We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

BEWARE Zanzibar Airport(p.2)!!!

MI
Level Contributor
137 posts
19 reviews
Save Topic
BEWARE Zanzibar Airport(p.2)!!!

You get a sense that whole airport is corrupt and asking for a manager wouldn't help. You could play their bluff, but when they have valuable items of yours that's not really an option. So you feel helpless and succumb to their demands. Even tho tip was not much, I can't tell you the horrible feeling it leaves you with & that now you are contributing to the problem! I am hoping to get the word out and that an expert TA may tell me who to report this to...US Embassy? It's so sad because the guides were telling us how Zanzibar is really hoping to place its self on the tourist map. This is 1 place we will not be back to. I'm sure the future will hold demands for specific amts of money instead of just "TIPS"! Please BE AWARE.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
11,268 posts
152 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: BEWARE Zanzibar Airport(p.2)!!!

Sorry you have had such an adverse experience. There have been a couple of such reports in the past week or so. We hear about this, but no one wants to be on the receiving end. Unfortunately, Zanzibar isn't the only location with this kind of graft, and there is corruption on several levels of Tanz government as well. Imagine a $25 duty fee on a $75 parcel where half the contents were stolen by the Customs officers. They are allowed to open mailed parcels in order to confirm content, so they did, and then helped themselves to half the content as well. You can imagine to a local Tanzanian how much money that $25 really means, and they are saddled with paying it if they want any of the package.

It isn't always easy to call their bluff when you feel you are at their mercy.

I guess you can send official letters of complaint to both the US and Tanz embassy, but it seems there is little that can be done, but report on the social networks. We have found that making things public, and helping to educate fellow travellers can have positive future actions.

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Level Contributor
12,485 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: BEWARE Zanzibar Airport(p.2)!!!

It does no good to report these things to the US Embassy, they can't do anything about it.

Tanzania has a Prevention and Combating of Corruption Board (PCCB) and they have a web site where you can report incidences of corruption. I will tell you that I personally know that they are hard on doing something about corruption when it is exposed, especially by tourists. I have reported this and I have had follow-up action.

The web site you can report this on is www.pccb.go.tz/index.php/report-allegation (this link will take to you the explanation of how to report corruption, on there you will see a link to "filling this form" . complete this and return it to them. Don't expect things to move fast.

I also know that the President has went to the Kilimanjaro airport in person and told the people there that he didn't want to hear of any corruption with tourists there, and told them that they would be held personally responsible for any incidents. That was some time ago, but with time these kinds of things increase (because they get away with it, until it is cracked down on).

I would urge you to report this, and be as specific as possible with dates, times, places, etc. so that they can pin point it.

Nanoose Bay, Canada
Level Contributor
292 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: BEWARE Zanzibar Airport(p.2)!!!

I've just returned from a trip which involved coming in and out of Zanzibar airport 4 times and at no time did we have problems. It is unfortunate that the OP encountered fishy officials but our personal experience was that although the system is slightly chaotic, (TIA), all personnel were pleasant and reasonably professional in their approach and at no times did we feel uncomfortable in our dealings with either security screeners or anyone else.

Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
58 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: BEWARE Zanzibar Airport(p.2)!!!

hi im flying to zanzibar in a fortnight time , i have decided to print a few copies of these corruption forms off and when asked for a " tip " i will be asking names before paying anything ,then i will pull out the form before them and see how it goes . i may win this little battle i may lose , but the reason we go to these countries is for the cheapness in food drink ,and general exoticness in a destination most people dont travel to....I am fed up with this type of thing ,like the chap said it happens all over the wolrd...im tired of the preception that we are rich europeans and it shouldnt matter ...damn it i have worked hard all year and scrimped and saved to come ...i dont want to leave the place after im hoping a great time with a sour taste in the mouth ..its not the money its the principal ......

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
11,268 posts
152 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: BEWARE Zanzibar Airport(p.2)!!!

Jordyjack - I think that is a great idea - to print the official forms and get specifics. It makes a point that not all tourists are easily intimidated or ignorant.

However, for the res of the comments; I will play my usual 'two sides to every story'. I heard on the radio the other day the following comment - "do you have food in your fridge, do you have lighting in your house, a place to sleep every night? Then you are richer than 60% of the population of the world. If you were one of the 60%, would you also be tempted?

