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Good blog and also some handy info, I will be going from Djibouti to Yemen later early next year, currently in Pretoria leaving in a fortnight heading up the East coast so any one out there may see you on the road.
UAE: no visa, just a stamp for 30 days. 20 Dh. to pay when leaving.
Oman: 6 OR at the border, one month
Yemen: 90 days at the border, 15 or 17 OR (depending on which border you use!). You may have to insist to get 90 days (before they glue it in!) as they gave me only 30 days. This is the only of the three where you need a carnet.
This applies to Schengen citizens, others will have to check elsewhere.
I take it from you post that you are European. Ok, for what I know is that you will automatically get a visa for the UAE and Oman, either at the border or airport. For Yemen though, you will have to get a visa in either of these countries or before you leave home. I got mine in Dar Es Salaam ($60US) and several days. My wife got hers in Muscat (14 OMR) and 1 hour. So I suggest that you go to the emabassy once your in Muscat and get it there, even here people are friendly and helpful!
If your flying into Sana, Yemen. Then I hear that you can get one from the airport but don't quote me on that.
I am really not sure if you can get one in Djibouti I didn't see a Yemani Embassy there. I would first try Addis, they would have one there and it is cheaper that Djibouti to stay for a few days. Djibouti really hasn't that much to offer and is expensive.
Rob, I don't know about Aden I sailed from Al Macha as have most people, I have heard that the large boats won't carry you and there is no ferry. I will send some pics to your email mate.
just get a permit at the police station and you can go to most places. only if the police feels certain areas are really unsafe, they'll give you an escort, or if they don't feel like it, redirect you. but there's always one route open.
Just left yemen. Entered from Djibouti at Al Mokka, and traveled escort free through Taiz to San'a.
In San'a the tourist police would not issue a travel permit east to Shibam through Marib (the normal escort city) because of the Belgium killings.
Only option was to go south to Aden and along the coast to Oman. Made it 20km from San'a before the escorts started. Lots of phoning around and waiting for the police to decide what to do with us. The police in a Hyundai Sante Fe crammed with soldiers would bring us to the next police stop where sometimes they would exchange us for a new escort, or sometimes continue to the next. Take lots of photocopies of your travel permit. Everybody wants one. 20 would not be too many.
At sunset trying to get to Shuqra (with Yemens only slow driver at the wheel of the escort car) the police would not let us go to the town (2 km from their police checkpoint) and we camped behind the garbage dump - i mean their office.
After Al Mukulla on the way to Oman was the only part of the trip where we were allowed to travel without escort, and had a nice couple bush camps on that stretch.
There would be plenty of super bush camps and dirt roads all over the show if one would be allowed to go there.
It is hard to be angry with the police for being cautious or concerned for our safety, but nothing says "TOURIST COMING YOUR WAY" more than a blue and white police car with lights flashing and siren wailing leading a motorcycle or two. We met with the director of security of Taizz and his explanation of the shooting was tribal conflict between the tribe in Hadramut and the government.
apparently it just depends on who you run into. a dutch biker & friend of ours who's there now got a permit for the sayun-marib-sanaa road and even camped there. had to take an escort with him to visit the marib site, though.
the coastal escorts vary. we didn't have any when going, but one on the way back.
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