New entry rules Ethiopia: help!





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  1. #1
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    Default New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    Within the last 7 days some entry rules for Ethiopia seem to be being enforced. Officially the law always existed, but practically was never enforced, most people getting their Carnets stamped.

    In a Facebook group now, there are at least 6 people who have been refused entry unless they pay huge sums of money for (temporary?) import duties. One South African in a landcruiser worth ca. $10,000 in SA has been asked to pay US$ 75,000 (!!), which should be returned when he leaves the country, but none of the officers are really sure themselves if that would happen as it's such a new law. Carnets are not being accepted at all.

    From what I can glean, 4 of the 6 are in South African registered cars, the other 2 were on motorbikes, nationality or registration unknown to me.

    Obviously this all scuppers our plans a little for returning to Germany via Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

    Does anyone know who we should be talking to, who will actually pick up the phone? We've been trying the German embassy in addis, but they don't really want to go to much trouble it seems, as we are not actually in the country yet.

    It doesn't seem to be a South African thing, but I would like to double check.
    We would consider driving to marsabit/moyale and being turned away, but will avoid lake Turkana as omorate is just too far inside the country to be sure we could get back to Kenya without having to find such crazy sums of money (let alone the visa issue)...

    Does anyone have any pointers for who we should contact where to get some official, relatable information?

    Thanks!!
    Helen
    Last edited by Wickychicky; 2017/08/02 at 11:03 PM.

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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    Helen, I have been reading reports from exactly the same sources. This Ethiopian move seems terrible but clarity should emerge over the next few weeks. I will post here if anything new comes up.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

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    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    Thank you Stan!

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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    Oh dear, Helen.

    My advice would be to go and see the Second Secretary (or the Ambassador) at the Ethiopian Embassy in Nairobi. We went there and spoke to the Second Secretary about a year ago (when we were planning our trip to Ethiopia for January 2017). He was very friendly and gave us his personal phone number if we had any problems at Moyale in obtaining an Ethiopian temporary import permit (which was free in January 2017). If you also go to the German Embassy in Nairobi and obtain some sort of letter saying that you are traveling through Africa or ask them to contact the German Embassy in Addis to assist you.

    I know that some years ago the Ethiopians implemented a similar procedure which, at that time, required overlanders to obtain a letter from their embassy stating that they did not intend to sell the vehicle in Ethiopia. At that time, some people were stranded in no-man's land between Sudan and Ethiopia being unable to return to Sudan.

    Good luck.

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  6. #5
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    Default New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    Apparently we've managed to get the rules for tourists changed!!
    After several phone calls with the Ethiopian Embassy in Germany and a couple of phone calls today with some officials in Ethiopia, it seems the problem with entering the country as a self-drive tourist have been overcome.
    The embassy was rather sure that tourists hadn't been considered when the rules were implemented at the end of July and they will be official rectified in writing tomorrow.

    Unfortunately they said it would be easiest/best for us to use the Moyale border crossing, so my strong desire to go to Lake Turkana, either east or west, is postponed to another trip one day.

    We are waiting for Mr Odinga's next announcement following the election results, which was planned for today, but we assume everything will stay relatively calm. We still have time to turn around and go a different way home if unrest does start to break out.

    Also unfortunately for me, Jens doesn't want to linger at all in Kenya but get to the Ethiopia border as soon as possible: again, that gives us time to rejig routing if we can't get in after all, as well as give us a little breathing space for the Sudan visa in Addis.

    We are over the moon that it seems we can continue northwards, but I would have loved some time in Kenya, too.

    Fingers crossed what we've been told is right!
    Last edited by Wickychicky; 2017/08/15 at 07:02 PM.

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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    That is good news, Helen. Well done!

    Tell Jens he is missing "la creme de la creme" by whizzing through Kenya. But I do understand your anxieties over the election results. Let me know if you need any help on planning a route through Kenya. I have my ear to the ground (and excellent contacts).

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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    Helen that is good news about Ethiopia although I have seen nothing on the overlander forums yet. The Ethiopians created a ridiculous situation.
    It will be a great pity to need to hurry through Kenya. Are there not some areas, for instance in the west, that are more affected than others? In other words the areas that support Odinga rather than the Kikuyu areas that support Kenyatta?
    Landcruiser 76SW.

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    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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    Default New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    Our trip was definitely always 'bottom heavy' i.e. Concentrating in the South, and I think we were always concentrating on Ethiopia and Sudan for the top half, and even then only for 5 weeks in total.

    This means that we have a pretty tight schedule for getting me back to Germany/Czech Republic now for doing my 1 work project per year, though that blissful state of affairs has to change from next year!

    Which in turn means, we have 2.5 weeks for Ethiopia and max 10 days for Kenya, which jens would now like to cut to 6 at most!

    That seems to me to be a pure drive through exercise, with a stop at barnley's near kitale as first stop.

    It's all so compact it hardly seems possible to sensibly add anything on and better to return for an extended period of a month or 2 later (in a couple of years).

    If you have any massive highlights we shouldn't miss out on, that are really more or less en route, would love to hear and consider them! Masai Mara area and lake Turkana were really what we'd looked at and they don't fit in so well now.