Some actually travel there for other than leisure purposes. Perhaps the 'we' should be replaced by 'I'.

Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
58 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: BEWARE Zanzibar Airport(p.2)!!!

I get your point but i have never been shy of looking after the people who have made my holiday enjoyable....I went to Gambia last year and made a friend who i talk to on f/b and i send him stuff occasionly as a small gesture for looking after my wife and i last year .....he never asked for anything but he made my holiday pleasant and its somewhere i would go back to again .

If i can take childrens books or the like i will ....yes i aprreciate a lot of these ppl are poor , but these officials are corrupt nothing more.....they see us a an easy target or a turkey shoot...ive seen poor ppl all over the world some who would share there last loaf of bread with u....being poor dosent mean u have to be corrupt , how many ppl do u think buissness or lesuire ppl travel through the airport daily , take even 10 % of them being mugged by these officials and they are onto a good thing because we dont fight back ..i say sack the swine and give the job to someone more honest and needy ...Also i once met a man who took my riding in the hills in spain ,he had a office job working 7 am till 8pm daily ,never seeing his daughter , he gave it up to ride horses up the hill , he told me he sees his daughter as he pleases , he has a roof over is head , and food on his table .he feeds his horses and he had everything in life he needed or wanted ,,,,,sometimes u can be content with little things ..we sometime pursue wealth without happiness.....anyway enough of my feelings ...im ready for a nice expeirience....

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
11,268 posts
152 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: BEWARE Zanzibar Airport(p.2)!!!

JJ, I agree. Thank goodness for those who have only good will in their hearts, as they make the world a liveable place. Your are correct that the crooked ones should be sacked. My concern would be how long before his replacement goes the same way? There is corruption all the way up the chain. Living in that environment is going to have an influence. I was heartened, however, for Karl's post re the President visiting JRO and making a public statement. My concern about doing the same in Zanzibar is that it is a political hot seat in general and they may feel they are exempt from doing as he says - given their desire for independence - again.

Please let us know how went your forms and name taking. I would love to be the person behind you - with my own set of forms too.

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Level Contributor
12,485 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: BEWARE Zanzibar Airport(p.2)!!!

Actually, corruption is one of the major reasons why places like Tz and Kenya remain poor. Many businesses will not tolerate corruption (defined by needing to pay an official to do something which is one of their duties). The business I worked in would not tolerate corruption or bribes, and our auditing department had a special unit which audited me and everyone who did the business internationally; and they were good at finding if you did pay a bribe. It might cost you your job if they caught you paying a bribe; and it would cost the country business as they would not tolerate it. I don't think we were alone in that.

Africa has most of the world's resources that other's want. You name it and Africa has it somewhere, and it's typically plentiful. Soon there will be a big emphasis on using Africa to grow food for some of the rest of the world. And food might soon replace gold, diamonds, coal, rare earth elements, gas and oil as a major export from Africa.

So with all these resources why is Africa still poor? Corruption is a major reason. Not just my opinion.

So if you encounter this while you are there, notify the PCCB Board at once and let's help get this stopped. If a policeman asks you for some chai or tells you he is hungry (their way of asking for a bribe) tell them you don't understand and walk away or ask for their supervisor. Same goes for airport personnel. Taking the PCCB forms along is a great way to confront them so that they know. When I've confronted them with this, they not only back down quickly, they also become very humble knowing that they will be sacked from their job if they are caught doing this.

Stanley, Falkland...
Level Contributor
32,979 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: BEWARE Zanzibar Airport(p.2)!!!

" but the reason we go to these countries is for the cheapness in food drink "

Sorry, but I don't think anyone goes there for cheap food and drink. Well, I didn't. Which was just as well, as I didn't see any. I went for the wildlife; culture; history, etc.

You might want to do some more homework. And remember that Tanzanians use these forums, as well.

Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
58 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: BEWARE Zanzibar Airport(p.2)!!!

I've done my homework by travelling the world I'm not ignorant because some official is crooked and don't take extracts from a script if u look at the word exot IcNess in the text which includes animals andflora spending 16 yrs in Africa I may have an idea how the system works cost is a factor why ppl opt for one country over another sometimes quite often bent officials kill the goose that lays the golden egg and may make others look elsewhere else .poverty accounts for most crime theft murder muggings but it don't make it righ