Any Canadians that have been to Tanzania...

Jan 14th, 2011, 02:27 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1
Any Canadians that have been to Tanzania...

I will be in Tanzania for 3 months, and am wondering if Canadian debit cards will work there. I am afraid of getting there, and not being able to withdraw money. I do not want to rely entirely on my Visa to withdraw money for a 3 month period, and am not crazy about the idea of carrying 3 months worth of spending money with me before I go.

Are traveller's cheques perhaps the way to go? I heard that it is difficult to find places to cash them, and the exchange rate is not the best. Also, is Amex generally not accepted anywhere?

Thank you in advance for any information!
Emadden is offline  
Jan 14th, 2011, 05:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,285
We successfully used bank machines in Arusha with a Royal Bank client card in January of 2010.

We gave up on Traveller's cheques a few years ago as nobody wanted them - we still carry about $1000 for emergencies - figuring somebody will take them if there is no other alternative.

We also have a CIBC Visa Aerogold and have found the exchange rate for cash advances to be commensurate with a withdrawal from our RBC account - as long as you pay it off quickly.

Hope that helps!
Elizabeth_S is online now  
Jan 14th, 2011, 06:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
Travellers cheques are not widely accepted there, even in the banks. ATM dr cards from Canada will work though, I had no problem with them once I found the correct bank machine with the Cirrus symbol (I bank with BMO). I love seeing my balance in TSH, makes me feel rich!
LyndaS is offline  
Jan 15th, 2011, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 43
Were the ATM's easily found or few and far between?
Artsfan2 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2011, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1
Well I have a daughter in Kenya (up north, some what remote). She is there for 5 months and we are going on a safari in Tanzania in Feb. this year. I am amazed how easy it is to use the atm machine's in East Africa. They are available, not hard to find. really, where ever there is a bank.

We have a credit union account and it atomatically debits and charges $3.50 for the transaction.

We are travelling from Nairobi to Arusha and figure we will bring Kenyan Shillings and then go to a bank when we arrive in Arusha.

She had a friend travel last year. She had most of her money in traveller's checks, just a pain and inconvienience to exchange even at banks and she carried a mastercard which is also not in abundance. I got a VISA card for myself and for my daughter to use, she has not used it yet in two months in Kenya (and anticipated travel to Tanzania, Zanzibar and Uganda). She does everything with cash and just pulls from the ATM's.

Hope that helps
prairie_traveller is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2011, 06:10 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,638
I was there October 2009 and found that we had a few problems with bank machines. Some would only take our Visa or Mastercard. We both have HSBC cards. We took around $1000 USD in small bills with us which I would recommend becuase even if you do get money out it comes in bigger bills so the small US are good for tips. I ordered these from the bank before I left as they usually dont carry that many US $1 bills.

In Stonetown we tried the same bank three times, I think it was Lloyds and the third time it worked. I think they were just out of money the first two times.
live42day is offline  
Feb 18th, 2011, 09:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 43
We have just returned and found bank machines to be highly unreliable. In Kigali we tried several machines - none would accept our TD card and we finally found one that would give an advance on our Visa. In Stonetown, the bank machines were constantly out of order and when one was working we had to wait in line for 45 minutes. I highly recommend taking along enough cash in US$.
Artsfan2 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2011, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 43
I forgot that you are going for 3 months. I suggest always making sure that you have some cash in reserve for when you can't find a working cash machine.
Artsfan2 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2011, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
We had difficulty with our BMO debit/bank cards in both Tanzania (Arusha) and Botswana. In Botswana, we eventually gave up on ATMs and would actually have to go into a bank, where we could then successfully use either our bank cards or MasterCards. In Tanzania, we were able to use our MasterCards in the ATMs, but never did find an ATM that would accept our BMO debit cards. My advice would be to make certain you have more than one type of card. Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Feb 19th, 2011, 02:09 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 690
Did anyone happen to notice the sugns on the ATM mcahines on Kenya & Tanzania?

Did any say Interac with a hand & finger pointing?
KathBC is offline  
Feb 19th, 2011, 07:33 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 690
Oy! Those typos are terrible!!!
KathBC is offline  

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