ZAMBIA to TANZANIA
Date: 7th August 2013
Border Post: Zombe / Kapesha
This was definitely the most unusual border we have crossed!
This required physical visits to 3 different places!
1. First, a visit to the customs office in Mpulungu at the ferry port. They perform the necessary stamping of carnet and checking of carbon emissions form – but the tear off piece of carnet is given to the official (or was he?) at the border.
2. Then, drive from Mpulungu to Mbala (40km) for a visit to the immigration office. We skipped this step, but I would recommend getting stamped here rather than at the border.
3. Now, drive 20km from Mbala to the border. This road is rather rutted, and it took almost an hour to cover the distance.
4. We found an official in a tiny little white building. He could take our carnet form, but couldn’t stamp our passports. The Immigration official needed to do that – and he was having lunch with the Tanzanians!! (Hence the recommendation to get stamped in Mbala). We waited for him to arrive (about 10-15minutes) then handed over our completed departure forms. After a little page turning in the passports, we were finally stamped and released.
Then, we proceeded the 300m or so through No Man’s Land and parked outside the Tanzanian border office.
1. Immigration first in one office. There seemed to be 4 people behind the counter – although we couldn’t figure out seniority. We filled in arrivals forms and handed them over with our passports.
2. Norwegian passports are required to pay US$50 for the single entry visa, while RSA passport got a freebie. There was a slight lack of sense of humour, but we eventually received passports back with 90day visas stamped in.
3. Then, it was time for customs. We headed over to the very empty, echoing room that was customs. There was no-one there, and it took a little while to track the customs official down.
4. The official was very friendly, seemed to have a sense of humour – almost – and was familiar with the carnet (hooray). All he wanted was US$20 for taking the vehicle in (receipted) and US$5 fuel levy (again, receipted). He also stamped the passport with “entered with vehicle”.
Our COMESA vehicle insurance was still valid, but I am not sure we could have bought insurance at the border if we had needed it. Also, there was nowhere to change money into Tanzanian shillings – not a money changer in sight!
All in all, it was a surprisingly slow process crossing the actual border, especially considering we were the only ones: an hour in total. But, it was significantly less hassle than crossing the border at Tunduma (the main border crossing on the Great North Road from Zambia into Tanzania) where we have heard a lot of unreceipted fees need paying.
FYI: COMESA Yellow Card Insurance, covers Burundi, DRC, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. You need to purchase normal insurance for the first country you enter, and then COMESA is an endorsement purchased once you are in the country. The cost of the COMESA endorsement depends on the number of further countries you want to travel into: 1, 2 or 3+. Zambia appears to be one of the cheapest places to buy COMESA insurance.
Keywords: border crossing from Zambia to Tanzania; overland border crossing from Zambia to Tanzania, Zambia Tanzania border crossing