To Africa and Back
I don’t mean the credit card.
I was doing some research on visas today and I found out about something called a volunteer visa which I’d been previously unaware of. Apparently, Tanzania jacked the rates up on their volunteer visas from about 100 USD to 500 USD. (!!) Why would any country do that?!
This makes absolutely no sense to me. First, why turn away a person who is willing to pay to come to your country simply to help out? There’s no doubt that it will boost the economy both through the cost of the trip (for the volunteer organization) as well as expenditures such as food, drink, safari, etc.
Second, I looked up the cost of a Tanzanian tourist visa – it costs 83 Euros through CIBT which comes out to about 107 USD. So tourist visas for Americans are about the same, if not more than a volunteer visa. Why be worried which visa they cost about the same?!
The only thing I can speculate is that the Tanzanian government has become greedy and saw the profit that could be made by exploiting tourists coming to assist in the country’s volunteer organizations. Appalling.
The good news is that I’m going to South Africa, not Tanzania.
Although Tanzania has always been, and remains, my dream. Another vacation, perhaps. South Africa actually requires no visa for American visitors staying less than a month. I checked to make sure that there was no volunteer visa stipulation, and if you’re volunteering for under (something like) three months, you should obtain a tourist visa, but only if necessary. Perfect!
France is also quite accommodating to American tourists, so I won’t need a visa to get in -or- out of France for my short 15 hour stay.
p.s. – i love xe.com for making currency conversions so simple!