On the mountain road between Lushoto and Mombo, Tanzania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Tanga City, Tanzania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Dar es Salaam on March 8th.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Why do they make things so difficult?

Seems that anything the government in any country touches, they make it difficult. It's either complicated... or it's confusing.

We need to have tourist visas in order to visit Tanzania. It's really just a money grab, because I haven't read of anybody being turned down for any reason. As Canadian citizens, we qualify for Visa on Arrival. It's a fairly simply system whereby you get off the plane and fill out some forms and maybe stand in lines for two hours while you get your visa processed. Then you pay your $50 USD, get your passport stamped, and away you go.

Sound simple enough, except the $50 USD has to be in cash. You would think in this day and age that they would accept credit cards, and apparently they do... until you arrive at the payment counter only to be told that the machine is broken and you have to pay in cash. So you had better be prepared for that possibility. I have yet to read of anybody who has been able to pay by credit card.

Or, you can definitely pay by credit card if you apply through their online portal ahead of time. This is what I tried to do. On the first page that explains the system, it specifically says that it is optional to include a copy of your flight ticket out of the country. But when you get through the half hour procedure of filling out the forms and uploading copies of your passport and a passport size photo, it then asks for a copy of your return flight info and says that it is required, not optional. 

Hmph.

We don't have a return flight booked yet because to be honest, we don't want to book anything until things are looking a little more confident that we will be able to go to Germany towards the end of March. Worse case scenario, we may end up heading straight back to Canada.

Of course, there is a sneaky way around all of this. Since almost all airlines allow you to cancel and be fully reimbursed for any reason within 24 hours of booking, you can simply book a flight, make copies of all the info for your visa, and then cancel the flight. You shouldn't have to do things like this, but when they make things complicated, sometimes there is a need to be a creative traveler.

Not saying that we would ever do something sneaky like this... just throwing it our there as a possible way around the system!

EDIT:

After I wrote the above, I was able to actually find a flight we are happy with. We fly from Dar es Salaam to Dusseldorf on March 21st with KLM. Direct to Amsterdam, then a city hopper flight to Dusseldorf, Germany. The cost was $938 CAD ($735 USD) one way for the two of us. So I have kept that flight and used it to apply for the visa online.

Now, we wait for approval.

It is just pouring down with rain today... another good day to be stuck inside during our voluntary weekend quarantine.

The field across the road is looking a little waterlogged.
And we haven't even got the heaviest of the rain yet.

 In fact, the weather forecast says we will get 5.5" of rain between Sunday and Monday. That's a lot of water!

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Fire TV Stick Light

And in Canada...

Merino Wool Hiking Socks


8 comments:

  1. Interesting about the US cash. I have a personal travel rule. No matter where I travel I have a couple of hundred in US cash tucked away.I call it the universal language.

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    1. Out of all of our years of traveling we have never done that and have never needed to but it also isn't a bad idea. Except for the fact that we don't travel with much more than one or two hundred dollars of any kind of cash with us, unless we know we specifically need it for something where cash is necessary. We do this because if we every get robbed/mugged the bad guys aren't getting much from us.

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  2. The Credit Card Machines not working makes the cash easier to put in their pockets rather then in the Government Accounts.
    It's sad that they make it hard for a visa application.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. I don't think this is the case because each person entering the country who is a foreigner has to have a tourist visa and that info has to be input into a computer, so for every visa entered into the computer the person working is going to have to have the equal sum of money to match up with the number of visas. Having said that we are sure that there are other incidents where cash is pocketed, we just don't think it happens at the immigration in the airport.

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  3. I want less government and more private enterprise. If it were a business, it would run smooth as ice. I just ordered something on line here in Mexico. In less than five minutes it was in shippinng mode and will be delivered on Tuesday.

    Get a passport renewal in Mexico (Mexican passport) and it takes up to three months. For a renewal? Nothing has changed, just paying the government for a document that should be free as you are already paying taxes and their jobs are government jobs or public servants.

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    1. Then you will have the people saying that private businesses are gouging us! I think it is a no win situation at times, but things do get done at a faster pace then, or at least they should.

      Agreed, but I guess our taxes aren't enough to pay for all the "great" things that they spend our money on, so they need more income!

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  4. BTW, when we went to Canada, Juan went through hoops and months on line just to get a tourist visa and that was $150 dollars.

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    1. Yep, that is crazy, it shouldn't be that hard. You need to come and visit Canada, now that they have taken away the needing visas for Mexicans. :-)

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