Passing to Abkhazia from Enguri Border

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zinaibre
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Re: Passing to Abkhazia from Enguri Border

Postby zinaibre » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:43 am

Hello guys,

any news about it? is it reopened?

I will be visiting Georgia from 20.12.19~5.01.20 and I would like to visit Abkhazia. Is it a good idea to go there during winter?

thanks.
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JosephDB
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Re: Passing to Abkhazia from Enguri Border

Postby JosephDB » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:09 am

I heard from the foreign ministry on the 23rd. Apparently the border is still closed and they don't have any information as to when it may reopen.
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mnfiveb
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Re: Passing to Abkhazia from Enguri Border

Postby mnfiveb » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:51 pm

Enguri border crossing work again - Russian news.
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Milad
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Re: Passing to Abkhazia from Enguri Border

Postby Milad » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:01 pm

Hi, thanks a lot for your report! Do you have a link to your source? I searched Google News in Russian and did not find anything.
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kazanskiitatar
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Re: Passing to Abkhazia from Enguri Border

Postby kazanskiitatar » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:06 am

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dxdiag
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Re: Passing to Abkhazia from Enguri Border

Postby dxdiag » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:12 pm

Latest report:

After the reopening of the border, I re-submitted my entry clearance application and received it 5 days later.

Crossed to Abkhazia on 18/10. I failed to find a marshrutka to the border after getting off the overnight train at Zugdidi station. Tooked a taxi to the border (got charged 15 Lari) and the officer couldn't speak English. He pointed at his watch, which means I was required to wait until 10am.

I (Chinese passport) waited and met 3 EU passport holders who arrived later. At 10 o'clock the officer told us that we are OK to go. Walked about 20min to the Abkhazian side, where Abkhazian officers (in pure green clothes) checked our passports, made some phone calls and kept a copy of each entry clearance. We asked for stamps and he was willing to stamp our passports.

Processed to the Russian passport control. Russian officers checked our backpacks with detector and waved us through. The actual passport control was as slow as in Russian airports, while I can only see the officer's hand through the glass. Anyway, hassle free. No one was questioned by any side.

Since we have 4 people together, we found a taxi driver which would drive us directly to the visa office to Sukhumi for 2000 Rubles. We made photo stop halfway. Visa costed 400 Rubles, only payable in cash although there was a POS machine.

Got a Sim card from an A-Mobile store near the visa office. 500 Rubles, 1 GB for 7 days. Aquafon is nearby, too. The store accepts cards but all of my cards (despite being Visa/Master) didn't work.

(If you did not catch a marshrutka directly to Sukhumi from the border, you may buy one at an A-mobile store when transferring between marshrutkas in Gal)

Getting back to Zugdidi:
I took trolleybus No.1 to Sukhumi Railway Station for 5 Rubles. (If you take marshrutka, it should be 10). Bus routes are available if you use Yandex Maps. There are plenty of marshrutkas and the first marshrutka to Gal departs at 8:00 am (may be earlier if it's full), 250 Rubles.

Transferred to another marshrutka to Ingur (border), 50 Rubles. I only have 100 notes and the driver was unwilling to give me a change until I reached out my hand. The trip from Sukhumi Railway Station to KPP Ingur was 2 hrs.

The Abkhazian officer waved everyone through before seeing my foreign passport. He thought I was from Vietnam, I just answered "Nie, Kitay". He stamped my passport (I didn't ask for it). The actual passport control by Russians took away my visa, even if I asked to keep it as a souvenir.

Walked 20min to the Georgian side. The police officer spotted the Abkhazian stamp, but said nothing, since I am not doing anything illegal. (I think if you have a PSOU stamp instead of INGUR you will end up in trouble)

There was a waiting marshrutka bound for Tbilisi. I got charged 30 Lari. When leaving Georgian territory the passport control officer spotted the Abkhazian stamps too, but said nothing either.

One interesting thing is that the entry stamp showed a pedestrian, while the exit stamp showed a car. Really exotic passport stamps.

stamp.jpg
stamp.jpg (206.73 KiB) Viewed 1243 times
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dxdiag
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Re: Passing to Abkhazia from Enguri Border

Postby dxdiag » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:30 am

Update 24/10:

Having Abkhazia stamps (Ingur) in passport is not a problem when re-entering Georgia.

Re-entered at Sadakhlo checkpoint, officer saw the stamps without comments.
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Albuquerque_snorkel
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Re: Passing to Abkhazia from Enguri Border

Postby Albuquerque_snorkel » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:55 am

American citizen, I just crossed this border yesterday. Thought I would share my experience.

