Chad Traveler Information - Travel Advice
Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Chad Traveler Information guide.
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Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.
PASSPORT VALIDITY: 6 months.
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: 2 pages.
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: Yes, obtain in advance.
VACCINATIONS: Yellow fever.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: Declare amounts over 5 million CFA.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT: Maximum of 5 million CFA.
Embassies and Consulates
U.S. Embassy N’Djamena
Telephone: +235 22 51 50 17 (Monday – Thursday, 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
Emergency after-hours telephone: +235 63 51 78 00
Fax: +235 22 53 91 02
See our Fact Sheet on Chad for information on U.S. - Chad relations.
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
Requirements for Entry:
- Visa, which must be obtained before traveling
- World Health Organization (WHO) card with yellow fever vaccination
Visit the Embassy of Chad website or the nearest Chadian embassy or consulate for visa information. Contact the National Police to extend your visa.
First time tourist or humanitarian/aid workers must:
- Obtain a registration stamp through the National Police within 72 hours of arrival.
- Bring two additional passport size photos for registration.
- Re-register if you are issued a new passport.
Once registered, any subsequent visits using the same passport do not require a registration stamp.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors or foreign residents of Chad.
Safety and Security
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of ongoing tensions and potential terrorist activity in Chad. See the Department of State's Travel Advisory for Chad.
Because of the unpredictable security situation, U.S. Embassy personnel are subject to restrictions when traveling in certain areas of N’Djamena as well as outside of the capital, including the Lake Chad Basin. The number of reported carjackings outside N’Djamena city limits continues to be high. No specific group appears to be targeted. The trend has shifted from primarily nighttime occurrences to both day and night.
Avoid the following areas:
- The Lake Chad area, which shares a water border with Borno, Nigeria, a Boko Haram stronghold.
- The regions of Ennedi-Est, Ennedi-Ouest, Borkou and Tibesti.
- The Presidential Palace Compound on Avenue Felix Eboue in N’Djamena (do not stop your vehicle in front of this compound; avoid driving by it at night).
- Avoid large concentrations of uniformed security elements and use extreme caution when visiting areas in which the military operates.
- Avoid demonstrations and use vigilance during your movements around the city. Even events intended to be peaceful can become violent.
- Maintain caution in areas frequented by foreigners, as they may present inviting targets for terrorists.
- Be cautious when traveling outside of N’Djamena and avoid travel along border areas.
- Monitor local news and consular messages.
- Register your travel to Chad via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
Areas of Concern:
Lake Chad: A state of emergency continues in the Lake Chad region. Chad remains vulnerable to attacks by Boko Haram, an extremist group based in northeast Nigeria, and its offshoot the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham– West Africa, (ISIS-WA). U.S. citizen missionaries in northern Nigeria, the Far North Region of Cameroon, and Niger have been targeted by ISIS-WA/Boko Haram.
Borders: Civil unrest in Central African Republic (CAR), Libya, Nigeria, and Sudan, occasionally result in cross-border clashes. A permit from the Chadian government is required for visiting the border zones near Libya and Sudan. Travelers may encounter increased border patrols and tightened border security.
Zakouma National Park: Heed all instructions given by guides or trackers. Poachers have targeted rangers.
Victims of Crime: Legal response or recourse for victims of crime is extremely limited. Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime. The Embassy’s role in local legal matters is strictly limited.
U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. If you are in immediate danger, first contact the local police by dialing 2020 throughout Chad (French/Arabic) and contact the U.S. Embassy at (235) 22 51 50 17.
Tourism: Limited formal tourism industry infrastructure is in place. Tourists are considered to be participating in activities at their own risk. Emergency response and subsequent appropriate medical treatment is not available in-country. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. You must always carry an acceptable form of identification; you may be taken in for questioning by the police if you are unable to produce identification on demand. Convictions for possessing, using, and/or trafficking in illegal drugs result in long prison sentences and heavy fines.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Photography: All photography requires a permit issued by the Ministry of Public Security and Immigration. It is illegal to take pictures of military sites, official buildings, airports, and public monuments. Such sites are not always clearly marked.
Telecommunications and Satellite Phones: Satellite phones are illegal. Travelers using satellite phones risk arrest and seizure of phones. Cellular phones are widely used. SIM cards can be purchased locally and used with a compatible cell phone. The two major providers are Tigo and Airtel.
Military Service for Dual U.S. – Chadian citizens: Article 51 of the Chadian Constitution states that military service is obligatory for both men and women. The conditions for fulfillment of this duty are determined by local authorities.
Currency: The Central African CFA franc (XAF) is the official currency. ATMs are unreliable. There are several Western Union and Money Gram offices in N’Djamena. Exporting local currency is prohibited and the export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared upon arrival.
Travel authorization (“autorisation de circuler”): Before traveling to a humanitarian zone or refugee camp, NGO humanitarian workers must submit a request for a travel authorization to the Ministry of Public Security via the “Commission Nationale pour l’Accueil et la Reinsertion des Refugies et Rapatries” (CNARR). Allow 3-4 days for processing.
