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Zanzibar Warning

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Zanzibar Warning

1. Posted by 17sep2008 (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y

Hello, even if I do not want to speak about it too much today it is of my duty to warn all the travelers and the tourists. While we had chosen to make our honeymoon in Tanzania + Zanzibar, we were a victim of a holdup on September 17th, 2008 at 8 pm. This took place in the hotel crystal resort in Zanzibar (towards Paje village). The hotel as many of the others is situated on the beach with bungalow. Thus it is not closed. We were in the dining restaurant, a man appeared from the beach equipped with a very big rifle. He assaulted a lady who ate and try to steal her bag. Then certainly to show that his weapon was a real one he fires a bullet on the ground, and it is my husband who sat in front of me who received the bullet into its intestines. It entered by the back some centimetres of his column and went out on left of its body. It rose while howling and fell down by ground. The man continued to attack other tourists, fired once again but directed on the swimming pool this time without wounding anybody. Then that lasted a half hour, me lying close to my husband trying to speak to him and all the other tourists on the ground, without knowing if the men were still there. We were then attacked by a man with a knife. The police force although being prevented 5 min after the shooting, condescended to be shown only 40 minutes after. The owners of the hotel and me then evacuated my husband using a pick up because neither helicopter nor ambulances are available on this island. Then always thanks to the hotel which has a private partnership with an airline company of safety/repatriation, we could go in Dar Es salem. Even if Nairobi would have be the best, the internal bleeding did not allow a transport to Nairobi. Indeed it took the bullet at 8:15pm and could only be in the hospital at 12:15pm … He was operated during 4 hours, the bullete had divided into 2 the small intestine and damaged the large intestine. Fortunately the surgeon was very qualified and bent all. Fortunately the bullet had touched only the intestines what is almost a miracle. He had lost so many blood that he has being transfused with 3 pockets, and the hospital did not have enough blood. Fortunately I was compatible, fortunately Tanzanians helped me and one man gave its blood this night for my husband. The embassy was prevented very quickly but during the night helped me neither psychologically nor to find blood because according to the consul “but everyone sleeps Madam”. She did not move until 8:30am, hour of the beginning of daily work I imagine. Then the nightmare continued 7 days before we are repatriated in France. The hospital in Dar Es Salaam (the aga khan) is certainly the best of Tanzania but contrary as what it is written on the pages of the ministries for the foreign affairs, it is far from being close to the European standards. The doctors were qualified, but they did not have money for the minimal hygiene, not the means of changing cloths enough, not the means of having air-conditioning and a generator when electricity braoke down, not the means of being correctly trained on the material…. The insurance (Europe assistance) paid the expenses of the hospital but wanted to pay me only the hotel and not my food, neither my taxis, nor my telephone…. They did not send an European doctor to see how was really the hospital, they made confidence with the doctors on the spot who told them that the hospital was very nice and competent…. I lived a nightmare waked up during 7 days. Fortunately my husband is well today, he is always in hospital, he has a stomy (pocket and artificial anus) but which is only provisional and in few months all of it will be almost as if nothing had occurred.
here my advises:
1- zanzibar is very poor, Tanzania chokes them economically, and zanzibari government is rotted, the corrupted police force and the population benefits of nothing from tourism. People come to take the money where it is
2- a same hold-up but according to what I know without seriously injured took place in this same hotel in March/April 2008. I do not know if it is a coincidence or if this hotel is particularly aimed, or if similar things happened elsewhere without nobody knowing it
3- the embassy did not help me, nor support - do not count on them
4- Europe assistance made the minimum and did not listen to you
5- I was taken of load by the trip operator (“terre d’aventure” and corto safari) that I recommend to you. They are very nice and very professionals.
6- this affair was not relayed because I tried but it was not possible to be listend by any police force (the embassy did not put me in liaison with the police force), until we are repatriated I did not want to manage press or media, today I want to do something to highlight what happened, be heard by the police, write to the Quai d’orsay (French foreign minister) and to Europe assistance in order to do something and that certain things change but for the moment it the French media will not be warned.
if you visit zanzibar TAKE CARE

2. Posted by hoyzer99 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y

As you are just reviewing: the thread posted by Set17 2008 is definitely true. Me and my husband sat on the next table in the restaurant and also witnessed the robbery and the shooting!!!! This is definitely no fake. We feel very, very sorry for set17 and her husband, it could have been us just as well.

I can also confirm that the owners of the Cristal Resort did everything they could to raise security and to make it as easy as possible for the remaining guests. There is a new security team from Dar Es Salaam patrolling the grounds of the Cristal now. They seem to be much more professional and alert than the security who was around before.
Nevertheless, only a couple of days later we were attacked by two guys with a big knife while we were walking the beach during the day about 400 m away from the resort on an untilled parcel of the beach. We were not hurt, but our money and camera were taken and we were very shocked to experience a second incident like this in such a short period of time.

All we can say is that the Zanzibar East coast does not seem safe to us, and we have heard a couple of similar stories from the people around.

3. Posted by 17sep2008 (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y

this is true, here is the evidence:
please see Foreign Commonwealth office

There are cases of armed crime in Dar es Salaam, including in the peninsula area and Coco beach, which is popular with expatriates. In Zanzibar there have been several reports of robberies, some accompanied with violence, occurring on popular tourist beaches. Most recently armed robbers shot a French tourist at a guesthouse on the East Coast of Zanzibar on 18 September 2008.

4. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 8y

I'm allowing the thread, but changing the subject to be sure this thread wasn't started for the wrong reasons.

5. Posted by 17sep2008 (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y

tank you admin