Friday, September 24, 2010

Mon 13th Sept - Tanzanian Immigration

What a performance! Bureaucracy on steroids!
Ian and Fritz both had their entry visa for Tanzania already - how come my peregrine lady didn't recommend I got the visa before getting to Tanzania - would have been so much easier!
So heres how the Tanzanian immigration thing worked
I filled in the entry visa form - which is 3 sheets of carbon paper - I queue up to hand it to a bloke who stamps it, hands it back to me and sends me across the road to another immigration building where I have to pay the $25 USD entry fee.
Now Tanzania only accepts USD notes that are made after 2004 - I didn't know this and just handed over some  notes only to have them rejected by the counter official. Then I had to rummage around to find some shiny new notes. That done, the official then disappeared for 5 minutes to find some change then came back and stamped the visa form, took one sheet of it and sent me back across the road to the original building to get the visa. 
I then queued at a different window to hand the stamped form to the immigration officer - there were 6 of them behind the counter but only 2 windows were open - who looked suspiciously at my passport and handed it to another person who scanned it. I then was told to wait 'over there' until my name was called at which point they took a retina scan. I had to wait 'over there' again until my name was called again at which point I finally got my passport back with my entry visa - this all took about 45minutes....

Note to self - when going to Africa or any developing country, get all visas beforehand!

so then it was back onto the bus for more bone shaking

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