Unfortunately, counterfeiting is flourishing in Tanzania. Obviously, tourists become victims of deception most often. If you want to exchange only a part of money that you give to the currency exchange and expect getting change, be aware of the risk of receiving a counterfeit or “old” note. Try to exchange currency without change.
What are «old» banknotes? They are US Dollar notes issued earlier than 2009. In Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania, such notes are not accepted for payment or exchange.
As you see, not all US Dollar banknotes retain their legal tender status in Zanzibar. On any trip you should have some reserve money for unexpected expenses. In order not to find yourself in a difficult situation, keep the «old» notes for your next trip, and take the «new» ones to Zanzibar.
Latest information from experts in Zanzibar Island
The information given above is not a typo. Until recently, dollars which had been issued into circulation before 2006, were not accepted for payment and exchange in Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania. Tanzanians have tightened the rule up: US Dollar notes issued earlier than 2009 are not accepted.