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Country Information

Chad

Chad
Republic of Chad
Reconsider travel to Chad due to crime, terrorism, and minefields.

Reconsider travel to Chad due to crime, terrorism, and minefields.          

Violent crimes, such as armed robbery, carjacking, and muggings, have been reported. Some victims who put up resistance have been killed by their attackers.

Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting foreigners, local security forces, and civilians. They can easily cross borders, including in the Lake Chad region; borders may close without notice. 

There are unmapped and undocumented minefields along the borders with both Libya and Sudan. 

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Chad as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to certain areas of N’Djamena as well as outside of the capital, including the Lake Chad Basin.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page

If you decide to travel to Chad:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Have contingency plans to leave the country.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Chad.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
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Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

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 ($10,800)

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Maximum of 5 million CFA

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy N’Djamena
Chagoua Roundpoint
B.P. 413
N'Djamena, Chad
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
Email: NdjamenaACS@state.gov

 

Destination Description

See our Fact Sheet on Chad for information on U.S. - Chad relations. 

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport
  • 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 does 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.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction, and customs information on our websites.

Safety and Security

See Travel Advisory for Chad warning of ongoing tensions and potential terrorist activities. 

Crime: 400,000 refugees and 150,000 displaced Chadians add to Chad’s volatile security environment. U.S. Embassy personnel are subject to restrictions when traveling in certain areas of N’Djamena and outside the capital, including Lake Chad Basin. Carjackings occurring day and night outside N’Djamena increased without targeting specific groups. 

Avoid following areas:

  • Lake Chad area sharing water border with Borno, Nigeria, a Boko Haram stronghold.
  • All points east, northeast, and southeast of Abeche.
  • The Presidential Palace Compound on Avenue Felix Eboue in N’Djamena (do not stop your vehicle in front of this compound). 

General Precautions:

  • Avoid concentrations of uniformed security; use extreme caution when visiting areas with military operations. 
  • Avoid demonstrations; use vigilance during your movements around the city. Peaceful events can become violent.
  • Maintain caution in areas frequented by foreigners.
  • Monitor local news and consular messages.

Areas of Concern: 

Lake Chad: A state of emergency continues in Lake Chad region. Chad remains vulnerable to attacks by Boko Haram. U.S. citizen missionaries in northern Nigeria, the Far North Region of Cameroon, and Niger have been targeted. 

Borders: Civil unrest in Central African Republic, Libya, Niger, 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. 

See the Department of State and the FBI websites for information on scams. 

Victims of Crime: Legal response/recourse for victims of crime is extremely limited. The Embassy’s role in local legal matters is strictly limited. 

U.S. citizen victims of sexual violence should first contact the U.S. Embassy. Report crimes to the local police at 2020 throughout Chad (French/Arabic) and contact the U.S. Embassy at (235) 22 51 50 17. 

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas

We can:

  • 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. 

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance. 

For further information: 

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. You may be taken for questioning by police if unable to produce acceptable forms of identification. Convictions for possessing, using, and/or trafficking illegal drugs result in long prison sentences and heavy fines. 

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website

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 Ministry of Public Security and Immigration. It is illegal to take pictures of military sites, official buildings, airports, and public monuments - not always clearly marked. 

Telecommunications and Satellite Phones: Thuraya satellite phones are illegal. Travelers using them risk seizure of phones and arrest. Iridium satellite phones are legal. Cellular phones are widely used. SIM cards can be purchased locally. Major providers: Tigo and Airtel. 

Military Service for Dual U.S. – Chadian citizens: Military service is obligatory. 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. Several Western Union and Money Gram offices operate in N’Djamena. 

Travel authorization (“autorisation de circuler”): Before traveling to humanitarian zones or refugee camps, NGO humanitarian workers must submit a request for travel authorization to the Ministry of Public Security and Immigration via the “Commission Nationale pour l’Accueil et la Reinsertion des Refugies et Rapatries” (CNARR). Allow 3-4 days for processing. 

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: Strong social and cultural strictures against homosexuality exist, and no known LGBTI organizations operate in the country. The law does not define “unnatural acts,” which has been used against LGBTI persons in the past. 

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights Report for further details. 

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. 

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips

Women Travelers: Women should be extremely cautious when traveling in Chad, particularly if traveling alone. Never walk or jog alone in secluded areas, particularly at night; never disclose to strangers your lodging location or travel plans. 

While the law prohibits marriage before age of 18, forced marriage 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 is widespread. Wives have limited legal recourse in cases of abuse. Cultural and social biases often lead to rape cases not being filed. 

See our travel tips for Women Travelers

Health

Consult CDC’s website for Chad. 

Medical facilities are limited. In N’Djamena, International SOS offers limited U.S. standard medical/emergency care including evacuation. Membership required. Only Hopital de la Renaissance is recommended. Adequate care is contingent upon availability of personnel, medical equipment/supplies. 

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. 

We strongly recommend supplemental medical insurance to cover medical evacuation

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Chad, to ensure the medication is legal in Chad. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

Breathing masks are recommended November-April when dust storms diminish air quality. 

Malaria is widespread. Use CDC-recommended insect repellents. Sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers. 

The following diseases are prevalent:

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

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, especially at night.

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. 

Carry:

  • 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. Taxis are are unsafe and should not be used. Hire private transport from reliable sources such as travel agencies and local hotels.

  • 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

Last Updated: September 7, 2018

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy N’Djamena
Chagoua Roundpoint
B.P. 413
N'Djamena, Chad
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
+235 63 51 78 00
Fax
235 22 53 91 02

Chad Map