Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts





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    Default Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Hi all,

    first of all, hello to everyone! I am new to this forum and this is my first post.

    I am looking for current information on northern african border posts, especially the Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts. Official government websites are not proving to be very helpful. I would like to know if some of you recently maybe crossed these posts or are planning to in the next month or two.
    Are these borders open for private vehicles?
    How strict are they regarding corona certificates?
    Is the mandotory 14 quarantine enforced when crossing from Djibouti over into Ethiopia by vehicle?

    Reason i am asking is:
    we will be driving down from Djibouti through, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Tansania, Mozam to South Africa.

    Vehicle is shipped from the UK to Djibouti by container and the trip will start beginning November 2020!

    You might ask why don't we wait for all the borders to open and the corona situation to calm down? This trip can unfortunately only happen now! there is unfortunately no other way.

    thank you for any information!!
    cheers
    Alberto

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Have you been following the news lately WRT ISIS activities in East Africa, especially northern Mozambique? If you're aware of all that and still want to do it, all the best of luck.
    2001 Gen 3 Pajero swb 3.2 Di-D

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Hi Alberto,
    Situation is still fluid and is changing almost daily - I am not aware of anyone posting on the forum who has recently crossed especially the northern borders (this post may attract more replies in the East Africa section, as that's where Ethiopia is grouped). Best would be to keep an eye on news sites like the BBC's Africa Service, and also have a look at Allafrica.com - it is a daily digest of reports from many of the regional news sources. You can access individual country reports on the site.
    Re the Mozambique warning posted above, yes, you should avoid travelling between the Tanzanian Rio Rovuma border south into Mozambique, you will have to go the longer way around - that coastal/inland route is currently unsafe down as far as probably Pemba.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2020/09/24 at 07:57 PM.
    Tony Weaver

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    Previously Land Rover 1968 SII, 1969 SIIA, 1973 SIII, 1983 Toyota HiLux 2litre, 2006 Land Rover Freelander TD4 HSE.

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Quote Originally Posted by alspal View Post
    Hi all,

    first of all, hello to everyone! I am new to this forum and this is my first post.

    I am looking for current information on northern african border posts, especially the Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts. Official government websites are not proving to be very helpful. I would like to know if some of you recently maybe crossed these posts or are planning to in the next month or two.
    Are these borders open for private vehicles?
    How strict are they regarding corona certificates?
    Is the mandotory 14 quarantine enforced when crossing from Djibouti over into Ethiopia by vehicle?

    Reason i am asking is:
    we will be driving down from Djibouti through, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Tansania, Mozam to South Africa.

    Vehicle is shipped from the UK to Djibouti by container and the trip will start beginning November 2020!

    You might ask why don't we wait for all the borders to open and the corona situation to calm down? This trip can unfortunately only happen now! there is unfortunately no other way.

    thank you for any information!!
    cheers
    Alberto
    Alberto

    I wish you the very best of luck, but I fear that your trip will throw up a lot of difficulties in this COVID-19 world.

    The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website can give you some pointers for many of your questions. However, things change all the time and local and country lockdowns can happen with a few hours notice which may not be updated immediately on the FCO website.
    This is what the FCO is currently saying about Djibouti https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-ad...ti/coronavirus.

    A quick search by me brings up the mandatory 14 day quarantine when entering Ethiopia.
    https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ethiopia

    For crossing from Ethiopia into Kenya, you may well have to either quarantine for 14 days (and this could be in solitary confinement in a hotel with the cost of such paid by yourself), or have a certificate of a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours before entering Kenya. The difficulty for this will be finding a laboratory in Ethiopia capable of doing such a test. You will need very good contacts in Ethiopia.

    You can find the FCO advice on Kenya on the internet or contact the Kenyan High Commission in London.

    The African countries are taking coronavirus very seriously (with the possible exception of Tanzania).

    Only you can answer the question as to whether it is morally right to undertake such a trip in these unprecedented times. I have driven through Ethiopia and into Kenya in more benign times and I can tell you Ethiopia is “not for sissies”.

    All the very best.

    PS: Tony Weaver (for once!) is wrong... For this forum, Ethiopia is under “North Africa”. But, of course, Ethiopia is neither North Africa nor East Africa - it is the Horn of Africa.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2020/09/26 at 01:22 AM.

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts


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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Welcome to this forum Alberto.

