Tomorrow we go to Rubondo Island in Lake Victoria – we’ve been looking forward to it for some time. Together with some fellow expats we have booked two nights, we hope to do a walking safari and a boat trip among other things. The literature quotes rates for East Africans, non-East Africans and Expatriates. We fall into the latter category which should mean prices are half those of non-East Africans (US and Europe etc).
Imagine our surprise, when it became clear that the expatriate rate no longer applies, other than for Park Entry. We had assumed that there had been a mistake in correspondence, since printed leaflets quote the old prices. Then a phone call revealed the truth. Suddenly the cost has virtually doubled. This as you can imagine is not good. The reason is apparently a Government directive.
We will still go and hope to make the best of our time – it is apparently a lovely place and we are still looking forward to it. We will try to do all the things we want to, but we may have to curtail some planned activities.
As far as I can see it the authorities here are potentially pricing themselves out of the range of locally paid expats like ourselves. We who are paid in TzS are not going to be able to afford to do such things with any regularity at these prices. Short term gain will quickly turn to disaster.
Sometimes it feels like, that for some people, Wazungu (white people) are not really wanted here, certainly the Government wants to get as much money as possible from us. Yet on our modest incomes (which are well above the pay of local Tanzanians) we already contribute to the local economy, whether directly or indirectly, through our purchasing power. I have said before, I don’t mind paying more (I earn more and that’s fair), but there is a limit. Pricing us out of the market, in tourism will not be good for anyone, least of all the Tourism Industry!
A year ago this was what we were posting