Where to Find an ATM in Zanzibar When You Need Cash (2024)

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Last Updated on: 12th April 2024, 03:32 pm

Are you heading to the Spice Island and wondering whether you’ll be able to find an ATM in Zanzibar?

Finding an ATM in Zanzibar can be a challenge, but fear not – we’ve got you covered.

We visit Zanzibar all the time and have gotten quite comfortable with finding our way around the island and managing cash while on the island.

In this article, we’ll unveil the hidden locations of Zanzibar’s ATMs, guide you through the ATM landscape, and provide essential tips for managing your money during your stay.

Get ready to embark on a cash-finding adventure on this paradise island!

Key Takeaways:

  • ATMs in Zanzibar may be limited, but knowing where to find them can save you from cash woes.
  • Plan and consider ATM availability in different areas of the island to avoid being caught without cash.
  • Consult with your bank before traveling to ensure your cards will work internationally and be aware of any associated fees.
  • In major towns like Stone Town, ATMs are more reliable, but services may be limited in rural areas.
  • Weigh the pros and cons of using cash versus cards in Zanzibar to make an informed decision based on your preferences and circumstances.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of them I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, which allows me to keep this blog up and running!

Are There ATMs in Zanzibar?

Yes, there are ATMs in Zanzibar but they’re not as common as in other tourist destinations.

Let’s explore the ATM landscape, maximum withdrawal limits, fees, and the importance of pre-travel bank consultation.

ATM Availability Across the Island

Zanzibar features a limited number of ATMs, predominantly located in Stone Town and Nungwi.

While these semi-urban hubs offer greater accessibility to ATMs, it’s essential to recognize that it may be difficult to find an ATM in Zanzibar.

Maximum Withdrawal Limits and Fees

When using an ATM in Zanzibar, it’s crucial to be aware of the maximum withdrawal limits and associated fees.

These limits and fees may vary across different banks and ATM providers.

Understanding these factors will help you plan your cash withdrawals accordingly and avoid unexpected fees.

Pre-Travel Bank Consultation Tips

Prior to embarking on your journey, it’s advisable to consult with your bank regarding international card usage and fees in Zanzibar.

This consultation will provide you with vital information about any potential limitations, fees, or requirements that could impact your ATM usage on the island.

By being well-informed beforehand, you can ensure a hassle-free experience when accessing cash in Zanzibar.

An intricate wooden balcony on a building in Stone Town next to an ATM in Zanzibar

Where to Find an ATM in Zanzibar

Zanzibar offers several convenient options when it comes to accessing cash.

Whether you’re arriving at the airport or exploring the bustling Stone Town, finding an ATM won’t be a challenge.

However, it’s essential to consider the reliability of ATMs outside urban centers.

Zanzibar’s Airport ATM

Upon arrival at Zanzibar’s airport, you’ll find an ATM that accepts both debit and credit cards. This provides a convenient option for travelers who need immediate access to cash.

You can rely on this ATM to withdraw Tanzanian Shillings and ensure a smooth start to your Zanzibar adventure.

💵 Pro Tip: Make sure to withdraw enough cash or do your foreign exchange before leaving the airport. This is the best option and safest spot to use an ATM in Zanzibar.

Accessibility of ATMs in Stone Town

Stone Town, the main city of Zanzibar, offers several ATMs that are easily accessible to both locals and visitors.

As you explore the vibrant streets and historical sites, you’ll find these ATMs scattered throughout the area.

This ensures that you can conveniently withdraw cash whenever you need it, allowing you to make the most of your time in this captivating city.

ATM Services Outside the Urban Centers

While ATMs are readily available in Stone Town, it’s important to note that ATM services outside the city may be limited and less reliable.

If you plan to venture to other parts of the island, it’s advisable to plan your cash needs accordingly.

Carry enough cash with you to cover your expenses or consider withdrawing extra cash while at the airport or in the urban areas to ensure you won’t face difficulties if ATM services are scarce.

Zanzibar’s AirportConvenientReliable
Stone TownEasily AccessibleReliable
VillagesLimitedLess Reliable

Remember to plan ahead and ensure you have enough cash on hand when venturing into areas where ATM services may be limited.

Also, note that some ATMs may not have any cash available as they aren’t refilled regularly.

By being prepared, you can enjoy your Zanzibar experience without any financial concerns.

People on a tour in Stone Town while searching for an ATM in Zanzibar.

Managing Money in Zanzibar: Cash or Card?

When visiting Zanzibar, it’s important to consider how you will manage your money during your stay. The decision between using cash or cards is a common dilemma for travelers.

Both options have their advantages and considerations, and it’s essential to make an informed decision based on your preferences and the specific circumstances of your trip.