    I am convinced that any attempt to travel south from Djibouti - via Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda et al will prove a very fraught exercise if tackled within the next couple of months, as you propose. Pre-Covid, as it seems you know, this route would have been realistic with visas being obtainable at the point of entry land borders without any problems.

    I think you would most likely be in for a very frustrating and very expensive exercise if your journey is not delayed for a good few months until there is more clarity on the pandemic situation, as each country vacillates on how to handle trans-border travel. Most African countries have been taking their lead from the World Health Organization, which has been hardline on minimizing spread of the virus between countries. The costs and logistics of perhaps having to find decent and reasonably affordable accommodation for up to two week's quarantine after each border crossing boggle my mind.

    I would ask the shipping agent to keep your vehicle in storage in Djibouti if the shipping cannot be delayed. Things might look very different within the next 6 months to a year. Perhaps, if you can have a Covid vaccination certificate in the future, border crossings may not be difficult later on. This pandemic, it's behavior and government reactions are still unfolding and few can accurately predict what lies ahead, least of all in less predictable Africa.

    If you do proceed with this journey please keep in touch with this forum as it would be fascinating and informative to follow your progress.
    Stanley Weakley.
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    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-6-SLOW-DONKEY
    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Guys, thank you very much for your inputs and concerns. The trip as i said unfortunately can not be postponed, and we are going ahead with it. I am therefore looking for actual/current experience at the borders to Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya...ie. someone who has recently crossed at any of these points.

    Any current information will be helpfull. I will also post any current information i gather...and of coarse finally of our trip.

    Thank you for your help. Cheers
    Alberto

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Best wishes, be patient and friendly towards the officials.
    Stanley Weakley.
    Toyota Landcruiser 76SW 4,2L diesel.

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

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-6-SLOW-DONKEY
    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Ethiopia is supposed to be dropping quarantine 1 Oct. we will see.

    you still need negative PCRs to go over land borders between Tanz and Kenya.

    there are clinics near the borders where u can get tested. On the Kenya side, they have to be driven to Nairobi or Mombasa to be read - so it’s a multi day process and they have a finite lifespan/validity.

    on the Tanz side they must be driven to Dar.

    You are in for an adventure but I think u can avoid quarantine most places. I bet as long as u can be flexible and plan ahead carefully RE the PCR tests you’ll be fine.

    the various lodges have a handle on which docs in which villages to contact for testing.

    Good Luck! Make sure u have sat comms.

    Edit - realize u did not ask about Tanzania Kenya - it’s just info I have.
    Last edited by heyyahhey; 2020/09/25 at 05:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Thats what i was looking for, thank you!!

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Quote Originally Posted by alspal View Post
    Thats what i was looking for, thank you!!

    The bit on relaxing quarantine is just rumors I heard from travel agents there. As far as I know it’s still in place...

    Ive not driven - ever - in Djibouti, and not crossed land borders in Ethiopia. I’m reasonably confident only about what’s possible now in Tanzania and Kenya - and thats just from what I’ve been told by some lodge and hotel operators. The tricky thing, as others who have posted state, is that this stuff can change with no notice whatsoever. What I meant was if you are flexible to the point that being unable to cross a border, getting delayed for a week, two, etc, is part of the adventure, then fine. There are some who got stuck ... for months ... at their expense ... due to travel restrictions.
    Last edited by heyyahhey; 2020/09/26 at 04:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    It would be good to know a little more about yourself, Alberto.

    What experience do you have of overlanding in Africa? Where do you live? What languages do you speak? How long have you been planning this trip?

    Then those of us (Stan, Tony and myself) - who have actually been to Ethiopia and driven through all the countries you are asking about - can give advice based on what knowledge you have of the Horn of Africa, East Africa and southern Africa.

    I fully endorse Stan’s respected medical advice on the dangers and difficulties of attempting to drive through Africa during a global pandemic.

    I realise what Stan, Tony and myself are telling you is not what you want to hear. But...

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Alberto, the French consulate in Cape Town handles Djibouti's affairs here, so it is worth making contact with them. Visas take a while to get - if I remember correctly, I had to apply over a month in advance for mine.
    You should perhaps also make contact with the Africa Centres for Disease Control - they are coordinating the continent-wide response to the pandemic, and have almost daily updates on their website. Through my work I have fairly regular contact with them and find them very responsive and efficient.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2020/09/26 at 11:57 AM.
    Tony Weaver

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    Previously Land Rover 1968 SII, 1969 SIIA, 1973 SIII, 1983 Toyota HiLux 2litre, 2006 Land Rover Freelander TD4 HSE.

