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TOGO - Exercise a high degree of caution
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Togo. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to an increase in violent crime, social unrest and politically motivated demonstrations.
Safety and security
Safety and security
You are advised to sign up for our Registration of Canadians Abroad service and maintain contact with the High Commission of Canada in Accra, Ghana.
The rise in crime is a serious concern in urban areas, including in Lomé. Several attacks, armed assaults, including machete attacks and violent robberies have been reported in the past months. Exercise extreme vigilance and caution as a new scheme of armed carjackings and residential burglaries targeting foreigners is on the increase.
Crimes of opportunity such as petty thefts and muggings are prevalent. Thieves are active in Lomé, particularly along beaches and in market areas. You should not show signs of affluence and avoid walking alone, especially after dark.
There have been incidents of illegal roadblocks set up by armed bandits who stop and rob vehicles. Attacks have been reported near the Burkina Faso border and have occurred mostly after dark.
There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist targets could include shops, government buildings, public areas such as bars, restaurants, hotels and sites frequented by Westerners. Be aware of your surroundings in public places.
Political demonstrations occur frequently, especially in Lomé, and can turn violent with little warning. Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
Urban roads are usually paved, but small motorcycles, poorly maintained and erratically driven vehicles, pedestrians and roaming animals pose risks. Road signs are often poorly visible or completely missing. Heavy seasonal rains and flooding could affect local road conditions.
Overland travel after dark should be avoided. In Lomé, beware of individuals who appear to need assistance, as bandits frequently use this tactic to lure drivers out of their vehicles. You should keep vehicle doors locked and windows shut at all times. In case of a road accident, you should call the police and do not try to leave the scene as it will draw a crowd that can turn hostile. In remote areas, travel in a convoy of at least two vehicles. Since emergency vehicle services are non-existent, in the event of an accident, you should proceed to the nearest police station or hospital. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended for travel off the main roads.
Exercise caution when using public transportation. Taxis are available, but some are poorly maintained. You should not share taxis with strangers. Motorcycles and mopeds also operate as taxis and are common, especially in Lomé.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
Pirate attacks occur in coastal waters and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions. For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.
Cases of attempted fraud are frequently reported in this country. See our Overseas Fraud page for more information on scams abroad.
General safety information
Tourist facilities are limited and may be affected by chronic power shortages.
You should carry certified copies of identification and travel documents at all times and keep originals in a safe place, for example, in a hotel safe. It is also advisable to carry a cellular phone.
Ocean currents are very strong along the coast. Many drownings occur each year.
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 Togolese 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 Togo and its consulates for up-to-date information.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Togo, which must be valid for at least twelve 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.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must be in possession of a visa to visit Togo.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
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.
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 yellow fever vaccination for travellers from all countries.
- Vaccination is recommended.
- 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.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* 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 West Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in West 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 West Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus, yellow fever and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
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 in West Africa, like avian influenza, ebola, and 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 and supplies are limited. Medical services are costly and fees are generally higher for foreigners. Cash payments are requested upon rendering any medical check-up. There is extremely limited emergency medical care, including ambulance services. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation would likely be necessary. Medicines are scarce.
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.
Illegal and restricted activities
The penalties imposed for the possession, use, manufacture or sale of illegal drugs or pornography can be severe. Convicted offenders could face sentences of up to 20 years in prison.
Homosexual activity is illegal.
Photography of, or near, government or military buildings and of government or military personnel is strictly prohibited. Government buildings may not always be clearly identifiable. If in doubt, you should refrain from taking a picture.
An International Driving Permit is required.
Identification papers and vehicle documentation should be readily available for frequent police checkpoints.
The currency is the African Financial Community franc (or XOF bank code). Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards are not widely accepted outside major hotels. Canadian debit cards may not work at major banks and cash machines.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
The rainy season extends from April to November. Heavy rains and flooding may cause significant damage to infrastructure, including roads and bridges. Some transportation routes may become impassable. You are advised to follow regional weather forecasts, avoid any unnecessary travel through affected regions and follow the advice of local authorities.
During the dry season, and especially in the winter months from December to February, dry harmattan winds can reduce visibility in the north.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 117 / 161 from a cellular telephone
- firefighters: 118
There is no resident Canadian government office in Togo. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the High Commission of Canada in Accra, Ghana.
Accra - High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Accra 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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