Using Cash in Zanzibar:

  • Convenience: Carrying cash can be convenient for small purchases, such as souvenirs or street food, where cash is the preferred payment method.
  • Wider Acceptance: While credit cards are accepted in larger establishments such as hotels and resorts, some smaller businesses and local markets may only accept cash.
  • Budget Control: With cash, you have a tangible representation of your spending, making it easier to stick to your budget.
  • Less Reliance on ATMs: If you prefer not to rely on ATMs or are traveling to areas with limited ATM access, having cash on hand can provide peace of mind.

Using Cards in Zanzibar:

  • Safety and Security: Carrying large amounts of cash can be risky, especially in crowded tourist areas. Utilizing cards can minimize the risk of theft or loss.
  • Convenience: Using a credit card for larger expenses, such as accommodation or tours, can be more convenient than carrying large sums of cash.
  • Rewards and Protection: Many credit cards offer rewards programs, travel insurance, and purchase protection, providing added benefits for using cards in Zanzibar.
  • Record Keeping: Credit card transactions generate statements, making it easier to track your expenses and manage your finances after your trip.

Which Should You Choose?

The decision between cash and cards ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the specific circumstances of your trip to Zanzibar.

Consider factors such as your spending habits, the availability of an ATM in Zanzibar, and the types of establishments you plan to visit.

It may be beneficial to have a combination of cash and cards to ensure financial flexibility during your stay.

💸 Pro Tip: We usually opt for a mix of card and cash. For accommodation, car rentals, meals at restaurants, spa treatments, and tours we use credit cards. For souvenirs, street food, and tips we use cash.

Pros and Cons of Cash vs. Card

Using CashUsing Cards
Convenience for small purchasesSafety and security
Wider acceptance in local marketsConvenience for larger expenses
Budget controlRewards and protection
Less reliance on ATMsRecord keeping

Overall, managing your money in Zanzibar requires careful consideration.

It’s recommended to have a combination of cash and cards, ensuring you have access to funds in various situations.

An open corridor in a 50star hotel overlooking Stone Town where you can find an ATM in Zanzibar.

Exchanging Currency and Using Foreign Cash

When visiting Zanzibar, it’s essential to understand the currency exchange options and the use of foreign cash.

In Zanzibar, you have the option to exchange currency at the airport or in Stone Town.

Let’s take a look at the exchange rates available at these locations:

LocationExchange Rate
Airport1 USD = 2,500 TZS
Town1 USD = 2,550 TZS

As you can see, the exchange rate in town is slightly higher, offering a better value for your US dollars compared to the airport.

However, keep in mind that exchange rates may vary and are subject to change.

When it comes to using currency in Zanzibar, both US dollars and Tanzanian shillings are widely accepted.

Many businesses, especially tourist-oriented establishments, quote prices in US dollars. You can also use Tanzanian shillings for smaller transactions and in local markets.

To secure the best exchange rate for your money, consider the following tips:

  1. Compare exchange rates from different currency exchange providers to ensure you’re getting the most favorable rate available.
  2. Avoid exchanging currency at hotels or tourist areas, as they often offer lower rates and higher fees.
  3. Keep an eye on the currency market and exchange your money when the exchange rate is favorable.
  4. Consider exchanging a small amount of currency at the airport for immediate expenses and exchange at a bank in Stone Town for a better rate.
  5. Notify your bank before traveling to Zanzibar to avoid any issues with your credit or debit card usage.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your currency exchange in Zanzibar and ensure that you get the best value for your money.

A store front in Stone Town selling bags and hats.

ATM in Zanzibar FAQs

Can I use an ATM in Zanzibar?

Yes, there are ATMs in Zanzibar, especially in Stone Town and popular tourist areas. It’s advisable to inform your bank of your travel plans to ensure seamless ATM transactions.

Should I take cash to Zanzibar?

While ATMs are available, having some local currency (Tanzanian Shilling) can be convenient, especially in smaller establishments. It’s a good idea to bring a mix of cash and use ATMs for larger transactions.

Where should I exchange money in Zanzibar?

You can exchange money at the airport, banks, authorized currency exchange offices, and some hotels in Zanzibar. However, banks usually offer better rates.

How many ATMs are there in Zanzibar?

Zanzibar has a decent number of ATMs, but the exact count may vary. Stone Town generally has reliable ATM facilities.

What is the best currency to take to Zanzibar?

Tanzanian Shilling (TZS) is the official currency used in Zanzibar. While some places may accept US dollars or euros, it’s recommended to use local currency for transactions.


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ATM in Zanzibar: Final Thoughts

Finding an ATM in Zanzibar may require some planning, as the number of ATMs on the island is limited.

Additionally, understanding the currency options and exchange rates in Zanzibar will help you make informed decisions when managing your money.

By preparing ahead of time, you can enjoy your tropical getaway in Zanzibar with peace of mind.

So, relax and immerse yourself in the beauty of this stunning destination, knowing that accessing cash won’t be a challenge.

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