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Chad - AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL
Global Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to Chad, including the capital, N’Djamena, due to incidences of violent crime and the threat of terrorism.
All border areas - Avoid all travel
Global Affairs Canada advises against all travel to the following areas:
- within 30 km of all international borders;
- the region of Lac;
- West of Mao in the region of Kanem;
- the regions of Sila, Wadi Fira, Ennedi and Tibesti;
- the region of Ouaddaï (except the town of Abéché); and
- the region of Borkou (except the town of Faya Largeau).
See Safety and security for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Despite a strong military presence in Chad, the extremist group Boko Haram’s activity in neighbouring Nigeria and Cameroon, as well as Chad’s involvement in the fight against Boko Haram, increase the risk of terrorist attacks in Chad. As a result, security has been increased through the country, and check points are common on roads. Carry all necessary travel documents, including valid passports and visas, at all times.
Border with Sudan and the Central African Republic (see Advisory)
In the border areas with Sudan and the Central African Republic, rebel groups are active and create an extremely insecure situation. Attacks have occurred in these areas and there is a serious threat of kidnapping against foreigners. The humanitarian situation in eastern Chad (including the regions of Biltine and Ouaddaï) is serious, given the ongoing potential for trans-border clashes and the presence of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees who have fled the conflict in Darfur. You should exercise extreme caution in and around the city of Abéché, where violent incidents have been reported. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recommends travelling in convoys of at least two vehicles and avoiding all movements in the region after 6 p.m. There are live minefields in this region. Crossing the border anywhere in this area is extremely dangerous.
Northern Chad (see Advisory)
Travel in northern Chad, especially in the Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti region, is considered dangerous. The presence of landmines has been reported along the border with Libya. Attempting to cross the border would be hazardous.
The land border between Libya and Chad is closed until further notice.
Border with Nigeria and Cameroon (see Advisory)
A state of emergency was declared in the region of Lac, following a number of attacks by Boko Haram in the region, including some on the islands in Lac Tchad. Rural areas around Lac Tchad are also subject to periodic violence.
Contraband from Cameroon is frequently smuggled across the Chari River, which can result in armed intervention by Chadian customs and river police.
N’Djamena (see Advisory)
On June 15, 2015, two explosions targeting a police station and a police school in N’Djamena killed several people. Restrictions on movement remain in effect. Due to incidences of crime, it is not recommended to walk in N’Djamena, even during the day. If travel outside N’Djamena is necessary, a permit issued by the Ministry of Interior is required. The permit may take several days to be issued.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse-snatching, occurs in markets and commercial areas. Banditry, burglary and vehicle theft are common. There has been an increase in armed robberies in N’Djamena in 2017, often in the vicinity of restaurants. In some cases, foreigners were targeted and injured. Do not show signs of affluence. Leave valuables and personal belongings, including cash and airline tickets, in a hotel safe or other secure place. Dress conservatively. Avoid walking alone, especially after dark. If confronted by an armed individual, do not resist.
Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
Road conditions are dangerous. Roads are poorly maintained and mostly unpaved, even in N’Djamena. Streets are poorly lit and road signs are often missing. Excessive speeds, erratic driving habits, lack of vehicle maintenance, roaming wildlife and livestock, cyclists and pedestrians pose risks. You are advised not to travel between cities at night due to poor road infrastructure.
Fuel is not always available in major cities and is very scarce in rural areas.
You should travel in a convoy outside N’Djamena, travel during daylight hours only and carry additional fuel, a spare tire and provisions.
Keep windows closed and doors locked at all times. You should stop and cooperate at all police or military roadblocks. Proper identification should be readily available.
It is preferable to hire a local driver to avoid being the victim of mob justice in response to a road accident.
There is no operational train or bus network in Chad. Trucks and minibuses are not properly maintained and are often dangerous; they are not recommended for any intercity travel.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
Telecommunication systems are very unreliable outside N’Djamena. Travellers with Thuraya satellite phones should register the phones with Chadian authorities.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Chadian authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Republic of Chad or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Chad, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Canadians must also be in possession of a visa and a return or onward ticket.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Visitors must check in with the national police and obtain a registration stamp within 72 hours of arrival.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
This country is in the African Meningitis Belt, an area where there are many cases of meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease is a serious and sometimes fatal infection. Travellers who may be at high risk should consider getting vaccinated. High-risk travellers include those living or working with the local population (e.g., health care workers) or those travelling to crowded areas or taking part in large gatherings.
There is a risk of polio in this country.
- Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up to date. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
- One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is recommended depending on your itinerary.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Central Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Cholera is a bacterial disease that is most often spread by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated. It causes diarrhea and in severe cases it can lead to dehydration and even death.
Most travellers are at very low risk. Travellers at higher risk include those visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation, or to areas where outbreaks are occurring. Travellers at higher risk should discuss with a health care provider the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher for children, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Central Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus, yellow fever and Zika.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a tsetse fly. Tsetse flies usually bite during the day and the bites are usually painful. If untreated, the disease is eventually fatal. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from bites especially in game parks and rural areas. Avoid wearing bright or dark-coloured clothing as these colours attract tsetse flies. There is no vaccine available for this disease.
Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly. Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common close to fast-flowing rivers and streams. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. The mosquito that spreads the virus is found here.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites and other diseases spread by insects.
- There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas of Central Africa, like ebola, rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities are extremely limited outside of N’Djamena.
Three well-stocked clinics serving expatriates are available to travellers on an emergency basis in N’Djamena. They are expensive, and bills must be paid in cash and submitted to health insurance companies for reimbursement by the patient. French and Swiss doctors are available at the SOS International Clinic, the Clinique Medico Chirugicale and Europ Assistance.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Criminal convictions for possession or trafficking of drugs can result in strict penalties and often lengthy prison sentences. Persons violating Chad’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Convicted offenders may expect jail sentences and fines.
You are required to have a government permit for all photography. It is prohibited to photograph airports, military establishments and government buildings. Film and cameras may be confiscated without notice.
An International Driving Permit is required.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Chad. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Chadian citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a Chadian passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
The majority of the population is Muslim. Common sense and discretion should be exercised in dress and behaviour. Respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.
Although the laws of Chad do not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex, homosexuality is not socially tolerated.
During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), use discretion when drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2018, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around May 15.
The currency is the Central African Franc (CFA), which is also used in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. There are no import restrictions on local or foreign currencies, provided they are declared upon arrival. The export of local currency is prohibited and the export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared upon arrival. Proof of entry of money must be processed through one of the local commercial banks.
There are currently no automated banking machines in Chad. Credit cards are accepted only at the two major hotels in N’Djamena and at Air France, the major airline. Due to the potential for fraud and other criminal activity, use credit cards with caution. Small amounts of local currency can be negotiated on major credit cards from several banks. Canadian currency and Canadian dollar traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted. It is recommended that traveller’s cheques be issued in euros, although U.S. dollars are accepted. Ensure that you bring your receipt for the purchase of the traveller’s cheques, as it is required when you cash them.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
The rainy season in the south lasts from May to October; the rains in central Chad occur from June to September. Many roads become impassable during the rainy season. The north receives little rain. You should keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly, as rain barriers close affected roads during rainstorms and for three hours afterwards.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 2020
- medical assistance: +235 225 17728
- firefighters: +235 225 21211
N'Djamena - Consulate of Canada
Khartoum - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the the Embassy of Canada in Khartoum, Sudan and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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