The request should include:
- Visitor’s or institution’s request letter
- Copies of the passport’s biographical and visa pages
- CNARR application form
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report– see country reports
- Human Rights Report– see country reports
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: Strong social and cultural strictures against homosexuality exist, and no known LGBTI organizations operate in the country. The law prohibits but does not define “unnatural acts,” and could be used against LGBTI persons.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Access to transportation, lodging, and public buildings is limited. There are few sidewalks and no curb-cuts, and most buildings lack elevators.
Women Travelers: In addition to the safety and security measures outlined elsewhere in this document, you should be extra cautious when traveling in Chad, particularly if traveling alone. Steer clear of isolated situations that could put you at risk; never go walking or jogging alone in secluded areas, particularly at night; and never tell strangers, however friendly, where you are staying or disclose travel plans.
While the law prohibits marriage before the age of 18, forced marriage of underage girls and women remains a serious problem. The law also prohibits female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), but the practice remains widespread.
Although the law prohibits violence against women, domestic violence, including spousal abuse, is widespread. Wives have limited legal recourse in cases of abuse. There is no reliable data on the extent of sexual assault though it is widely acknowledged as a problem. Cultural and social biases often lead to rape not being reported.
See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Consult the CDC website for Chad prior to travel.
Medical facilities are limited throughout the country. In the capital, International SOS offers limited U.S. standard medical and emergency care including ambulances, referrals, and evacuation. Membership is required and should be purchased prior to arrival in country. There are five hospitals in N’Djamena. Hopital de la Renaissance is the only one recommended for use by U.S. citizens; however, adequate care is contingent upon personnel availability, some medical equipment is nonoperational and medical supplies and medical personnel can vary.
Over the past number of months, severe austerity measures and salary cuts have led to extended strikes by government employees to include medical staff, and many hospitals are not functioning properly.
Carry prescription medication in original packaging along with your doctor’s prescription.
You are responsible for all medical costs. U.S. Medicare does not cover you overseas. Most care providers require payment in cash CFA before treatment is performed.
Medical Insurance: If your health insurance plan does not provide coverage overseas, we strongly recommend supplemental medical insurance and medical evacuation plans.
In the summer, temperatures can reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Stay hydrated.
During the dry season (November-April), dust storms may diminish air quality. Protect against desert dust with a breathing mask.
Malaria is widespread. Use CDC-recommended insect repellents including DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR-3535. Sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers.
The following diseases are prevalent:
- African trypanosomiasis
- diarrheal illnesses
- hepatitis A
- upper respiratory infections
Further health information:
Travel and Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: In N’Djamena, main roads are paved; others within the city are dirt and gravel roads that have large ruts and potholes. During the rainy season, mid-June to mid-September, many roads become impassable. Numerous traffic accidents occur on a daily basis. Excessive speed, erratic driving habits, and chronic lack of road signs make driving dangerous. Street lighting is limited, and it is difficult to see pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchairs, and animals at night. Carjackings in N’Djamena have increased in recent months.
Other risks include:
- poor vehicle maintenance
- headlights that are not used
- vehicles with only one operable head light that give the appearance of being a motorcycle at night, often with deadly consequences for on-coming traffic
To mitigate the threat of roadside crime or becoming stuck in sand/mud when driving outside of N’Djamena, travel in daylight hours only.
- spare tires
- food and water
- satellite phone
- maps and navigation equipment
- extra fuel as it may be scarce in rural areas.
Professional roadside assistance service is not available.
Traffic Laws: An international driving permit is required. Use of cell phones while driving and/or driving a vehicle with tinted windows is illegal.
Roadblocks: Security forces set up spontaneous roadblocks in and around N’Djamena, especially after dark, to conduct vehicle searches and check passengers for identity papers. They may also solicit bribes and require drivers to submit to pat-down body searches.
- Dim headlights as you slowly approach the check point.
- Do not permit soldiers or police officers to enter your vehicle, and do not get into the vehicle of anyone purporting to be a security official.
- Comply with the local authorities and remain courteous and calm, and, if threatened, do not resist.
- Remain inside your vehicle with doors locked and open the window slightly to communicate.
- Show documents through the window. Carry color photocopies of your passport and other identity documents to give to police.
- Keep original documents in a secure location.
- Report harassment to the U.S. Embassy.
Accidents: Remain inside the vehicle and call for police. Although it is illegal to move your vehicle before police arrive, if a hostile mob forms or you feel your safety is in danger, leave the scene and proceed directly to the nearest police station to report the incident.
Public Transportation: Public transportation is not recommended for tourists. Privately operated minibuses are often not properly maintained and dangerous. Although taxis are available throughout N’Djamena, they are unsafe and should not be used. Hire private transport from reliable sources; travel agencies and local hotels may also be able to arrange private transport for you.
- Do not accept rides that are not prearranged.
- Confirm identity of the assigned driver.
- Decline, politely but firmly, unofficial airport assistance with your luggage.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Chad, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
For additional travel information
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
Have questions? We would love to hear from you. Send us a chat, Send us a Mail or alternatively Call Us at (650) 492-6298.
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