cabs both accept US dollars. It is advised that you bring Tanzania shillings with you if you plan on shopping in the villages, dining at local establishments, or filling up your rental car with gas in fuel stations.

All exchange offices on the island were shut down by the Zanzibar government a while back. Only the local banks, their brand-new exchange bureau locations, and the post office in Shangani offer currency exchange services. The airport’s arrivals and departures hall exchange offices are open around-the-clock, What Currencies are used and accepted in Zanzibar


Only the ATMs connected to CRDB, NBC, and Diamond Trust Bank are the most practical for tourists in Stone Town.


Only credit cards and cards bearing the Visa or MasterCard logos are accepted as forms of withdrawal for Tanzanian Shillings. There are two ATMs at the airport parking area, and Stone Town also has a couple more ATMs. The most that can be withdrawn from an ATM is 400,000 Tanzanian shillings. Until your credit card’s daily withdrawal cap is met, you can make several purchases with it.

  • The UP gas station, which is near the police checkpoint, has an Absa ATM. The Petro Petrol station has an NMB ATM. The roundabout has two more ATMs (Exim and Moja/PBZ).
  • Nungwi: On the major road just outside of Nungwi, there is a Barclays ATM adjacent to the UP gas station.
  • Dunga: Between Dunga and Koani is an NMB ATM (central Zanzibar).