Do you need travel permit to travel on Asmara to Nefasit train?
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Jan 9, 2011 9:36 AM Last Post By: jabiru
Dec 31, 2010 3:41 PM
Do you need travel permit to travel on Asmara to Nefasit train?Hello everyone
I'm travelling to Eritrea in January. I arrive in Asmara on a Friday night.
I'm really keen to travel on the old train service out of Asmara which runs on a Sunday morning (if enough people are interested).
1. Do you need to obtain a travel permit for that trip as you do to go to anywhere else in Eritrea outside Asmara?
2. If you do, is the Tourist Info office (where permits are organised) open on a Saturday morning and can permits be organised within that tight timeframe?
3. Is the train station office open for bookings on Saturday mornings? If not, is there another way of pre-booking?
Thanks in advance for any advice/info anyone can offer.
Jan 1, 2011 5:04 PM
I did this trip in May 2010 (hard to believe it is already last year).
I did not need a permit for the train trip. There are no police or army checkpoints on the train trip unlike on all roads out of Asmara.
I am not sure if the train station booking office is oficially open on a Saturday. I booked on a Thursday. However, the traffic controller who is in charge does work on a saturday. He confirmed my booking on a Saturday by coming to my hotel.
If you cannot find a phone number to ring and book in advance then go the station on Saturday morning. There is no actual booking office, you have to knock on various doors until you find the traffic controller. The building is on the right hand side of the street.
But if it is closed and you cannot book in advance, it is not the end of the world. Go along on Sunday morning - get there half an hour in advance of the departure time - and get your ticket on the spot. There is a woman who sells the tickets at a small table under an umbrella alongside the rail tracks. When I did the trip a few peole had not booked in advance and were still able to get on the train. The ticket cost me US$50.
Have a great trip. It is a good one and make sure you try the coffee specially brewed in the carriage.
Jan 3, 2011 8:22 PM
2No, you do not need a permit to go to Nefasit by train. My info is 4 days old. I left Asmara 2 days ago.
Jan 9, 2011 9:36 AM