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Isibania border crossing logistics

Rocklin, California
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Isibania border crossing logistics

Once in Isibania how much time in general should we count on for getting across the border? We are traveling the end of July.

We will probably not have our Kenyan visa's yet since when we arrive at NBO a week before we continue on to Kilimanjaro without leaving the airport.

Should we go ahead and get our visa's at NBO to save time? We will have about 3 hours between flights.

Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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1. Re: Isibania border crossing logistics

Your question is kind of like - How long is a piece of string? At most border crossings it doesn't take all that long, I've never been more than an hour. But it's all according.... according to what you are having... according to whether the border crossing people are in a good mood.... according to how many more are crossing at the same time. So no one can know for certain how long this will take. Passport control people can make your life difficult, if they want to.

Get your Kenya visa when you cross into Kenya.

Rocklin, California
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2. Re: Isibania border crossing logistics

Karl.....so do you suggest we get our Visa's when we arrive at NBO then to save time once we get to the border? Would a 3 hr layover at NBO leave us with enough time for that?

Saint Paul...
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for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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3. Re: Isibania border crossing logistics

I've crossed into Kenya via Isebania at least a couple of times and it wasn't a problem. I don't remember much, so that's a good sign, probably. I've never purchased a Kenyan visa in advance so I certainly purchased it at the border. I don't remember much. Oh, wait, I do remember, it was pouring and I hid out at the Kenya visa office for a while taking cover, not waiting for a visa.

Like Karl said, there might be a line, there might not, but I don't remember a line.

Rocklin, California
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4. Re: Isibania border crossing logistics

So then once we make it thru the border, how long does it take to get to the airstrip at Migori?

Does Safarilink have a shuttle to pick us up at the border?

Isle of Man, United...
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5. Re: Isibania border crossing logistics

rgd. You are overthinkng this. Visas at borders are trouble free, unless you are on a wanted list. Getting one in advance is pointless as you are immedately exiting again. (that is if you actually get to the Immigraton desk from "airside")

One thing is certain, the Immigration people at a land border are always much more relaxed and friendly than their colleagues at an International airport who get faced with a stream of applicants for the whole of their shift.

Your question about shuttles should be addressed to SafariLink or Coastal.

I assume the whole route from Serengeti Camp to Maasai Mara camp will be a seamless transfer otherwise there will not be any point to it.

Rocklin, California
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6. Re: Isibania border crossing logistics

mfuwe - Yup, I am overthinking the visa's...We are not on any wanted list :) so it sounds like getting them at Isibania will be easy enough.

Time is my big concern here. Our last night in TZ will be at Lemala Mara which I am told is a 4 1/2 hour drive to Isibania. Isibania to Migori is 30 km and the Migori - Mara North flight leaves at 12:15 so we would have to make it to the airstrip by 11:30 at the latest. If we miss the flight, we're done.

Contacted Safarilink and did find out there are no Safarilink shuttles, but that taxi's are available. Do you know anything about the taxi service?

Plan B would be to forget about flying from Migori and just select a camp in the Mara that we can reasonably drive to from the border instead of being stressed about missing the one and only fllight of the day.

So, any suggestions for small tented accomodations in the Mara that would fit the bill?

Isle of Man, United...
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7. Re: Isibania border crossing logistics

I confess to being puzzled.

There is surely a regular organised trip. Fly from Lemala to Musuma, Shuttle through border post to Migori and then fly on?

Or am I missing something here?

Saint Paul...
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8. Re: Isibania border crossing logistics

Musoma would not be close enough. Musoma is out of the way from Lemala Mara to the border.

I heard once that they started flights to Sirari or Tarime. Who? I can't remember, but certainly Safarilink should know more. I remember they were trying to collaborate with an airline in Tanzania (someone like Coastal, Regional, Air Excel, something like that) to allow for relatively quick transitions at that border.

Notes: The nearest decent-sized town on the Tanzania side is called Tarime. I am guessing they might be the ones with an airstrip. It is still a good hike (meaning you can't walk it) from Tarime to the border. The very tiny town at the border on the Tanzania side is called Sirari. This is so close to the border, that once you are there, you can easily walk to Kenya after checking out of Tanzania and then check into Kenya. There are lots of public transport options all around here. You could take a taxi, a motorcycle (yes, you ride them like taxis) or even hire someone with a bicycle. You don't have to find them. They will find you. Once you cross to the Kenya side, it should be a similar situation with everyone trying to offer you transport for a cost, and they could get you to Migori. And, everyone will be trying to help you change money as well. Don't do it! If you want to change money, step aside quietly to a local shop (duka) and ask them if they would be willing to change money - but try to research the rates before you try this or you might get a bad deal. And count your money very carefully - watch for slight of hand.

Back to the topic: Safarilink should be able to provide some assistance on these logistics. I, too, am nervous for you to try to catch a 12:15 flight in Kenya from Lemala Mara... Is your tour operator driving you all the way to Sirari?

If you can't find a flight to Sirari or Tarime, and Safarilink can't help you figure this out, then maybe you will just want to fly from the Serengeti back to Kilimanjaro and then up to Nairobi and back down to the Mara. Yes, that's quite a journey, but you may want to ask about that option and then compare the two for timing and length of struggles you would experience on the ground and in the air.

Isle of Man, United...
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9. Re: Isibania border crossing logistics

My mistake. I got Musoma confused with Tarime. This is the place that the regular 'shuttles' operate from. They surely use a bus/coach between the two strips as part of the package? Or did that service cease to function?

Edit. Princess sandi had this to say in February.

<Believe on the flights at the West/Isebania... it's Coastal that flies from Serengeti to Tarime airstrip, does the road transfer to border crossing; on Kenya side, Safarilink does the transfer to Migori airstrip and then their flight to the Mara. Air fare is not inexpensive, somewhere in excess $400/person... for some, better than 12/hrs on the road. >>

Problem solved.

Edited: 09 November 2012, 23:07
Saint Paul...
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10. Re: Isibania border crossing logistics

Not sure if the problem is solved. But the mystery appears to have been solved. Next question: Is Coastal actually operating flights to Tarime?