Saturday, May 5, 2012

...from Cameroon, enroute to Malawi

Have been in Yaounde, Cameroon the last week. Wonderful country, wonderful people but too much bureaucracy.
Getting a Visa to travel to Cameroon was one of the hardest experiences I have had to endure - and in the end, I  only succeeded din getting the visa after asking the Malawi Embassy in Washington DC to help. I will go out on a limb here and say that Cameroon has some of the most restrictive visa rules that I have ever encountered. Sometimes I get the impression that our countries have not bothered to revise the visa rules that were inherited from the colonial era. Ironically, these rules hurt travelers using African passports the most.
And negotiating through the bureaucracy at Yaounde Nsimalen airport on departure would merit a separate blog entry - just to say that getting one's bag opened and checked three times in a distance of less than 15 meters seems to me to be an overkill. Oh, and did I say that  there was no power  at Nsimalen Airport despite having a couple of night departing flights? Sigh.

I am now  en route to Malawi where I have some work for the next three weeks. It will be an opportunity to encounter the Joyce Banda government first hand. Looking forward to it. Will keep our readers updated.


Clement Liwera said...

Tell us more about this new boma of ours.Keep it up Ntwee!!!

Timon said...

I understand well that many countries of Africa have old-fashioned visa-roules. I like that on many it's possible to buy a Visa at the airport which makes it easy to get in the country.
As a Swiss citizen, Malawi is a "difficult" country for me two. I need to buy a visa at the embassy in Bruxelles, Belgium for 100€ (around 130$) for a single-entry-visa in advance.
The good thing about Malawi is that citizen of many countries, mostly donor-countries, can travel visa-free. But this exemption-list does not look well-considered for me: As a example, it contains only a part of the EU-countries. All members who joined EU since around 1995 still need visa like Austria and Poland (Switzerland is not a member of EU, but of Schengen which allows Visa-holder of an other Schengen-country without any controls)
Since it's possible to buy a visa at airport of most East-African as Swiss citizen (like Ethiopia, Kenia, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe) or for some we don't even need one (like Botswana, Namibia, RSA) it's far more difficult and expensive to get into Malawi.
I'm sure Malawi could attract many good-spending tourists if it's easier to enter this wonderful country.

Personally even my wife is Malawian I still need a visa to visit her family. but in future it's her job to deal with embassy...

what do you think about Malawi's visa-policy?