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A liar and a cheat

Views: 206 Visited: May 2018 Reviewed: Jul 23, 2018
Note: Akhilbakshi did not go on safari with Jiwe Adventures

Below is my complaint written to Mr Viktor ketansi of Tanzania National Park Authority against the fraud and cheating perpetrated by Mr Edgar Sirikwa of Jiwe Adventures:

"Dear Mr. Ketansi,

I am an established explorer and author, Fellow of Explorers Club USA Fellow of Royal Geographical Society, and Editor of Indian Mountaineer. In 2006, when I was leading the Gondwanaland Expedition - a scientific mission and a 25,000km motoring adventure from Indian Himalaya to Cape Agulhus, the southernmost point of Africa, we were provided excellent support in Tanzania National Parks Authority and all our vehicles carried their logo during the course of the three-month expedition.

This is to bring to your kind attention fraud and deceit perpetrated by Mr. Edgar Sirikwa, proprietor of Jiwe Adventures in Moshi.

The facts of the matter are as below:

1. In 2016, I had engaged the services of Jiwe Adventures for my Kilimanjaro climb. As he had provided a reasonable service, I engaged them for my forthcoming visit to Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara with my wife.

2. Edgar agreed to provide the following services:

- pick-up from Arusha airport and drop off at Serena Manyara

- hotel booking at Serena Manyara for two nights

- half-day safari at Lake Manyara on Day 1

- full day safari at Lake Manyara on Day 2

- transfer to Serena Ngorongoro on Day 3

- hotel booking at Serena Ngorongoro for two nights

- half-day carter safari on Day 3

- full day crater safari on Day 4

- transfer to Moshi on Day 5

- hotel booking at Moshi for one night

- transfer to Kilimanjaro airport on Day 6

3. Edgar wrote that he would send me the hotel booking confirmations as soon as he received an advance of US$335.

4. The deposit amount was sent to his account by bank transfer in January 2018.

5. After confirming receipt of advance on January 18, Edgar stopped replying to my emails and to my Whatsapp messages. I finally called him, and he assured me that he would send the hotel vouchers within a day. However, nothing came.

6. After checking directly with Serena Hotels, I was informed that a booking had been made - but for the wrong dates. Edgar apologised for the mistake.

7. Since February 13 I had been writing to Edgar to confirm if the dates had been changed and a fresh booking made. He did not reply for a month!

8. On March 13, I sent him the following email:

Dear Edgar,

I called you three days ago and you promised to send me the hotel confirmation vouchers by the evening.

Further, you had said that the bookings were made under "Edgar".

Serena Hotels has already confirmed that there are no bookings under that name.

I have forwarded you their email.

As I feel that I am being deceived by you for a long time, I am CANCELLING my visit.

I do not get a good feeling about this - and due to this sad and frustrating experience have no desire to visit Tanzania.

You are requested to kindly return the advance of US$ 335 that I transferred to your bank and acknowledged by you.

Incidentally, after receiving the advance you have not replied to a single mail of mine - I must have sent you over twenty of them. You answered the four phone calls I made to you and each time you promised to email the hotel confirmation vouchers. Sadly, you never kept your word. And, moreover, never made the hotel bookings.

In view of the above, please transfer the amount of $335 to my bank.

Look forward to your early action."

Threatened with cancellation, Edgar replied saying everything will be ok and I should not worry.

9. Meanwhile, Serena Ngorongoro was full on the days we wanted. Edgar suggested, on March 15, we revise our itinerary and first visit Ngorongoro and then Manyara. I agreed. However, he did not send any hotel vouchers - but assured on phone that everything was done.

10. Another couple - Mr and Mrs Ravinder Jain wanted to join us on the trip and transferred US$ 330 to Jiwe Adventures as advance deposit. The payslip conforming transfer of funds was emailed to Edgar on March 30.

11. On March 31, Edgar informs me that we can only do one full day crater drive!!! I sent him copies of his emails of January 15 and March 15 - in which he had confirmed one-half-day and one full day crater drive. That is how the tour was priced. Now he was not honouring his agreement.

12. On April 4, Edgar sends me a Whatsapp saying that since Serena Ngorongoro is full, he will book us at Sopa Lodge - to which I agreed. He said that Sopa had been booked. When I checked directly with Sopa, they said NO booking had been made.

13. On April 12, Edgar Whatsapps me saying Sopa is fully booked and he will now book us in Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge. I checked with Sopa again and Ms Innocent confirmed that they had rooms available for the days we wanted. Again and again, Edgar had been lying to me, misleading me.

14. The same day I wrote to Edgar saying that it seemed beyond him to make the hotel bookings for us - so I offered to make the hotel bookings myself directly with the hotels - and he should provide only the ground services - and we would adjust the deposit paid to him against that. Edgar agreed to this proposal.

15. Accordingly, I made the bookings directly with Serena Manyara and Sopa Ngorongoro.

16. Between April 13-26, Edgar again did not respond to my emails and text messages.

17. On April 27, he again texted that we would go down into the crater only once - again retracting on his agreement.

18. As he had been consistently lying, misleading me, not keeping his words or honouring the agreement - I felt uncomfortable dealing with him and informed him on April 28 that I did not wish to deal with him and he should return the deposit amount totalling US$665.

19. Edgar kept insisting through Whatsapp messages that he will provide the services and see us at the Arusha airport on May 26.

20. My last email to him was on May 4:

Dear Edgar,

As I have cancelled the arrangements with you, as you have not adhered to our agreement and have been consistently misleading me about the arrangements, you are requested to kindly refund the deposit amount of US$ 635 paid by Mr Ravinder Jain and me. This amount may kindly be handed over to Mr. Donald (Tel: 784713081).

If this is not done in the next three days.ie. by Monday, May 7, 2018, I will be reporting the matter to Mr. Victor Ketansi at the Tanzania National Park Authority.

I look forward to your early and positive response.

Best wishes.

21. He has not responded after this. Meanwhile, I have arranged with Mr Donald of Friendship Adventures to provide the ground services.

In view of the above, Tanzania National Parks Authority may like to take appropriate action against Jiwe Adventures and assist me in getting the deposit amount back, so I can pay Friendship Adventures.

Mr Edgar Sirikwa's mobile number is: +255 752971075

Many thanks and regards."

Visited: Tanzania Tanzania
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