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Exploring Tanzania’s currency: Tanzanian shillings

Discover Tanzania’s official currency

What’s the currency in Tanzania?

The official currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian shilling. It’s the primary currency you’ll use throughout Tanzania. Tanzanian shillings, abbreviated as TZS, replaced the East African shilling and are a symbol of Tanzania’s economic identity.

Get the Best Rates with Manor FX

Exchanging pounds to Tanzanian shillings in the UK can be a challenge. Not every local bank or exchange offers Tanzanian currency, including many within Tanzania itself.

Planning a trip to Tanzania? Manor FX is here to help! We offer competitive online exchange rates for Tanzanian currency in the UK. Ready for your Tanzanian adventure?

Order Tanzanian shillings easily with Manor FX’s online currency converter. Choose from home delivery or in-store pick-up. With our quick delivery and user-friendly website, you’ll get your shillings swiftly and smoothly.

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A glimpse into Tanzanian currency history

The Tanzanian shilling, the cornerstone of Tanzania’s economy, has a rich and dynamic history. Adopted as the official currency of the United Republic of Tanzania in 1966, it marked a new era in the nation’s economic journey. This transition from the East African shilling symbolised Tanzania’s move towards greater economic independence and self-identity.

The introduction of the Tanzanian shilling was not just a change in currency; it represented a profound shift in Tanzania’s economic policies and national identity. This change came at a crucial time, just a few years after Tanzania gained its independence in 1961. Establishing its own currency was a bold statement of sovereignty and a step away from its colonial past.

Before the Tanzanian shilling, the East African shilling circulated in the region, serving as the common currency for British East Africa. This included not just Tanzania, but also Kenya and Uganda. The East African Currency Board issued these shillings, which were a relic of British colonial rule. The move to the Tanzanian shilling thus severed the last economic ties to the colonial era.

The switch to the Tanzanian shilling in 1966 was more than a symbolic act. It allowed Tanzania to assert control over its monetary policy, crucial for shaping its economic future. The ability to manage its currency brought with it the power to influence inflation, interest rates, and foreign exchange rates—key levers in a growing economy.

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Tanzanian banknotes and coins

Tanzanian banknotes and coins, issued by the Bank of Tanzania, reflect the nation’s culture and history. Current banknotes include denominations like 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 shillings, each depicting Tanzania’s landmarks and important figures.

Coins in circulation include 50, 100, 200, and 500 Tanzanian shilling coins, each with unique designs featuring Tanzania’s wildlife and cultural symbols.

Using Tanzanian currency abroad

The Tanzanian shilling is primarily used within Tanzania and is not widely accepted elsewhere. 

A smiling Tanzanian women in colourful clothes.

Other Accepted Currencies in Tanzania

While Tanzanian shillings are preferred, some places accept other currencies, especially in tourist areas and for large transactions.

Accepted currencies include:

  • US dollars: Widely accepted in hotels and national parks. Ensure the notes are new and undamaged.
  • British pounds (GBP): Accepted in major hotels and city banks, though less common than US Dollars.
  • Euros: Similar to GBP, euros are accepted in larger hotels and banks.
  • Kenyan shillings: Useful near the Kenya-Tanzania border due to cross-border trade.

Currency in Tanzania: 5 Intriguing Facts

  • Rich imagery: Tanzanian banknotes feature diverse images showcasing the country’s heritage, including wildlife and landmarks.
  • Dual-language coins: Coins have inscriptions in both English and Swahili, one of Tanzania’s major languages.
  • Rebirth in 1987: The Tanzanian shilling was re-introduced in 1987 following economic reforms, replacing the old currency at a rate of 100 to 1.
  • Currency symbol: Represented by “TZS”, this symbol is used in international transactions.
  • Bank of Tanzania: Established in 1966, it’s responsible for issuing the Tanzanian shilling and maintaining its stability and value.

Tanzanian shilling Value

The Tanzanian shilling’s value can vary but is generally lower than the British pound. For the latest rates, check Manor FX.

Tanzanian Currency Symbol

The Tanzanian shilling’s symbol is “TZS”, commonly used in global financial transactions.

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FAQs

Yes! Visit our Tanzania currency page for competitive shilling rates. We offer a wide range of over 160 foreign currencies. Payments can be made via credit card, debit card, or bank transfer.

Absolutely! Convert your remaining Tanzanian shillings back to GBP with us.

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