Border Crossing : Ethiopia - Kenya (21 August 2009)

Omorate, Ethiopia crossing to Banyafort, Kenya (processing in Kenya done in Nairobi)

Paper work



Comesa card

Ethiopian Customs form

Visas - We had applied for visas in UK and bought a multiple entry visa from the Kenya Embassy for US$100 each which they said was valid for entry into all East African countries - Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.  We later learnt that this is NOT correct as we had to buy additional visas at the Ugandan border for US$50 each because according to the Uganda border, East Africa doesn't exist! For the moment though, it was ok for entry into Kenya.

Exit Costs from Ethiopia


Entry Costs to Kenya


Time to cross

Omorate - 35 minutes process for all 3 vehicles and 5 people

Nairobi - 20 minutes process, 2 hours travelling time in city traffic


On arrival in Omorate, as soon as you pass the police check point (a boom across the dirt road), turn left and drive to the Immigrations and Customs office.  Parking is available directly in front of the beige, single story building.  We were greeted by a baby baboon clinging to a dog.  This is Africa!  The Immigration office is second from the right as you look at the building and the Customs office the one to the right. 

Hand in your passports where they are stamped for exiting and your details registered in a very large book.  Then its over to Customs where the Carnets are processed (with a little prompting from you on what and where to fill in...).  They should ask for the Customs Form from you (completed and received on entering Ethiopia - we weren't asked but at Moyale we understand they do ask for this).

There is another Immigrations office at the border - a simple tin shack - but here they will just check your passports and again enter your details into a large book.  If you have by-passed Omorate, they will stamp your passports out of Ethiopia here but they won't stamp any carnets.

Crossing over into Kenya happens simply with no offices available for passport or carnet stamping although at a police station in Ilheret, your details are again entered into a large book.  So for Customs and Immigration into Kenya, you will need to wait until you reach Nairobi before this can be done.

Once in Nairobi you will need to go to the Immigration offices - 2 big orange buildings (twinned) on the corner of Uhuru and Kenyatta roads.  Actually its just off the corner of Kenyatta through the roundabout and there is pay-for parking opposite.  With the Nairobi traffic being so heavy, we got a taxi to ferry us about.  Find your way to the back of the 1st building and follow the signs for Alien/Foreign Registration.  In that office ask for a landing card to complete  from any of the counters and once this has been done they will take you to a man at a desk behind the counters who will stamp you in.  They are aware that there is no office in Banyafort, the first town in Kenya after the border and they will stamp you in the same date that you were stamped out in Ethiopia.

Once this process is complete, go to the Times Towers in Haile Selassie Road just off Uhuru.  Every person entering the building needs to hand in there passport in return for a pass but this is done in the Customer Relations office.  You must get a receipt for your passport.  Here tell them that you want the Enforcement Department on the 4th Floor.  Take the lift to the 4th Floor, follow the covered bridge/walkway across to the 2nd building which is open plan and at the Enforcement Department, you carnet will be stamped and processed.

All over rather quickly and simply as long as you know where to go and who to ask for.