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Unpleasant Reception at Pemba, Tanzania

By Val Ellis last modified Apr 05, 2009 10:32 PM

Published: 2009-04-05 22:32:02
Countries: Tanzania

We visited Pemba Island, off Tanzania, in November 2008, and were boarded by the Zanzibar Republican Army armed soldiers who forced us to proceed to Wete where we were harassed by numerous officials from the Zanzibar Revenue Board, who wished to charge our yacht a very large "hotel levy".

Our reading of the Hotel Levies Act at the time, and all subsequent information we gathered confirms that a yacht does not have to pay such levy. Our refusal to pay any levy resulted in the arrival of more officials, who delayed us until nightfall, and then threatened to take our boat if we did not pay immediately. We were left with no choice but to pay these officials, who were very arrogant and obnoxious.

The incident took two days, and was very traumatic. We would advise all yachties visiting East Africa to stay away from Pemba.

Colleen Reed