TogoOfficial Name: Togolese Republic
Must be valid at time of entry
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Yellow Fever vaccine required for entry.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Embassies and Consulates
4332 Boulevard Eyadema,
Cité OUA, B.P.852
Telephone: +(228) 22-61-54-70
Emergency After-Hours Telephone:+(228) 22-61-54-70
Fax: +(228) 22-61-54-99
Togo is a small West African country with a developing economy based primarily on agricultural production and port activity. Following a sustained period of political instability that began in the early 1990s, Togo has made considerable progress in recent years, highlighted by a succession of relatively free and fair elections in 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2015. Although significant challenges remain, Togo’s economy is developing by instituting business reforms, improving its health care and educational systems, and making significant new investments in infrastructure. French is the official language, while the most commonly spoken local languages are Ewe, Mina, and Kabiye. Some tourism infrastructure exists within the capital city, Lomé, and the cities of Kpalimé and Kara. Outside these areas the infrastructure for tourism is underdeveloped or non-existent. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Togo for additional information on U.S.- Togo relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
A valid passport and visa are required. Visas issued upon arrival in Togo are limited to seven days and can be extended at no cost during the seven day period, although travelers will need to surrender their passport to Togolese authorities for several days, and they may experience delays in receiving the extension. To apply for a visa at a land border or the airport, you will need to complete an application form, and provide a passport photograph and 15,000 FCFA (approximately US $30). Some land borders with low-traffic may not be able to issue a visa on arrival. Visas issued at an embassy abroad may be issued for a longer validity. In response to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa, Togolese authorities are screening incoming travelers for fever or other EVD symptoms.
To apply for a Togolese visa in the United States, you may contact the Togolese Embassy in Washington, D.C. at (202) 234-4212. The Embassy of Togo is located at 2208 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008. If you are overseas, inquiries should be made at the nearest Togolese embassy or consulate. Visit the Embassy of Togo website for the most current visa information.
U.S. citizens should carry copies of their U.S. passports and vaccination records with them at all times while traveling in Togo so that, if questioned by local officials, they have proof of identity, U.S. citizenship, and required vaccinations readily available.
Documentation of Yellow Fever vaccination is required for all individuals entering Togo who are over one year of age. You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Togo.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Safety and Security
U.S. citizens are urged to avoid political rallies and street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times. Togo experiences periodic strikes, demonstrations, political tensions, and political violence, especially during the lead-up to elections. Land borders with Ghana and Benin are typically shut down during elections within any of these three countries. Demonstrations can often arise with little advance warning. and quickly disintegrate into conflict or violence, including tire burning, stone throwing, and the use of tear gas, water cannons, and other crowd-control methods. Demonstrations and strikes also frequently lead to the closing of roads and public services such as hospitals and schools.
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Togo on Twitter and by visiting the U.S. Embassy’s website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
Environmental Hazards: Nearly all of Togo’s beaches have large surf and powerful undertows, so swimming is dangerous. There are some hotels and restaurants just to the east of the Port of Lome where a long stone reef creates a calmer area where many locals and visitors swim at their own risk. There are no lifeguards or emergency services.
Togo is vulnerable to floods, particularly during the rainy seasons. Floods and normal road degradation can lead to hazardous road conditions such as washed out roads, mud pits, and other unpredictable driving conditions. A number of people are found perished in gutters and wells near roads, with no known cause.
CRIME: In recent years, Togo has seen high levels of violent crime throughout the country. Incidents have included machete attacks as well as firearms-related crimes. U.S. citizens are strongly advised against going to public beaches or beaches where no security is provided at any time of day or night due to the frequency of muggings, especially against foreigners. At night time, U.S. citizens are strongly advised against going to the Boulevard du Mono, known as the “beach road”, the Ghana-Togo border areas, and markets. In the cities, parking should only take place in secured areas or where security personnel are present. Travelers are advised against visiting the Grand Marché area alone during the day, and at all after dark. Pick-pocketing incidents and theft are common in Togo, especially along the beach in Lome, in the market areas, and anywhere with large crowds.
Burglaries are frequent in the major cities. Most expatriates have 24-hour security guards at their residences and businesses. There are incidents of carjackings and other violent crime on the roads. Theft while riding in taxis is common, as thieves steal bags, wallets, and passports. Don’t share taxicabs with strangers. When using taxis, negotiate before you get in and insist that the driver not stop or wait for additional passengers.
