Visas

Here is some info about visas for the countries on my way in Africa.

Note: It is important for each visa application to bring a copy of your passport and at least 2 color photographs, and be ready to answer questions about your route, how you will travel and similar.

Note 2: All this info is about travelling on bulgarian passport. Of course there are many visas which are the same for most nationalities but not all so keep that in mind...

SYRIA:
I got the visa for Syria in Sofia, Bulgaria. I went to the embassy at "Simeonovsko Shose 13A", they asked me how and where exactly i'll travel, I told them that i'll travel solo by buses and trains and visit only cities where there are no military actions. They didn't ask me more. As usual, i lie in the embassies because if I say that I'll travel by hitchhiking, they will not give me the visa. They gave me two forms to fill out. Two photos, plus the completed forms and 70 euro (only accepted in euros) they told me to go back the next day at 13:00, i went and they gave it to me immediately. No trouble with this visa! The visa is valid for 3 months and starts the day you get it. You can enter and exit the country many times with this multiple entry visa. Each time you go out of Syria you pay around 12 $ exit fee. Visa is a whole page sticker.

LEBANON:
Visa is free and you get it at the border, it's actually a small stamp and it's valid for 1 month. You must fill only arrival card.

JORDAN:
Visa is issued at the border. It costs $ 32 but it's payable only in dinar, there is exchange office at the border. It takes about 30 min to get the visa, they take a photo of you and you fill out some forms. It's a half page stamp.

EGYPT:
You can get it at the border (in my case the ferry from Jordan) and it costs $ 15! At the port there is a small bank where you buy your visa sticker then go to the immigration and get stamped. It's a half page sticker.

SUDAN:
The visa for Sudan i got in Cairo for two days but first i got the Ethiopian (30$) because i think that's the only way to get sudanese without invitation letter. I said i have no invitation but i showed the ethiopean so they gave me transit visa for one month! The visa starts in the day when you apply so be careful! It costs 100$. You must have the passport photo and copy. You must apply in the morning, they open at 9:00. They give you the visa the next day. The embassy is very near Tahrir Square, in one of the small streets around. About the only open border crossing it's a ferry Aswan - Wadi Hafa, it's only on Monday. Ticket costs around 60 $/ 323 pounds and you buy it from the Nile River Valley Corporation office in Aswan (it's near the train st., just ask). For locals its completely different price of course! The ferry is extremely crowded, you must go early and find a good spot on the deck and put something like a bag or blancket to save the place for yourself because other people will take it, it's a big fight for sleeping space! The immigrations are on the ferry, apart from the stamp they must give you travel permit. And in 3 days you must register in police, which costs another 60$ in Khartoum and it's very very bad because they acept only sudanese pounds and all the banks refuse to exchange money so make sure you make your registration in Wadi Halfa and exchange enough money there, many people on the boat will offer you exchange! ATMs are NOT working in Sudan with any international cards! The visa is a whole page sticker and the registration takes a second page in passport.

ETHIOPIA:
Ethiopian visa was very easy, the next day i got it, it costs 30$ in the embassy in Cairo (Dokki area). They want filled form and photos. The visa is miltiple for 3 months. It's a whole page sticker.

DJIBOUTI:
I got the visa in Addis Ababa, it costs 40$ and they give it to you the same or the next day, i got it the same day because it was Friday. They want filled forms and photos. The embassy is in Bole, in one small street starting from Africa Avenue, just search for a sign. The visa is a whole page stamp.

SOMALILAND:
Got it in Addis, 40$, same day. No questions or complications, just filled form and photos. Keep in mind that this is the visa for Somaliland only and the embassy is the Somaliland one, not the Somalia one! It's a totally different visa for Somalia and it's not issued to tourists :( The embassy of Somaliland is in one of the small streets in Bole area, just search for the Mozambique embassy, it's near it. The visa is a whole page stamp.

KENYA:
Visa at the border for $ 50. Quick and easy. Just filled a form and that's it :) It's a whole page sticker.

UGANDA:
Visa at the border for $ 50. Easy, no questions, no documents. It's just a stamp.

RWANDA:
Visa in advance in the embassy in Kampala. It took three days and 30$, they didn't ask for any special documents, just the normal application form and photos. Visa is whole page sticker with a photo on it :)

BURUNDI:
Got it at the border for 40$ and it's valid for 3 days. Easy and fast. Make sure your dollar notes are not older than 2006, they don't take them at the border.

TANZANIA:
Visa for Tanzania i got at the border for 5 minutes and 50$. It's valid for 3 months and it's just a stamp.

ZAMBIA:
At the border, 50$ and it should be at least one month valid but the officer ask you how long you want to stay and if you say 5 days he will write on the stamp that it's valid for 5 days only so be careful! And keep in mind that the border from Tanzania closes at 18:00! I arrived at 18:01 and the officer didn't want to let me through but i convinced him, he was really angry though and stamped my passport two times! The visa is just a stamp.

BOTSWANA:
I don't need a visa, i get a small stamp on arrival. It's valid for 30 days.

