Subject: Tanzania
OUCH Gretchen! I'll bet you're right. Our guide was not local. He and his family were born and raised in Africa and finally settled in Atlanta, USA. Very active in conservation worldwide and the most knowledgeable about Africa I've ever met or read. He took excellent care of us, was known by everyone and chose the specific drivers he wanted to be with us for the entire trip. There were only five of us, plus the drivers of course, in two vehicles so was a truly amazing experience. We met each evening for drinks before dinner (usually in our room or tent) and questioned him on anything and everything - politics, local economy, tribal beliefs, agriculture, education, antiquities and on and on. His absolute passion is and always will be Africa and I've never been on a so enlightened journey before. We feel very fortunate as we did see some people jammed into vehicles with weary looks on their faces and obviously not at ALL enlightened. Ours was not the run of the mill safari I've since learned. On the trip over he met us in Arusha as he was ending a safari there, but flew with us on the way back as he was ready to go home to Atlanta for a while. So we felt well cared for indeed

You could have reported your incident to the Tanzanian government tourist office and they would have taken action in what was obviously a scam, albeit a pathetic one. Although how you would know to do that I don't know. Picked that up from our guide. The government is very anxious for tourists to be happy. A member of our group said her credit cards had been stolen and the manager of the Serena Lodge we were in met with Richard (our guide) then promptly fired the young woman despite her protests of innocence. None of us believed she did anything and it was quite sad. Those jobs are very rare and very coveted. Once fired the woman would not be hired by any reputable tent camp or lodge and as you saw it's not a great country to get a good job in. Richard told us Americans are especially bad about reporting thefts only to discover they had misplaced an item. However the employee was by then fired and even when the complaining parties tried to get the person rehired it was to no avail and the decision is always absolute. So these things CAN go both ways. Most of the staff we encountered were Maasai and supporting families. Being accused of theft also brought down the wrath of their own people as the Lodge would never hire a family member of the accused person. I only speak of the Lodges and camps we stayed at. Richard warned us about Arusha though he didn't have to. Cities in third world countries do not a safe place make. Happy travels, Lyn Dallas