Foreigners are targeted for robbery. U.S. citizens should be aware of their surroundings and the people present when coming and going from hotels, offices, banks, and residences. To lower the risk of ATM scams and robberies at ATMs, travelers should carefully choose only ATMs that have 24-hour security in established areas.
There have been reports of break-ins on parked cars to steal the items within the car. The criminals force their way into the car through the door or by forcing down a cracked window, and move quickly to take any accessible or visible items. Additionally, criminals steal motorcycles, both parked and in moving traffic.
Maintain a low profile. Do not do anything that draws unwanted attention. Do not flash money or wear conspicuous jewelry. When going out, carry only what you need. Foreigners are targeted for robbery. You should be aware of your surroundings and the people present when coming and going from hotels, offices, banks, and residences. Control your belongings by carrying bags and purses on the front of your body where you can see and touch them, especially in crowded places. Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to people and activities in close proximity to you. In particular, you should closely monitor your surroundings when using ATMs because of petty theft during and after ATM usage. You should only use ATMs during the day and choose ATMs with many people and guards around if possible.
Criminals are known to use ruses to trap victims while driving, such as make-shift roadblocks and checkpoints, or using a supposed injured person in the road to stop traffic so that other criminals can carjack or rob those who stop to help. Criminals are known to follow their intended victim(s) to their residence or other destination, taking advantage of an opening car door or gate to rob the driver and household, and take the car.
Illegal roadblocks form routinely, especially outside of the major cities and at night. Most are harmless; but some use it as a ruse or as part of an attack strategy. You should not travel between cities at night. Tourist buses have been hijacked and robbed by bandits.
There have been incidents of organized violent crime, particularly in Lome, often involving foreign criminal organizations. These include targeted beatings and killings, sophisticated armed robberies, and the use of fire as a weapon.
Internet Financial Scams: Perpetrators of business fraud often target foreigners, including U.S. citizens. Formerly associated with Nigeria, these fraud schemes are now prevalent throughout western Africa, including Togo, and pose dangers of both financial loss and physical harm. An increasing number of U.S. citizens have been targets of such scams, resulting in the loss of considerable money, ranging from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Typically, these scam operations begin with an unsolicited communication, usually by e-mail or Facebook, from an unknown individual who describes a situation that promises quick financial gain, often by assisting in the transfer of a large sum of money or valuables out of the country. In some more sophisticated cases, the first contact is made in live chat forums or after open-source research has been done on the intended victim. The perpetrators often pretend to be U.S. citizens or military personnel, or other diplomatic functionaries. As a general rule, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Common e-mail scams involve an individual claiming to be a U.S. citizen who is “trapped” in Togo and needs financial assistance to return to the United States or receive urgent medical care. More sophisticated scams include targeting U.S. businesses and ordering a large amount of their product, if the U.S. business provides banking information or pays legal fees.
In a variation of these internet-based advance-fee schemes, individuals spoof or mimic official U.S. Department of State email addresses in an attempt to lend credibility to their fraudulent activities. The U.S. Embassy has seen a rise in schemes in which the criminals represent themselves as Togolese government officials and defraud investors of large sums of money. The best way to avoid becoming a victim of fraud is to use common sense. Do not wire or transfer money to anyone you’ve never met in person. You should carefully check out any unsolicited business proposals originating in Togo before you commit any funds, provide any goods or services, or undertake any travel. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be a U.S. citizen in trouble, ask him/her to call the Embassy directly at (228) 22 61 54 70.
Piracy: Maritime crime, including armed robbery at sea and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea remain threats for the Government of Togo and its regional neighbors. While governments and regional organizations have taken some steps to combat the issue, concern remains over the reported number of incidents and levels of violence. If you are visiting any coastal areas in Togo, you should be alert to the threats of armed robbery at sea and piracy and move inland if you detect a potential threat. If you are caught in such an attack, you should comply immediately with any demands made by the aggressors and avoid any action that could be interpreted as an attempt to escape. See our fact sheet on International Maritime Piracy and Armed Robbery.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Togo is “117” for police and “118” for fire and ambulance.
Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Togo, you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. Persons violating Togo’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Togo are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Buying or using drugs may result in an indefinite period of detention. Illicit drugs, particularly marijuana, cocaine, and some pharmaceuticals, are regularly seized by drug enforcement entities. In Togo, you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you or if you take pictures of certain buildings. The importation of any security equipment, including binoculars and toy weapons, is generally prohibited though irregularly enforced. In Togo, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. If you break local laws in Togo, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted in the United States for engaging in sexual conduct with children or for using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country regardless of the legality of these activities under that country’s laws. Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal in the United States and if you purchase them in a foreign country, you may be breaking local law as well.
Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Currency restrictions include a limit of up to US $10,000 for entry and exit into Togo. Photographing subjects affiliated with the government of Togo, including official government buildings, border crossings, checkpoints, police stations, military bases, utility buildings, airports, government vehicles, and government or military personnel, is strictly prohibited, and local authorities will confiscate film and cameras. Government buildings are not always clearly identifiable, as they vary from being very well marked to not being marked at all.
Power outages, voltage fluctuations, and water shortages happen occasionally throughout the country. Credit cards are rarely accepted in the country. Travelers planning to use credit cards should know which cards, if any, are accepted before they commit to a transaction. Travelers should keep all credit card receipts, because unauthorized card use and overcharging are common. Some major banks have Automatic Teller Machines that dispense local currency, but they will only accept Visa cards. Travelers will not be able to withdraw money using MasterCard. Well-known money transfer firms, including Western Union, operate in Togo.
WOMEN TRAVELER INFORMATION: Female genital mutilation (FGM) or female genital cutting (FGC) is practiced in four of Togo’s five prefectures, and it is estimated that four percent of girls and women between 15 and 49 years of age have been subjected to the procedure. The highest incidence is in the region around Sokode, Togo’s second-largest city. If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: Consensual same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Togo. Penalties include fines and up to three years in prison, although it is rarely enforced. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Togo, you may review the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page. Open displays of LGBT affection, or affiliation with some LGBT issues, may draw unwanted attention or hostility.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Togo, individuals with disabilities will find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States. While the law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, mental, intellectual, and sensory disabilities in employment, education, access to health care, transportation, or in the provision of other state services, the Government does not effectively enforce these provisions and there are few accommodations made for the disabled. The Government does not mandate accessibility to public or private facilities for persons with disabilities, although some public buildings have ramps. There are very few sidewalks in the country, and handicapped access is not prioritized in construction or planning. U.S. citizens with disabilities that hinder mobility should consider this information when planning travel to Togo.
For fire and ambulance emergency services in Togo, dial 118. These emergency services exist only in the cities of Lomé and Kara and are poorly equipped. Medical facilities in Togo are limited and of very poor quality; emergency medical care is inadequate. Medical care is substandard throughout the country including major cities. All travelers should have adequate evacuation coverage. In the event of a serious medical condition, medical evacuation to Western Europe is likely to be necessary. Visit the State Department’s web site for a list of air ambulance/MedEvac/medical escort providers. Patients may encounter shortages of routine medications and supplies and counterfeit medications are a frequent problem. Credit cards are not accepted for payment of medical care.
To date there have been no cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Togo. The Government of Togo is implementing public health preparedness measures that follow the World Health Organization EVD response plan for countries at risk. As part of its emergency preparedness plan, the Government of Togo has established an EVD telephone hotline and is conducting outreach throughout the country. Togolese authorities have asked any individual who has traveled to or from the affected countries or has been in contact with anyone who has travel history to any of the affected countries AND who displays symptoms such as fever, severe headaches, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pains, and lack of appetite to call the hotline at 111.
Mosquito borne illnesses such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya are a significant problem throughout Togo. The most effective way to prevent these illnesses is to prevent mosquito bites and obtain the yellow fever vaccine.
Travelers should carry and use insect repellents containing either 20 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Treating clothing and tents with permethrin and sleeping in screened or air conditioned rooms under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets will help diminish bites from mosquitoes as well ticks, fleas, chiggers, etc., which may also carry infections.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is highly prevalent throughout Togo in all seasons. Before traveling, you should discuss with your doctor the best antimalarial medication. Atovaquone-proguanil (Malarone), doxycycline, or mefloquine (Lariam) are appropriate antimalarials for this region. Chloroquine is no longer recommended due to the high incidence of resistance. For information that can help you and your doctor decide which of these drugs would be best for you, please see CDC’s “Choosing a Drug to Prevent Malaria.” If you become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in Togo, or for up to one year after returning home, you should seek prompt medical attention, tell the physician your travel history and what antimalarials you have taken.