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    It would be good to know a little more about yourself, Alberto.

    What experience do you have of overlanding in Africa? Where do you live? What languages do you speak? How long have you been planning this trip?

    Then those of us (Stan, Tony and myself) - who have actually been to Ethiopia and driven through all the countries you are asking about - can give advice based on what knowledge you have of the Horn of Africa, East Africa and southern Africa.

    I fully endorse Stan’s respected medical advice on the dangers and difficulties of attempting to drive through Africa during a global pandemic.

    I realise what Stan, Tony and myself are telling you is not what you want to hear. But...

    Wazungu Wawili, here abit of background info:

    I am a south african and currently living and working as an engineer in Switzerland. Grew up, studied in South Africa before moving to Europe in 2007. I have done a couple of overland trips in southern africa (botswana, namibia, zimbabwe, mozambique) with our kitted Defender Puma, based in Windhoek. So no personal experience with eastern-, northern africa. For those countries I will be relying on the very detailed overland reports from Stan!!

    Languages i speak? Afrikaans, English, German, broken brazilian portugees and i can count to ten in Hindi. We have been planning this trip/vehicle for the past 2years and was supposed to start the trip july this year...and then the corona pandemic came along. We will be driving down our Defender XD 300tdi "Wolf" swb, which we will finally import into SA... One of the main reasons for the trip.

    We moved our trip back as far as possible and now have 2 choices. Ship the vehicle directly to SA or take a chance and attempt the journey down. (If you would have shipped it down, thats where you and I differ)

    I fully realise our timing for the trip is not ideal, but it is a now or never situation. I am hoping the situation will only get better from now on, and by november it might look different. If we ultimately have to wait at some border for a day or two/go into self quarantine so be it. The trip will continues after that.

    My current info gap is, as stated before, the crossing of the land borders with a private vehicle. All (except mozam) coutries, we are travelling through, are currently open to fly into, most of which only require a negative PCR test. I can not find any information on the land borders and hence the post. Official ethiopian websites also suggest that the land border djibouti/ethiopia is open since august.

    Thank you for any current land border related information! cheers
    Alberto
    Last edited by alspal; 2020/09/26 at 12:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Alberto, the French consulate in Cape Town handles Djibouti's affairs here, so it is worth making contact with them. Visas take a while to get - if I remember correctly, I had to apply over a month in advance for mine.
    You should perhaps also make contact with the Africa Centres for Disease Control - they are coordinating the continent-wide response to the pandemic, and have almost daily updates on their website. Through my work I have fairly regular contact with them and find them very responsive and efficient.
    Thanks for the info Tony.
    As far as i know Djibouti requires an eVisa which can be done online or even obtained at the airport.

    For ethiopia i initially thought we require only an eVisa but afterwards saw the eVisas are not excepted at the land borders. I read in Stans report that ethiopian visas are obtainable at the border when traveling north to south. Is that still valid ....Stan?

    "We will have toinvestigate exactly what is involved when re-entering Ethiopia from thenorth but if we can obtain a six month visa should be covered (Note: Visastraveling from north to south were obtainable without any issues at border)."

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    I’m looking forward to reading this trip report man!!!!

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Quote Originally Posted by alspal View Post
    For ethiopia i initially thought we require only an eVisa but afterwards saw the eVisas are not excepted at the land borders. I read in Stans report that ethiopian visas are obtainable at the border when traveling north to south. Is that still valid ....Stan?
    It was not difficult obtaining a visa travelling from north to south in recent times, preceding Covid. People were obtaining them in Khartoum, Sudan. I am completely unsure what has developed since Covid. Ethiopia was never happy to issue visas on point of entry at the land borders, unlike all East African countries excluding Sudan. I do not know if Ethiopian visas were/are obtainable in Djibouti.

    Can you not pay a visit to an Ethiopian embassy near you and find out more detail? As I think you have gathered, Ethiopia is likely to be the stickiest transit to organize.
    Stanley Weakley.
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    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-6-SLOW-DONKEY
    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Thank you, Alberto, for some background. Glad to hear you are a Land Rover driver.

