How Many Tanzanian Shillings should we buy?

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Jun 25th, 2004, 05:42 AM
  #1
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How Many Tanzanian Shillings should we buy?

Our family (4 adults) will be going on safari in July/August. We will meet our daughter in Dubai, then our son flies in from Australia and joins us in Dar Es Salaam. We work in Riyadh, so are really looking forward to a break. Anyway, our itinerary is:

Tanzania (Roy Safaris)
Arusha, night at Hatari Lodge
Tarangire, 2 nights Kikoti camp
Lake Manyara, 2 nights Manyara Serena Lodge
Serengeti, 2 nights Serengeti Serena, 3 nights Migration Camp
Ngorongoro, 2 nights Ngorongoro Serena Lodge

South Africa, 8 nights in Cape Town at the Portswood Hotel (down in the V&A area, should be a nice change from the bush!), day trips to the Cape, Hermanus, West Coast National Park, Wine Country, etc

We have the trip arranged, have been saving up $1, 5, 10 for hotel staff tips, have our shots, clothes, guidebooks . . .

My big question now is how much Tanzanian currency to purchase and where to get it. Roy Safaris has said that we should plan on paying for extras at each hotel in shillings, and that exchange rates are better in Arusha than at the lodges. Best I can figure, we may need $100 a day for beer and other essentials for 4 people. That is $1200 dollars, or about 1,200,000 Shillings, right? Apparently the biggest note is 10,000 shillings, so that?s 120 of the little buggers if we get them all at once. How have other denizens of this board handled the problem?

Appreciate any info you can provide, and I promise you a trip report when we return.
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Jun 25th, 2004, 06:19 AM
  #2
sandi
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That's a lot of TSh to be carrying around and possibly having left over. And re-exchanging them to USD when departing Tanzania, the rate won't be to your benefit. Personally, USD$100/day for the four of you might be overkill.

While I'm the last person to tell anyone when to start bending their elbows - gather you'll have drinks at lunch, at sundowners and with dinner, but beers don't cost more than about $3. But do check with Roy, whether your drinks are included at Migration Camp, as they just might be so one less camp to consider.

As far as other incidentals - like what? Any items to purchase at camps/lodges are relatively expensive and you might do better when you stop at the Heritage Center (I'm sure there will be a stop here) to shop. Here they do take credit cards. Unlike Kenya, there aren't many places along the way to shop - no souvenir stands along the roadside.

Roy Safaris is correct in that your best place to exchange money to local TSh would be in Arusha rather then at lodges/camps. And whatever you exchange, divide it between the four of you and what you don't need to be carrying with you (which is most of it) keep in the lodge/camp safe along with airline tickets, other currency, credit cards, etc. You won't need to pay your bar bill or incidentals until you leave a particular lodge/camp.

If I figure correctly, $1USD - 1,000TSh. And if 10,000TSh is the biggest, that's $10USD, so believe you should have smaller denominations, which, of course, is a bigger bundle of the "buggers". I'd go easy on converting too much to local currency and depend on the USD (in small denominations) to make up the differences. At least the USD will have the same value at the begining and end of your time in Tanzania.

Let's see what others recommend.
 
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Jun 25th, 2004, 09:20 AM
  #3
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I would be wary of getting a lot of shillings at first. In your case, if I had to guess, I would say US$500. Of course, it depends on what extras you will take, how many souveniers you will want, and how strongly you want to use cash. I believe that I used CC for most big expenses. Perhaps it would be best to get a figure from Roy's.
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Jun 25th, 2004, 06:17 PM
  #4
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Sandi and Jed, Thanks! I will revise my purchase amount downward. I had a feeling the amount that I was too high and I appreciate your feedback.

3 weeks to Tanzania!!
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