More info about hitchhiking and visas

For going to Rwanda i had to apply for a visa in advance in the embassy in Kampala. It took three days and 30$, they didn't ask for any special documents, just the normal application form and photos. Entering Rwanda from Uganda at Kabale was kind of slow, not much traffic but easy border crossing, no hassle. Hitchhiking in Rwanda was easy and fast on the main roads and slow on the dirt roads in the countryside. People don't expect payment but i asked in advance anyway, just to make sure everything is clear. Visa to Burundi i got at the border - 3 days transit visa for 40$. Easy and fast. Make sure your dollar notes are not older than 2006, they don't take them at the border. Hitchhiking in Burundi was weird, i got lifts mostly by taxis and minibuses for free :)) Most normal cars didn't seems to be exited about picking up a hitchhiker but in the south, direction Tanzania it went fine. I crossed the border with the less traffic in the south, direction Kigoma. The last 20 km before the border are a dirt road and the immigrations are not at the border itself but in the village! You must find them and go there first otherwise you will be turned back when you get at the actual border. Keep in mind that there is not that much traffic at this border. People in Burundi and Rwanda are very friendly and kind. Visa for Tanzania i got at the border for 5 minutes and 50$. In Tanzania i had the feeling that i went back to Kenya :) The first few days i hitchhiked and walked on a dirt road between Kigoma and Nyakanazi, there was not much traffic and it went to be slow. Hitchhiking everywhere in Tanzania including the center and suburbs of Dar Es-Saalam was very good and easy. Never had a single problem but keep in mind that police is highly corrupted so they might make problems to your driver trying to get money out of him (i had this: the policemen checked my passport and saw my visa but he went to the driver outside and told him i have nothing in my passport so i am illegal and he must pay for me!) So be careful about this! I went to Zanzibar by the ferry for Christmas, you don't need another visa but you do get a stamp on arrival but not on departure. They will check your yellow-fever certificate at the port. This is the first place where i got checked for this. I made mine on the computer (photoshop and coreldraw :)) before i left home and if there is someone else here who is against vaccination and needs the files i can send it to you after i get back home. Zanzibar is paradise, easy to hh but i actually walked most of the island. Crossing Tanzania to Zambia is easy, you get visa at the border for 50$ but keep in mind that border 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! HH in Zambia is a little bit worst than Tanzania but still good. Some people will not pick you up if you say you want a free ride but still most of them will take you. Zambia is very expensive! Prices are much higher than Tanzania and actually all the countries in the south of Africa are way more expensive! I was planning to get visa for Malawi in Lusaka but i gave up because it costs 150$ for bulgarians. I went to Zimbabwe and tried to get visa on arrival as most nationalities (i knew i need a visa in advance) but they didn't let me through and i went to Botswana instead. Crossing to Botswana is easy, i got a stamp on arrival. The border is the river and you get on a ferry to cross for 5 minutes. There is not much traffic after the border but once you get a lift to the first bigger town you'll find cars easier. HH in Botswana is a bit more taff because everyone expects payment and there is a bunch of hitchhikers at any spot that you go to. What i did is i just walked and hitchhiked on the road itself, not at the hitchhiking places where everyone stays. I always asked if the ride is free and it went fine for me. Got to meet lots of wonderful people. In the SA embassy in Gaborone i was kicked out when trying to apply for SA visa because i am not a resident of Botswana. In the namibian embassy same thing happened. In the Zimbabwe embassy 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$). In Harare i tried again with SA visa. They kept me 4 days and asked for a bunch of documents. After i brought everything they kicked me out very rude because i am not zimbabwean resident! I was so pissed off, i went to Mozambique (got the visa in Harare, 24 hours to get it, 50$ and it's for 1 month valid, no special documents required). Hitchhiking in Zimbabwe was easy, you have to say that you don't want to pay and most people will take you and even lots of them will invite you home! They are very hospitable and welcoming to foreigners. Don't take any photos in the cities, police might arrest you or if not you'll have to delete the photos if they see you taking photos of official buildings. Border crossing Zim-Moz is fast and easy, many people crossing this border. Customs are fast, no hassles if you have the Moz visa. I saw people issuing visas at the border but i also met two germans who told me they were turned back because the mashine printing the visas was not working at the moment so it's better to get it in advance. Hitchhiking in Mozambique was easy as well but people don't speak English and there are less cars on the roads. You must be clear about the free ride as well. I didn't stay in Moz long, 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. This border crossing is full of cars, easy to get a lift. HH in SA is fantastic, of course a bit slower than in other african countries because people are afraid to stop but the once who stop are amazing. When you are at the highways you are not allowed to hh there, you must stay at the gas stations or at the entrances to the highway, it's like in Europe. Everyone will tell you "don't hh in SA, it's extremely dangerous". Forget about this bullshit, it's safe and people are very nice but they are too much scared of their own country :) The media is making everything much bigger than it is. I am already more than 2 weeks here, i got my visas for Namibia in CT (60$, 3 days waiting, they asked for motivation letter, a ticket and hotel booking, i booked a hostel for a night and cancelled after i got the visa, instead of ticket i gave then a green card of friend's car and i told them i am going to travel by this car, it worked perfect!) and Angola (yes, the impossible Angola :)) I was very lucky that the consul accepted me personally and was very amazed by my trip and invited me for a dinner blahhhh i had to decline politely it was not easy :)) but he gave me the visa in 2 hours nomaly it takes 7 days and my visa is transit for 5 days (that's what i applied for), i gave them only the green card and 130$. 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 is the best place to get these two visas i think! And the best city to be stuck in :)) Now i am in Pretoria waiting for my DRC visa tomorrow (100$, 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. The Congo Brazzaville takes 3 days to proceed and it's also 2 weeks the transit one that i will apply for tomorrow. They want green card (or ticket) and the route. I hope these two will work out easily for me and then i start heading north direction Morocco and then home :)
So that's for now, i missed lots of things but no chance to write everything, it's too much info :)

1 comment:

  1. Sometime it takes lot of times on visa approval, having no knowledge of visa process make it more difficult. So I always encourage people who keep sharing their experience on visa process. Thanks for sharing your great opinion which relate to visa process.
    Best Regards, Ale Rossi
    Visa for Australia