Togo travel advice

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Risk level

Togo - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Togo due to social unrest, politically motivated demonstrations and violent crime.

Border with Burkina Faso - Avoid all travel

Avoid all travel to within 30 km of the border with Burkina Faso, due to military operations, terrorism and kidnapping.

This includes the city and area north of Dapaong, travel along the N28 and N16 highways, as well as the cities of:

  • Cinkassé
  • Korbongou
  • Kong
  • Mandouri
  • Nadioum

 

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Safety and security

Border with Burkina Faso

Extremist groups operating in southwest Burkina Faso have infiltrated the border with Togo. They have carried out attacks as well as kidnappings.

In response to these incidents, and the extremist threat, the local government has increased military operations in the border region.

Further attacks may occur with little or no warning.

Crime

Petty crime

Petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, especially in Lomé. Thieves are more active along beaches and in market areas.

Ensure that your belongings, including your passport, are secure at all times.

Violent crime

Violent crime, such as armed assaults, violent robberies and armed carjacking, is increasing and may also occur. Residential burglaries are common. Criminals are active mainly at night but there have also been incidents during the day.

  • Remain vigilant at all times
  • Don’t show signs of affluence
  • Avoid walking alone, especially after dark
  • Avoid the beach and the seafront at night
  • If you are the victim of an armed attack, don’t resist

Demonstrations

Demonstrations take place regularly. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

The cities of Sodoké, Bafilo and Mango are particularly prone to civil unrest and violent demonstrations. Clashes between security forces and demonstrators have resulted in casualties in the past. Security forces have used excessive force to disperse crowds and local authorities have shut down telecommunication services in affected areas. 

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for the latest information

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism in western Africa. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.

Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.

Fraud

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. When using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention when others are handling your cards
  • use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

Overseas fraud

Power outages

Power outages are common in Togo. They may affect tourist facilities, which are already scarce.

Fuel shortages

Fuel shortages occur occasionally across the country. They may lead to a reduction of essential services and line-ups at gas stations.

  • Plan accordingly 
  • Keep a supply of fuel on hand 

Road safety

Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country. While city roads are usually paved, you may need a four-wheel-drive vehicle for travel outside major cities. Heavy seasonal rains and flooding can also affect the road conditions.

Most roads are poorly lit with poor signage. Motorcycles, vehicles, pedestrians and roaming animals pose further risks.

In Lomé, criminals frequently lure drivers out of their vehicles by pretending to need assistance. Armed bandits also set up illegal roadblocks to stop and rob vehicles.

If driving in Togo:

  • don’t travel overland after dark
  • keep vehicle doors locked and windows shut at all times
  • carry a cellphone and a charger with you at all times
  • if involved in a road accident, contact the police, don’t try to leave the scene as it could draw a crowd that can turn hostile
  • in remote areas, travel in a convoy of at least two vehicles

Public transportation

Public transportation is limited and inadequate. When available, vehicles are poorly maintained and unsafe.

Buses

Public and private bus services are unsafe. Vehicles are poorly maintained.

Avoid using them.

Taxis

Taxis are available, but vehicles are not properly maintained.

  • Use officially marked taxis only
  • Don’t share taxis with strangers

Motorcycles and mopeds

Motorcycles and mopeds commonly operate as taxis, especially in Lomé. Drivers are often speeding.

Be cautious if using them as accidents occur.

Swimming

Coastal waters can be dangerous due to strong currents.

  • Consult local residents for information on possible hazards and safe swimming areas
  • Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities

Water safety abroad

Piracy

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters of the Gulf of Guinea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live Piracy Report - International Maritime Bureau

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Togolese authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Togo.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: required
Business visa: required
Student visa: required

Other entry requirements

Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof that you have enough money to cover your stay.

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

 

Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

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.

Risk

  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination for travellers from all countries.

Recommendation

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.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Malaria

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.

Malaria is a risk to travellers to this destination.
 
Antimalarial medication is recommended for most travellers to this destination and should be taken as recommended. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving. 
 
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times: 

  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.
  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
  • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.
  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing. 

 If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

Meningococcal disease

This destination is in the African Meningitis Belt, an area which has the highest rates of meningococcal disease in the world. Meningococcal disease is a serious and sometimes fatal infection. 