    In fact, we so didn't expect Ethiopia to work out we'd planned our return to South Africa better than a northward route!

    Africa is definitely confirming her size and huge palette of adventures and marvels, wherever we go, and we have more time than most!

    Thanks
    Helen
    Last edited by Wickychicky; 2017/08/15 at 09:18 PM.

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  11. #9
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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    You may well already have set off from Jinja and are in Kenya. So, this may be too late. Although Barnleys is a wonderful place, it is out of your way when heading from Uganda (Tororo) to the Ethiopian border. You have a few choices which will give you a flavor of Kenya:

    • Tororo to Eldoret and camp near Eldoret at Naiberi Campsite (I haven't been but heard reasonable reports and it is well known to overlanders). Then from Eldoret down the Rift Valley escarpment near Iten to Lake Baringo (camp at Roberts). From Lake Baringo to Nakuru and then to Nyahuruhuru and Nanyuki. If you had time, you could go into Lake Nakuru National Park and/or camp at the Nightingale's farm near Molo.
    • Tororo to Nakuru on the main road. Camp at the Nightingale's farm as above or Lake Nakuru NP. Then Nakuru-Nyahuruhuru-Nanyuki. If you want to see some Kenyan animals near Nanyuki, then camp at Ol Pejeta Conservancy.


    Then I have documented the road north to Moyale and where to camp on my trip report in the Kenyan and Ethiopian sections of this forum under Ethiopia: From Nairobi to the Bale Mountains. Also there is Samburu National Reserve which is some 4 hours north of Nanyuki.

    Safari njema and come back to Kenya soon.

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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    The Nightingales' farm near Nakuru and Molo:

    http://kembucottages.com/

  13. #11
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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    Fabulous, thank you so much, WW!

    Actually we did make the detour to Barnley's yesterday.
    We spoke to him in some vague detail about the 3 options and he was still very much for the east side of Turkana.

    So just an hour ago we managed to speak to the final Ethiopian official, who we still needed to call and we asked if it might not be possible to go Turkana/Omorate after all and he said no problem!

    We are now heading back to Eldoret to go through the Kenyan formalities and quiz them about scenarios if it's not as simple as the Ethiopians say and we need to come back into Kenya.

    So we'll do Naiberi and Roberts after that (thanks for those) and then either follow previous instructions for going up the lake (thanks again for those), or these ones and onto Moyale as per the report.

    We have a third route from Dick about doing the lake and returning to marsabit and up to moyale if for some reason we change our minds, like impassable roads due to rain on the Ethiopian side.

    We're starting to get excited now! Fingers crossed it all works out well!

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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wickychicky View Post

    We have a third route from Dick about doing the lake and returning to marsabit and up to moyale if for some reason we change our minds, like impassable roads due to rain on the Ethiopian side.
    I hear what Dick says, but I would definitely NOT attempt the Chalbi Desert. If there is rain in Ethiopia the Chalbi will be impassable too. What I presume Dick is saying is route up the east side of Lake Turkana and at Loyengalani turn to North Horr and from North Horr over the Chalbi Desert - I wouldn't do this solo at the moment.

    But what he might be saying is up Lake Turkana to Loyengalani, then retrace back to near SOUTH Horr and take the new wind farm project road to Laisamis, then the new Tarmac road Laisamis to Marsabit - and then on to Moyale. This would be fine.

    Take Dick's phone number and then he can come and save you!

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  16. #13
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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    Take Dick's phone number and then he can come and save you!
    .

    Good news and good luck Helen and Jens. It looks like you are leading the charge for Ethiopia.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

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    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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  18. #14
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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    WW: exactly, laisamis. I didn't have the map open when I was typing before.

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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wickychicky View Post
    WW: exactly, laisamis. I didn't have the map open when I was typing before.
    Go tanked up with fuel, water and food - and have the most amazing adventure! So envious - the former Norhern Frontier District is one of the most fantastic and alluring parts of Africa. It will be very interesting to read your thoughts (being such intrepid travellers through the Stans, SE Asia, India and more...).Safari njema!

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  21. #16
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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    Hahaha, I'm not sure intrepid is the right term for us, but we do enjoy experiencing new cultures and nature!

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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    Ethiopia seems to be back open for tourist business!
    Happy to say we've arrived in our car and they've let us in with no hassles at all after one of the highlights of the whole trip: up the east side of Turkana lake!
    Incredible feeling
    I promise a short report soon.
    Helen & Jens

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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wickychicky View Post
    Ethiopia seems to be back open for tourist business!
    Happy to say we've arrived in our car and they've let us in with no hassles at all after one of the highlights of the whole trip: up the east side of Turkana lake!
    Incredible feeling
    I promise a short report soon.
    Helen & Jens
    Congratulations, Helen and Jens! Great news! So pleased that you enjoyed eastern Lake Turkana and all well on that off-the-beaten track route. Turkana is a very special place.

    Looking forward to reading your report.

    Enjoy Ethiopia.

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    Default Re: New entry rules Ethiopia: help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wickychicky View Post
    Ethiopia seems to be back open for tourist business!
    Happy to say we've arrived in our car and they've let us in with no hassles at all after one of the highlights of the whole trip: up the east side of Turkana lake! Helen & Jens
    Yes! Well done.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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