Yellow fever, although rare among travelers, can be severe or fatal in about 10 percent of those infected. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for entry into Togo for all travelers over one year of age and is recommended for all travelers over nine months of age.
Dengue fever causes fever, chills, severe headache and body aches. There is currently no vaccine or treatment for dengue and the illness occasionally causes severe or fatal disease.
Diarrheal illness is very common among travelers even in large cities and luxury accommodations. Travelers can diminish diarrhea risk through scrupulous hand-washing and using hand sanitizers, especially before food preparation and eating. The greatest risk of traveler’s diarrhea is from contaminated food. Choose foods and beverages carefully to lower your risk (see Food & Water Safety). Eat only food that is cooked and served hot; avoid food that has been sitting on a buffet. Eat raw fruits and vegetables only if you have washed them in clean water or peeled them. Drink only beverages from factory-sealed containers, and avoid ice (because it may have been made from unclean water).
Rabies risk exists in most of the country and is highest in Kara Region and the capital, Lomé. Immunization is recommended for all travelers staying for more than four weeks or who will travel in remote, rural areas or expect animal exposure. Even in urban areas, dogs may have rabies and bites and scratches from dogs, bats, or other mammals should be immediately cleaned with soap and water, and medical evaluation sought to determine if additional rabies immunization is warranted.
Meningococcal meningitis is much more common than in the United States and immunization with the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine should be given to all children and health care workers. It should be considered for all adults traveling in the dry season (December through June).
Tuberculosis is more than 20 times more common in Togo than in the United States. Those planning on living in Togo should consider tuberculin skin testing before travel and then again six to 12 weeks after returning from Togo.
Schistosomiasis is caused by a parasitic worm that is spread by fresh water snails. The larval stage of the worm can burrow through your skin when in contact with contaminated fresh water. Avoid wading, swimming, bathing, or washing in, or drinking from bodies of fresh water such as canals, lakes, rivers, streams, or springs.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Togo, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.
While some major thoroughfares in urban parts of Togo are paved, many secondary streets are not, and they can become severely flooded when it rains. Driving conditions are hazardous throughout Togo due to the presence of pedestrians, large swarms of small motorcycles, disorderly drivers (moped, car and truck drivers), livestock on the roadways, and the poor condition of the roads, which often contain deep potholes. Overland travel off the main network of roads generally requires a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Many drivers in Togo do not obey traffic laws and most traffic signals do not function properly. Drivers should be prepared for the possibility that other drivers may run red lights or stop signs or drive in the wrong direction on one-way streets.
Nighttime travel is dangerous, and it is inadvisable to drive outside urban centers after dark. Even when driving in the city, keep car doors locked and the windows up. Poorly marked checkpoints, often manned by armed, undisciplined soldiers, exist throughout the country, including in the capital. Banditry, including demands for bribes at checkpoints, has been reported on major inter-city highways, including the Lomé-Cotonou coastal highway. You should be aware of your surroundings and drive defensively. At official checkpoints, Togolese security officials prefer that you approach with your interior light on, headlights dimmed, and have your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance ready.
If driving in Lomé, you should be aware of the staged-accident ploy. In this scam, a motorbike will cut in front of you, cause a collision, and draw a crowd, which can turn hostile if you attempt to leave the scene of the so-called accident. Such encounters appear designed to extort money from the vehicle driver. Pedestrians have also staged accidents. Genuine accidents can also draw hostile crowds. You should always keep car doors locked and windows closed, and have a cell phone in the vehicle. If you are involved in an accident and feel you are in danger (e.g. if your vehicle is attacked or you are threatened) you should leave the scene, drive to a safe location such as your hotel or a police station, and alert both the police and the U.S. embassy. Carjackings are reported in Togo and tend to increase during the summer months and holiday seasons.
You are advised to exercise caution when using any form of local public transportation. Never get into a taxi with unknown passengers and always agree on the fare before getting in.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Togo, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Togo’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.