Travellers who are at higher risk should discuss vaccination with a health care provider. 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

In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Polio

Polio (poliomyelitis) is an infectious disease that can be prevented by vaccination. It is caused by poliovirus type 1, 2 or 3. Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus 2 (cVDPV2) is present in this country.
Polio is spread from person to person and through contaminated food and water. Infection with the polio virus can cause paralysis and death in individuals of any age who are not immune.

Recommendations:

  • Be sure that your polio vaccinations are up to date before travelling. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
  • One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.
COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Cholera

Risk

Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.

To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.

Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:

  • visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
  • visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring

Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.

Travellers' diarrhea

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

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Schistosomiasis

There is a risk of schistosomiasis in this destination. Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by tiny worms (blood flukes) which can be found in freshwater (lakes, rivers, ponds, and wetlands). The worms can break the skin, and their eggs can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, or urinary problems. Schistosomiasis mostly affects underdeveloped and rural communities, particularly agricultural and fishing communities.

Most travellers are at low risk. Travellers should avoid contact with untreated freshwater such as lakes, rivers, and ponds (e.g., swimming, bathing, wading, ingesting). There is no vaccine or medication available to prevent infection.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Chikungunya

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Dengue
  • In this country, risk of dengue is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Lassa fever

Lassa fever is a risk in this country.

Lassa fever is caused by a virus carried by rodents. Humans get sick when they inhale or come into close contact with feces, saliva, or urine of infected rodents or the blood or bodily fluids of infected humans.

Lassa virus can be very serious. Avoid rodents and rodent-infested areas.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Tuberculosis

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 professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

HIV

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.

Medical services and facilities

Good health care is limited in availability. Medical services are costly and usually require immediate cash payment. Fees are generally higher for foreigners.

Medical supplies are also limited, including medicine.

Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury. Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Medication

Medication is scarce. You should bring basic medicine, particularly if travelling to outlying areas.

If you take prescription medication, you’re responsible for determining their legality in Togo.

  • Bring sufficient quantities of your medication with you
  • Always keep your medication in the original container
  • Pack them in your carry-on luggage
  • Carry a copy of your prescriptions

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Pornography

Possession, use, manufacture or trafficking of pornography is illegal.

Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences.

Photography

It’s strictly prohibited to photograph:

  • government or military buildings
  • government or military personnel

They may not always be clearly identifiable. When in doubt, do not take a picture.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

Togolese law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Those convicted can face imprisonment and heavy fines.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers could also be discriminated against or detained based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics. They should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Togo.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Togo.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Togo, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Togo.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Togo by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Togo to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

Useful links

Identification

Local authorities can ask you to prove your identity at any time.

  • Carry certified copies of identification and travel documents at all times
  • Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it is lost or confiscated

Driving

You may use your valid Canadian driver’s licence to drive in Togo. However, it is recommended to carry an International Driving Permit.

Police checkpoints are frequent in Togo. You should have identification papers and vehicle documentation readily available for presentation if requested.

International Driving Permit

Money

The currency in Togo is the Communauté financière africaine franc (XOF).

The economy is primarily cash-based. Credit cards are usually accepted in cities and hotels.

Exchange foreign currency at banks or official foreign exchange offices only.

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Natural disasters and climate

Rainy season

The rainy season runs from April to November.

Seasonal flooding can slow down overland travel and reduce the delivery of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges may be damaged.

  • Avoid the affected areas 
  • Keep informed of regional weather forecasts
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities

Sand dust

The harmattan, a burning, dusty and sand-filled wind, blows in from the Sahara from December to March.

The harmattan can cause disruptions to travel and reduce visibility, especially in the northern parts of the country. It can also strongly affect the health of people with respiratory ailments.

  • Consult a physician before departure to determine associated health risks
  • Monitor local media for up-to-date information

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 117, or 161 from a cellular telephone
  • firefighters: 118

Every community has a local gendarmerie service, which should be your primary contact in case of an emergency.

Make sure to have the contact number of the closest gendarmerie readily available.

Consular assistance

Accra - High Commission of Canada
Street Address42 Independence Avenue, Accra, GhanaPostal AddressP.O. Box 1639, Accra, GhanaTelephone+233 (0) 302 21 15 21 / +233 (0) 302 22 85 55Fax+233 (0) 302 21 15 23 / +233 (0) 302 21 15 55Emailaccra-cs@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-GhanaFacebookHigh Commission of Canada to Ghana, Togo and Sierra LeoneTwitter@CanHCGhanaConsular district

Sierra Leone, Togo

Appointment Book your appointment online

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Ghana, in Accra, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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