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Scam-Ahmed Kassim-Baraka Aquarium Bungalows/Magharibi House

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Scam-Ahmed Kassim-Baraka Aquarium Bungalows/Magharibi House

I rented the adjoining beach house (Magharibi House) from one of the people who runs Baraka Aquarium Bungalows in Nungwi, Zanzibar, Ahmed Kassim Ahmed (0777484165) for the 2012 new years weekend. We received pictures of the house via email and paid a deposit to the rent the house for two nights through an agent in Stonetown. I confirmed verbally on the phone with Ahmed about the details.

When we arrived in the evening he tried to pretend that we had rented two basic, cheap rooms in what looked like an otherwise abandoned property across the road from his Baraka Aquarium Bungalows property. He refused to admit that he had switched the reservation and would not refund our money completely. After much complaining, he put us in another house far away from the beach in the middle of a field on the east outskirts of Nungwi town. He refused to negotiate significantly (reduced $100) on the amount of payment for the house and given that we were otherwise homeless with night setting in (everything is booked new years in the north of ZNZ - hence why some scam artists think they can take advantage of tourists like this) we were forced to stay there. The place was ok but definitely not a beach house that you rent for $250/day, the security was sketchy, the owner of the house used his key while we were staying there and we found him sleeping on the couch and cooking in the kitchen at times, and there was no water after the first day.

Upon leaving we argued that we would not pay full price as we were not given the beach house promised and things did not even work in the temporary accommodation. We tried to pay $60 of the remaining $150 owing and he started threatening the group and not letting us leave. He then went to the police station with us and started telling the police fabrications about our situation (that we agreed to pay several hundred dollars more, that he never switched the houses, that we were fleeing without paying). We ended up just paying the remaining amount to leave and not deal with their particular Nungwi police station version of justice. While in the police station Ahmed was verbally threatening my other guests with physical violence and retribution.

Do NOT do business with this tour operator, rent housing, or have anything to do with his businesses (Baraka Aquarium Bungalows, Magharibi House, etc).

Dan

California
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453 posts
18 reviews
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1. Re: Scam-Ahmed Kassim-Baraka Aquarium Bungalows/Magharibi House

Sorry to hear about your troubles.... thanks for the heads up!

Kampala
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3,256 posts
90 reviews
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2. Re: Scam-Ahmed Kassim-Baraka Aquarium Bungalows/Magharibi House

How stressful and what a disappointment for you.

Zanzibar
2 posts
1 review
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3. Re: Scam-Ahmed Kassim-Baraka Aquarium Bungalows/Magharibi House

I am terribly sorry to hear about your sad story in Zanzibar. Although I have nothing to do with Magharibi House or with Ahmed’s other businesses, I regret that you did not have a happy time during your holidays. We are both managers (not owners) of Baraka Aquarium Bungalows and he is always complimented by guests in our Guest Book for the caring way in which he treats the guests, for his good cooking and for being always available to solve their specific problems. I wonder if there was a smooth communication between him and the agent in Stone Town who might have overbooked (many guests don’t turn up in the end). Anyway, thanks for letting me know your version of the story in your email message. However, I am sorry you made this affect Baraka Bungalows reputation which has always ran beautifully and has nothing to do with Magharibi House.

With regrets and best regards,

Manuela.

Edited: 04 January 2012, 01:33
4. Re: Scam-Ahmed Kassim-Baraka Aquarium Bungalows/Magharibi House

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Removed on: 15 July 2012, 17:24
Edited: 15 July 2012, 17:24
5. Re: Scam-Ahmed Kassim-Baraka Aquarium Bungalows/Magharibi House

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Removed on: 17 July 2012, 05:38
Liege, Belgium
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1 post
2 reviews
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6. Re: Scam-Ahmed Kassim-Baraka Aquarium Bungalows/Magharibi House

Hello,

We would spend a few nights at Baraka aquarium bungalow in September 2012 but before I look at the reviews on the forums. I see your comments and wonder about my reservation. Can anyone tell me if the problems with the individuals identified are resolved?

thank you very much

Fanny

7. Re: Scam-Ahmed Kassim-Baraka Aquarium Bungalows/Magharibi House

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum posting guidelines with regards to family-friendly language and/or subject matter. We will remove messages or topics that contain objectionable language and images (avatars or links to pornography), including but not limited to profanity, obscenity, vulgarity, pornographic literature, racial slurs, hate speech, personal insults, hostile comments and threatening language.

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Removed on: 15 July 2012, 17:24
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
1 post
39 reviews
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8. Re: Scam-Ahmed Kassim-Baraka Aquarium Bungalows/Magharibi House

It is a shame that you have experienced such an unpleasant exchange associated with the Baraka Aquarium Bungalows. This 2012/13 New Years, I actually stayed at that "otherwise abandoned property across the road" (which was, yes, very basic, and a poor option given what's around), but saw very happy guests at BAB, and thought the staff and accommodations there looked quite lovely.

In my experience, when travelling through Africa, one must bear in mind that no matter how much you try to plan your adventure, it will still be an adventure. Things will not always go the way you hope; communication is easily mistaken, and arrangements are lost. You must be flexible, and when countered with a situation such as this, I have seen many foreigners react so terribly, where no one is understanding each other, and things get way out of hand.

I would thus like to give my praise for the BAB, and hope that newcomers to Zanzibar treat everyone they meet with an open mind, so that even when things go wrong, a happy compromise can be found. There is not so much scamming as you may think - it's all in how you approach the situation!

Stanley, Falkland...
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32,532 posts
74 reviews
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9. Re: Scam-Ahmed Kassim-Baraka Aquarium Bungalows/Magharibi House

Hi meganrachel,

How on earth did you find this old post? Respect!

Zanzibar
2 posts
1 review
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10. Re: Scam-Ahmed Kassim-Baraka Aquarium Bungalows/Magharibi House

Thanks , Megan, for your kind text and let me remind guests once more that "that otherwise abandoned property across the road" has nothing to do with BAB. We have no responsability in the conditions offered accross the road.

The manager of BAB