NAIROBI, Kenya, June 17 – Two African football fans have been forced to abandon their hitchhiking road trip from Cape Town to Cairo to attend the African Cup of Nations starting in the Egyptian capital on Friday.
South African Bafana Bafana football supporter Botha Msila and his Zimbabwe travelling partner Alvin Zhakata were stranded for three days at the Kenyan-Ethiopia border town of Moyale after being denied visas by the Ethiopian authorities to pass through the country.
They had to cut short their trip on Sunday and returned to Nairobi to look for another mode of transport to Egypt or to go back home.
“I found that it is going to be difficult for us to pass through the border so I choose not to be a difficult person to other countries,” said Msila on Twitter.
“I feel that it is better for me to go back to my country to get a visa… or take another mode of transport to go to Egypt.”
Ethiopia introduced visa immigration requirements for all Zimbabweans and South Africans travelling by road through the country starting in March this year, but there is a visa waiver for those travelling by air.
Msila and Zhakata had covered almost two thirds of their 11,000km (6,800 miles) road trip with about 4,600km remaining across Ethiopia and Sudan before entering Egypt, where the African Cup of Nations will be played between June 15 and July 19.