Getting the approval letter for the visa required a few resubmissions, but only because I was trying to figure out the earliest I could enter Abkhazia. Basically, they made me wait 7 business days from the date of my application letter, though the letter was ready after just 5 days.

I stayed the night in Zugdidi and took a taxi to the border in the morning around 9:30. (I didn’t feel like walking to the mashrutka station and the taxi was only 6 lari when booked through maxim app—it’s definitely worth a download). I arrived around 9:45 to the Georgian side.

The Georgian officers took my passport and made me wait about 30-45 minutes. Not sure what the hold up was, but it was no big deal. They were super friendly, even let me use their toilet while I waited. Around 10:30 they gave me the okay to walk across the bridge.

On the other side, I presented my passport and letter to the 2 Abkhazian guards who are basically in this really tiny hut. I had to wait about 20 minutes here while they (presumably) were verifying with the head immigration office that I was okay to enter. They were also very friendly and didn’t ask me any questions. Once they got the okay, they let me through (and let me keep my invitation letter). The officer asked me if I wanted the stamp in my passport before stamping. I said yes, but I suppose it’s possible to say no.

The real annoying bit was at the Russian control. After handing my passport and letter over to the guy, he looked through my passport for at least 5 minutes. He then walked out from behind the glass, came up to me, and asked me to take a seat off to the side. Someone came up to me and checked my bag quite thoroughly. And about 30 minutes later, another officer who spoke some English came to me and asked me a bunch of basic questions (why are you here, where will you stay, how long will you stay, what do you do for work, etc). Even after all of these questions, I was made to wait at least another 30 minutes until they finally waved me through. The Russians kept my invitation letter, which was my only copy. This ended up not being a problem. I’ll note that no one was aggressive or mean and that I never felt like something bad was going to happen. It was just frustrating to wait that long for no apparent reason.

Finally on the other side, I tried to find a mashrutka to Sukhum but I was told there were only rides to Gal. The driver told me it was 100 rubles, but I asked a local on the actual mashrutka and she said 50. I gave the driver 50 when I exited (that’s what everyone else gave too) and he didn’t say anything. The ride to Gal was quick and easy, though we did have to wait 15-20 minutes for it to fill up. Mashrutkas to Sukhum depart from right next to where you are dropped off in Gal. 250 rubles. I was one of the first ones in that van and had to wait about 1.5 hours to fill up before we left. Another quick/easy ride, I arrived in Sukhum around 2:30 local time (note: abkhazia time is one hour behind Georgia time). Made my way to the immigration office and paid 400 rubles (cash only) for my visa. Even though I entered a day after the date on my invitation letter, the officer gave me 10 days from the date of entry (so I can exit the day after the date stated on my letter). Also a very fast process.

Overall everything was very easy and straightforward, though it involved tons of waiting. From leaving zugdidi to arriving in Sukhum took me about 6 hours.
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JosephDB
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Re: Passing to Abkhazia from Enguri Border

Postby JosephDB » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:59 am

Update from the other day (29th of November)

Arrived at the Georgian side around 9:15am. Handed our passports and clearance letters to the Georgian guards, and were told to wait. They ended up keeping our letters, although I think they would return them if you asked. After about 40 minutes we asked and were told we should be through within 20 minutes. 2 hours and a half later (at 12:30) they let us go through.

After crossing the bridge we handed our passports (British and German) to the Abkhaz guard who was extremely friendly although spoke absolutely 0 English. After 20 minutes or so he came back and said something to me in Russian, way above my elementary level. Thanks to Google Translate we found out that one of us was not on the officially approved list, and I understood it was me.

I called the foreign ministry who said they'd look into it, but then the guard explained it was my girlfriend (German) who wasn't on the list. I tried calling the ministry multiple times but they never answered again. At around 14:30 Georgian time we gave up and went back to Zugdidi.

We both got our clearance letters a long time in advance.

Returning to Georgia was done in about 2 minutes, the guard just typed some of our passport details in.

Overall all the guards were extremely nice, with the Georgians giving us clementines and oranges from Abkhazia, and the Abkhaz trying hard to explain to us what the problem was, even if he refused to call the ministry on our behalf. The Georgians were extremely relaxed with the situation, waiving all the locals through on the way to Abkhazia, and quickly coursing through documents only when an extremely full Marshrukta came back the other way. Instead the Abkhaz ones insisted on checking everybody's documents.
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