Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 2047 – 2056: Visa Break in Nairobi

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Aug - 31 - 2016

I had planned to cycle further up towards the border of Ethiopia before catching a bus back to Nairobi to sort out my visa, but with the road turning into dirt and the villages getting smaller and smaller, I figured I’d better make the bus trip back to Nairobi now that I was still within a day away from civilization.

The bus trip was long and exhausting. After 24 hours of shaky travelling we finally arrived in Nairobi, and I was reminded why I’m travelling by bike. I prefer to be independent. Nairobi is located at 1800 meters and the first thing that struck me as I got out of the bus was the cool temperature compared to the heat down at Lake Turkana.

Through friends of friends I got in contact with David, the kind of guy who seems to know everyone! For example people at the embassy of Ethiopia which is indeed very handy when you are trying to obtain a visa. David also knew the friendly guys at Chris Froome’s old cycling club The Safari Simbaz who made sure my back wheel got back in shape after the beating it has taken lately.

Getting a visa for Ethiopia is easy enough if you apply in your home country or fly into Addis Ababa. Since I’m not planning on doing either, things get much harder.

The standard answer at the Ethiopian embassy is that they only issue visas for residents of Kenya, but through my contact and some persuasion it looked like it would be possible to make an exemption from the rule.

Meanwhile there was plenty of time to hang around with David and his friends as well as having a look around Nairobi.

I have visited the Danish/Kenyan author Karen Blixen’s house in Denmark and read her books so I enjoyed visiting her old coffee farm in Ngong Hills.

I even managed to watch a couple of stages of the Giro Italia while hanging around at David’s friend Nduati’s house. Thanks for such a great welcome guys – I really enjoyed my time in Nairobi!

After a bit over a week of repeated visits to the Embassy of Ethiopia I was finally able to pick up my passport with a shiny new 3 months visa. Victory at last!

And now, let the adventure continue…

Categories: Kenya
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One Response so far.

  1. A handwritten visa at that!