    Some background on me. I am Kenyan born and bred, now living in the UK, but go to Kenya often (pandemics excepted) to visit my family. We drove our Puma engine Land Rover Defender just under 85,000 miles from the UK to Cape Town and back to Kenya between August 2013 and December 2014. We drove through Egypt just after the fall of the Morsi government - getting across the Mediterranean was our biggest challenge and we were on Plan E (a cargo ship from Italy to Ashdod in Israel). So, we are pretty robust and not that easily put off.

    However, my major reservation for your trip is the shipping into Djibouti and then crossing Ethiopia during COVID-19. Ethiopia, as has been said by myself and others, is the most difficult of countries for many reasons. Not being able to read Amharic, and English not widely spoken being just a few of the obstacles you will face dealing with Ethiopian bureaucracy.

    Once into Kenya, it is all relatively easy all the way down. They are all Commonwealth countries (with the exception of Mozambique) and the bureaucracy is less opaque. Dare I say it - they have mostly kept up the standards of the Empire!

    If I were undertaking a trip involving any sort of shipping, I would ship into Mombasa. Unless you have very good shipping agents and speak good French, Djibouti is likely to be a real headache.

    When we came down from Europe in 2013, we got our Ethiopian visas in Cairo - and others we met enroute obtained their Ethiopian visas in Khartoum. Visas were not available at land borders and from what I have read, they are still not available at land borders.

    When we drove up to the Bale Mountains in Ethiopia from Nairobi in 2017, we got our Ethiopian visas at the Embassy in London. When Stan drove south to north, he had to send their passports back to South Africa in order to get the Ethiopian visas. The Ethiopian visas had a relatively generous time validity.

    I am not on Facebook, but apparently there is an overlanding Africa Facebook group. You might hear of others about shipping into Djibouti on that group.

    I am getting information almost daily on the state of Covid restrictions in Kenya. Yes, they have eased up a lot in the past month or so, but a negative PCR test and certificate taken within 96 hours before entering Kenya is mandatory. Otherwise, 14 days quarantine paid for by yourself. I would not fancy being in solitary confinement in a quarantine facility or random hotel in Moyale for 14 days.

    As for entry into Tanzania, a negative PCR test is mandatory too. At least in Kenya it will be relatively straightforward to get this test and the required certificate. I would not like to attempt to get these tests done in places like Djibouti or Addis Ababa.

    Good luck and please let us know how you get on.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2020/09/26 at 11:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Quote Originally Posted by alspal View Post
    Thanks for the info Tony.
    As far as i know Djibouti requires an eVisa which can be done online or even obtained at the airport.
    OK, I see from your post just above that you are in Switzerland - I assumed you were in Strand, as per your embedded info.
    Tony Weaver

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    Previously Land Rover 1968 SII, 1969 SIIA, 1973 SIII, 1983 Toyota HiLux 2litre, 2006 Land Rover Freelander TD4 HSE.

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    Default Re: Looking for current info on Djibouti/Ethiopia and Ethiopia/Kenya border posts

    Alberto

    Take your budget. Times it by twenty. Take USD notes between 1 and 50
    Spend a lot of time on your negotiating skills.
    Triple your planned time on the drive down.

    Get a huge deep freeze in your vehicle. Buy lots of meat. Stop before each border post and light a huge fire.

    Start your braai.

    Make sure you have tons of beer.

    The immigration and customs peoples noses will start twitching.
    Your guests will start arriving.
    Entertain them and promise them that when you get through the border posts you will celebrate with them.

    This takes at least 3 days. At each border post.

    Propose marriage and have a dozen cattle ready for payment if the customs man has an ugly daughter.
    If she is bright add half a dozen donkeys and a camel or two.
    If she is pretty add a few goats.

    If this does not work go back home.

    Now you have crossed your first border post minus cows, USD and a few assorted goats.
    Welcome to malaria..
    Take your artemisia tablets.
    Make sure your GPS is working.

    Buy fuel but first filter it through a fine guaze if you are driving a Land Rover.

    Now eject the young maiden you bought for half a dozen cows and some goats.

    Keep driving at an average speed of 20kmh
    Find the best camp site free of mozzies, flies, bugs, snakes and spectators.

    CONGRATULATIONS. you have made it into the first third world country.

    Now don't give up only 8000km to go.

    ALL THIS INFORMATION IS A FIGMENT OF MY IMAGINATION.
    Have a wonderful time Africa is the best continent in the world.

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