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fordygirl Jul 20th, 2007 08:32 AM

atm's in dar es salaam
Myself and my family are travelling to Dar at the end of July.We have been advised not to take traveller's cheques. we cannot obtain Tsh's in our country before we leave.So we are going to take US dollars and GB sterling, other than that we are going to have to rely on the dar ATM's. this concerns me as have heard they are unreliable. does any one have any ideas for a back up system to obtain cash ??

ShayTay Jul 20th, 2007 09:11 AM

I'm not sure where you're planning to go or what you're planning to do. I've found that US dollars are accepted everywhere in Tanzania. On occasion, such as at a Maasai or Hadzabe village, TZ shillings were better, but those instances are few and far between. I'm not sure about GB sterling.

fordygirl Jul 20th, 2007 10:10 AM

Is it a problem to get travellers cheques changed up into us dollars ?

ShayTay Jul 20th, 2007 10:51 AM

You might find a bank to exchange them, but they'll charge you a hefty fee for doing so. Just take dollars and/or use credit cards. Again, what will you be doing and where? Safari? Volunteer work? Business trip?

fordygirl Jul 20th, 2007 11:01 AM

Going for 3 weeks holiday. Have no set itinery as yet, but we are really hoping to get over for a few nights on Zanzibar. Most likely will try and do a safari, have to really, wouldnt want to waste this fantastic opportunity.

sandi Jul 20th, 2007 11:02 AM

USD (can't comment on GB sterling) are accepted just about everywhere in Tanzania, except as Shay Tay mentions in Masai and Hadzabe villages. So it's a good idea to have some Tsh on-hand. If you can't obtain from an ATM, a Currency Exchange will serve the purpose though the rate of exchange might not be as favorable... at least you'll have some local currency.

Remember, Tsh are not reconvertible to USD or GBS when leaving the country, so use all before departing for home. Tsh can be used at hotels, lodges, camps, restaurants and souvenir shops.

If you aren't comfortable traveling without having travellers checks, then bring these for emergency only, and be sure these are in the currency of your home country. If you have to convert these, the fee and rate of exchange will not be in your favor. More than likely, you'll just redeposit them in your account once back home.

fordygirl Jul 20th, 2007 11:08 AM

Thanks. It is a concern to have to travel with large amounts of any cash. I guesss I will have to take dollars and hope I have no problems using the card in the machines in the wall. Ta

ShayTay Jul 20th, 2007 11:54 AM

If you are planning to go on safari, or even over to Zanzibar, I would strongly suggest you make plans before you leave. You can find some of the recommended safari outfitters here on Fodor's (Kibo is my favorite) and contact them. July is high season and you may not find much availability without some advanced planning. For Zanzibar, I use Ocean Tours Zanzibar.

Zambezi Jul 21st, 2007 07:39 AM

I was in Dar (and Zanzibar) in October, 2006, and, on numerous occasions, used the ATM machines of NBC banks to obtain Tanzanian shillings. They are conveniently located (for example, in downtown Dar, there is one near the ferry terminal, the Kilimanjaro Hotel, and the main post office and it is outside the building on the street). As I recall, the only unique feature was that 100 TSH was the maximum I could get per transaction, so I simply did two or three withdrawals at a time. Looking at my bank statement for one day, I see that each was equivalent to $79.74 and that there was a .80 international service fee for each (the exchange rate varied, according to the day). To me, that is a small price to pay for not having to carry a large amount of US cash or travelers cheques, which are more and more problematic around the world. On Lamu Island, Kenya, for example, in March, 2005, I had to produce the original purchase document in order to cash travelers cheques. ZZ

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