travel to zimbabwe

why is it that mondays seem to throw the whole book at you? i had one of those mondays where what i wanted most was to get in my car, leave the office, go home and get into bed. and then get out on the other side of the bed, head back to the office and see if the day got any better.

 

we have a situation at the moment where the german government has said that their nationals are not to travel to zimbabwe. this is due to the instability of the current political situation where mad boy bob doesn’t want to let others play in the government with him.

 

what this means for me, with a large number of german clients, is that i need to rebook them away from zimbabwe. seeing as most of them have booked to visit victoria falls, and no other part of that country, we can easily book them over into zambia. the fact that victoria falls itself is like a completely separate country from the rest of zim, totally reliant on tourism and therefore exceptionally safe and free of product shortages – this fact seems to escape the german government. they don’t want to take a chance i suppose…

 

what it means for me is an unexpected set of circumstances to make a monday morning truly memorable:

 

  1. last week we informed our agents that clients xyzzy had been re-booked from victoria falls (zimbabwe) to livingstone (zambia) – this includes their flights, transfers, hotel accommodation and excursions.
  2. we are told that the clients have been informed
  3. this morning i receive an e-mail from our ground operator that the clients were taken to their (originally booked) hotel in zimbabwe, as they had a voucher for that hotel, and the zambian hotel had no booking. this despite the fact that we had booked the transfers and tours for zambia with this operator only a few days ago
  4. furthermore, the clients were told that as there is no booking at the zim hotel, they should pay it directly and take it up with their agent (me). ditto for the non-existent excursions on the zimbabwean side – and despite the fact that they were holding excursion bookings for the zam side
  5. at this point 2 things are clear to me:
    1. i am holding bookings for clients xyzzy at 2 separate hotels, who will each want payment from me
    2. i am fuming at the fact that this could have happened, and that i was not at least called on sunday to find out what the story is

 

  1. on further investigation, it is claimed that there was an attempt to phone me. “but you know how the phones are in zambia”
  2. that the zambian hotel was checked for a booking of which there wasn’t one. this could be due to one of two facts:
    1. the hotel was holding the booking under xyzzi
    2. the ground operator was holding it under xizzi
  3. at this point i had the further exciting task of phoning the clients and explaining to them that we would be needing to move them to zambia as was planned. this is when they told me that not only that they had never been informed about this need to change, but also that their luggage had not arrived on their flight. and frankly, they were not leaving victoria falls without their bags.

 

long story short – their bags did arrive, and they did move to the zambian side. i’m still stuck with a bill for 2 hotels that i need to pass on, and a burning desire to snot-klap a german travel agent for not informing their clients of this situation.

 

it’s only money i tell myself sometimes. but, strangely, my boss doesn’t see it that way…

 

anyway, the day turned out to be fairly productive in the end – let’s hope the week stays that way J

what bugged me today: the usual

 

what i learnt today: how handcuffs are made, and what the outfits look like that greek soldiers wear

 

what i am grateful for: spontaneous suppers with friends

2 thoughts on “travel to zimbabwe

  1. adt, it’s not about taking chances! The German government is actively applying sanctions (hallelujah!), which you should be happy about, not liking Uncle Bob …

    And if I’m informed correctly, even your own parents refused to stay on the Zimbabwean side (last year already) of the Victoria Falls in order not to let Bob have their money!

    [That must be the proverbial “silver lining” then???!]

  2. me thinks you’ve missed the point of the post my dear… i too would prefer not to let mad old bob have any money.
    but –
    a. the travel ban is not sanctions related, rather driven by safety concerns (which is why we only get told now to re-book all october bookings. and then in a month’s time maybe to re-book november). it is not a ban on sale of travel to zim
    b. the point of the post was to show what we had to go through when communication was up the creek.

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