Preparing for Ethiopia

Trip Start May 03, 2011
Trip End Jan 31, 2013

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Flag of Kenya  , Nairobi Area,
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I had to get back to Nairobi since I heard that it is possible (and safe) to travel over land to Ethiopia. For me there are a few reasons to do this. First flying is more expensive than going by land, and going by land allows me to start in the south of Ethiopia and then make my way up. If I fly in I have to cover a lot of distance from Addis to get to the south and afterwards back up. The last reason is a personal one and the fact that I have only been flying in to Africa and did everything by land and I would like to complete that for Ethiopia as well.

Getting the visa at the Ethiopian embassy turned out to be difficult. I already called my contact person there but when I was at the embassy I got all kinds of questions about what I do and if I have proof that I worked in Zambia etc.. Apparently it is not allowed for non-Kenyan residents to get a visa over land. I told them I met several and that I came back to Nairobi especially for this etc and eventually they gave me one month starting on that specific day. I begged for letting it start 2 days later (because that is the time I need to get to the border) but there were in no way cooperative.

Since everything at the embassy took so long I missed the bus to Marsabit which starts of from a very dodgy area in Nairobi Eastlands. Apparently this is Somalian terrain and I didn't really feel comfortable walking around there so I was happy that I took a taxi. When informing for ways to go to Marsabit an undercover police man wanted to talk to me and I said at first that I didn’t believe he was a policeman and walked back to the taxi. Oops…he was a real policeman and just wanted to check my intentions because some bad things happened in this area of Nairobi. Ok no bus but there are trucks so 2 hours later I sat in a truck with 3 others for 15 hours!? to Marsabit. There I got out to recharge my energy for the next trip to the border.

Practical stuff

-          Do not take trucks from Nairobi to Marsabit because they take very long and are uncomfortable. You better take the bus which goes from 9th Street somewhere in Eastlands every day at 15.30 hrs, be on time! I try never to take taxis but in this case it is a good idea because it is a very dodgy area there.
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