ZIMBABWE:
Zimbabwe visa was a nightmare for me! After i was refused entry at the border from Zambia because i didn't have visa in advance, i applied in the Zimbabwe embassy in Gaborone, Botswana. The ladies were EXTREMELY RUDE, took my money (50$) and said come back after 10 days. I went back after 10 days - no visa, no money back. "Your visa was rejected, the reasons are in secret". No document to say why it was rejected and by whom. The assholes just took the money, put them in the pockets and never submitted the documents. I called the Zimbabwe immigrations in Harare, they said it's not our problem. Then i went to the border, bribed the policemen and after 4 hours bribing they gave me the visa (visa 50$, bribe 50$). I heard that similar story happened to other people too! So be careful if you need a visa in advance! The have a list of all countries at each border and check where your country is. Mine is in "C" category - need a visa in advance. :( The visa is a whole page sticker.

MOZAMBIQUE:
Got the visa in Harare, 24 hours to get it, 50$ and it's for 1 month valid, no special documents required, just two photos and a form. The visa is a whole page sticker.

SOUTH AFRICA:
I need a visa for SA and it's almost impossible to get it in any other country apart from my own. I tried in Botswana and in Zimbabwe - both refused. After three weeks strugling how to get the visa i decided to attack the SA border near Maputo without having a visa. Miracle happened and they let me through without a problem even though i need a visa with my bulgarian passport. The two possible reasons: they saw "Belgium' instead of 'Bulgaria" or they were just very very nice and didn't want to put me in trouble at 22:00 in the evening so they stamped me and let me through.

NAMIBIA:
Got the visa in Cape Town. 60$, 3 days waiting, they asked for motivation letter, a ticket and hotel booking, i booked a hostel for a night and cancelled after i got the visa, instead of ticket i gave them a green card of friend's car and i told them i am going to travel by this car, it worked perfect! The visa is a whole page stamp, valid for 3 months.

ANGOLA:
I got it in Cape Town, i guess the only place you can get it apart from your home country. I was very lucky that the consul accepted me personally and was very amazed by my trip. He gave me the visa in 2 hours, nomaly it takes 7 days and my visa is transit for 5 days (that's what i applied for), i gave them only the green card of a car and 130$. You can use this 5 days in 2 months period. But that was a good luck, it's not that easy usually, i heard about many people rejected and still trying. By the way CT and Pretoria are the best places in Africa to get visas i think! Visa is a whole page sticker.

DR CONGO:
In Pretoria, SA. 110$, transit visa, they wanted only the route and the application form, i told them i travel by car, the visa is valid for 2 weeks single entry but they do have many other visas for one month, transit and others with different prices. Embassy is on 791 Schoeman Street. Visa is a whole page sticker.


CONGO BRAZZAVILLE:

65$, transit visa, got it in Pretoria. Told them i travel by car, they asked for the route, green card, two photos and form. 3 days waiting, valid for 2 weeks. They need exact dates for the visa so you must know approximatelly when you will enter the country. Visa is a whole page sticker.

CAMEROON:
120$, got it in Kinshasa. 2 days waiting, valid for 2 weeks. They want hotel booking, made one on the net and canceled after i got the visa. I told them i travel by car as i did in almost all embassies of countries in Central and West Africa. Visa is a whole page sticker.

NIGERIA:
100$, transit for 7 days, got it in Douala, Cameroon after the embassy in Yaounde refused because i am not a nigerian resident. Again i said i travel by car, they didn't ask for any special documents but wanted to give me three days visa at the beginning. After i met the consul personally he said he will give me 7 days. Got it the same day. It's a whole page sticker. At the border again they wanted to give me three days insted of 7 but i insisted and they wrote on the stamp "valid for 7 days". They didn't care much about the validity of the visa that i got in the embassy.

BENIN:
50$, got it in Lagos for 24 hours. Just two photos and a filled form. Valid for 1 month, whole page stamp.

BURKINA FASO
122$, valid for 3 months multiple entry. Got it in Cotonou, same day, just photos and a form. Whole page sticker.

MALI:
80$ for 3 months, got it in Ouagadougou, it took 5 minutes, didn't fill any forms, no photos no nothing. Seems like the guy just took the money for himself :) It's a whole page stamp.

MAURITANIA:
60$ in Bamako, took a few hours, they asked for photos and a filled form. It's a whole page stamp.


MOROCCO AND WESTERN SAHARA:

No visa for 3 months stay. Just a stamp at the border.


Another important thing: a certificate of vaccination for yellow fever! Without it at some places they might not let you through the borders and generally when applying for a visa they may request it. Once i finish my journey i will describe in detail what I did to get it. Refers to people who do not want to be vaccinated! The others - you do not need my information!

5 comments:

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  2. Hahah :)) Thank you but the last passport i want to have on this Earth is U.S. passport :) I would rather prefer indian or syrian than american citizenship. But for now i am happy with my BG passport :)

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  3. Anonymous13/5/14

    How much money did you carry? As you've mentioned time and again that you've to pay for all these visa's. How were you able to that?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous13/5/14

    *visas

    ReplyDelete
  5. I had 1000 USD cash and the rest in my card. When the cash finished i just used ATMs and got more money to pay for the next visas. It was not that difficult, but the prices are different so you must research in advance and go to the embassy prepared.

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