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a VirtualTourist member from Utrecht


Ethiopia - Djibouti by train

Hi World travelers!

I am planning a trip from Ethiopia to Djibouti by train YEAH and FOR SURE looking forward to it. My question: is it possible to get my visa arranged in Addis or Dire Dawa? How much does it cost in BIRR?

Hope someone can give me tips!


6 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Wakefield

The train is not really a viable option. It SOMETIMES makes journeys of goods. Some days it runs, some it does not. It is not geared up for passengers that pay and don't wish to get robbed. I watched people in Djibouti wait 5 days for it to arrive. Never saw it show up.

I flew on a specail deal with Kenya airways. If you have time you can get even cheaper with Djibouti Airlines, but it only flies about 2 times a week.

What passport do you hold? Some nationalities can get a visa on arrival.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Wakefield

Just looked at your home page. EU nationals can get a visa on arrival at the airport. For land you need to get it at Addis. Mine took 2 days to get (standard practice) and sometimes they take 3. They aren't real big on Tourists from anywhere except France (the only nationals who do not need visas). Eritrea is difficult as well. Bizarely its easier to get to Somaliland/Somalia officially.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Utrecht

Thank u VERY much for your info!
Maybe doing train to Djibouti (leaving from Dire Dawa) and fly back to Addis, saving time on way back.
Fixing visa in Addis is no problem! I will have more-than-5 weeks to get around!

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Wakefield

I would check with a tour compnay in Dire Dawa. I know for a fact the trains haven't run between Addis and Dire Dawa for years. Seen the sheds and tracks in Addis with my own eyes (and Djibouti as well).

I have only seen the Dire Dawa station driving past and taking a quick picture in Dec 08. Even recent posts describe different days and frequency of the train. It does run, just no reliabel way to say when.

Good luck and please build us some tips and pics if you make that train!

All the best,


answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Wakefield

By the way, the price in the past was only a few dollars...

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Utrecht

Yeah, course I will make pictures and let virtualtourist know how it was!

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