Holidaying in Tanzania

By | Category: Travel destinations

Would you holiday in Tanzania this year? Or even next?

Olduvai Gorge – one of he most important sites in the heritage of the world © Tanzania Tourist Board

Why do I ask such a question of a country that offers beaches, an island – Zanzibar – steeped in tradition and culture plus safari opportunities, world renowned parks such as the Serengeti, mountaineering (Mt Kilimanjaro) wildlife, seven world heritage sites and a countryside widely praised as some of the most beautiful?

The answer is the government’s attitude to coronavirus.

It has ordered no vaccine and seems unconcerned by the fact that tourists may be put off visiting by such an attitude. That over 17% of Tanzania’s GDP depends on tourism seems of little interest to the government.

Last week the Tanzanian president said that vaccines may be part of a foreign plot to spread illness and steal Africa’s wealth.

The government even says that vaccines are dangerous and the health minister is quoted in Tanzania’s Daily Citizen as saying that people should maintain “hygiene practices and steam inhalation.”  The Chief Government Chemists recommends herbal medicines to cure the virus according to the same paper.

In a sign that the government has its head in the sand, Tanzania has filed no deaths or case numbers since April last year. The numbers remain the same despite increases in neighbouring countries.

Has it been spectacularly successful with its diet of drinking water and heating herbs?

Unlikely.

As long ago as last May the World Health Organization was urging a stronger response than it had hitherto shown. The African section of the WHO has asked Tanzania to prepare for a COVID vaccination campaign saying the country should “follow the science.”

Will it?

It hasn’t followed WHO advice so far so why should it now.

Therefore how can any visitor feel safe in travelling to the country?

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