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Travel Security Advice for Chad

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COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:

Chad is a developing country in north-central Africa with one of the lowest per-capita incomes in the world.  Chad faces challenges in the areas of political stability and economic development.  Years of war, drought, and lack of economic growth have severely damaged the country's institutions and its infrastructure.  Facilities for tourism are limited.  The capital is N'Djamena.  French and Arabic are the primary languages.  Read the Department of State Background Notes on Chad for additional information.

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS:

A valid passport and visa are required.  Visitors must check in with the National Police and obtain a registration stamp within 72 hours of arrival.  Further entry information may be obtained from the Embassy of the Republic of Chad, 2002 R Street NW, Washington DC  20009, telephone (202) 462-4009.  Overseas, inquiries should be made at the nearest Chadian embassy or consulate.  Some travelers originating in countries with no Chadian embassy or consulate can arrange for airport entry visas.  This process is generally limited to business or official travelers, and arrangements must be made by the traveler’s local contact in Chad several days in advance of arrival.  The U.S. Embassy is not in a position to assist private U.S. citizens with visa applications for travel to Chad.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

SAFETY AND SECURITY:

See the Department of State’s Travel Warning for Chad.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ web site, where the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, as well as the Worldwide Caution, can be found.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada or, for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas.  For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State’s A Safe Trip Abroad.

CRIME:

Americans and Europeans are perceived to be wealthy and certain precautions should be taken.  Travelers are advised to dress modestly, and to avoid wearing expensive jewelry or displaying large amounts of cash.  Furthermore, travelers should avoid walking outside after dark, lock their car doors, and not leave cash or valuables unsecured in their hotel room.  Petty crimes such as purse snatching, pick-pocketing and theft from vehicles do occur, particularly in areas frequented by expatriates.

Violent crime against expatriates is a growing concern, especially in the eastern parts of the country.  Car jackings, burglaries, and vehicle thefts increase during times of political instability.  Expatriate residences have been targeted for armed robbery, and some foreigners have been assaulted in the process.  Due to the significant increase in crime in the past year against humanitarian workers in the city of Abeche in eastern Chad, U.S. Embassy employees are no longer permitted to overnight in Abeche.

Travelers to northern Cameroon should contact the U.S. Embassy’s Regional Security Officer in N'Djamena prior to crossing the Chad/Cameroon border because of a high incidence of road attacks there.

INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME:

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.  If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance.  The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred.  Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

There is no local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Chad as well as the U.S. Embassy (contact information Registration/Embassy Location section below).

Please see our information on Victims of Crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES:

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law.  Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses.  Persons violating Chadian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.  Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Chad are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.  Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.  Please see our information on Criminal Penalties.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

All photography requires a government permit.  Taking photos of military sites, official buildings, and airports is strictly prohibited, even with a permit.  Such sites are not always clearly marked.  Film and cameras may be confiscated, often by undercover police.

MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION:

Medical facilities in Chad are extremely limited.  Medicines are in short supply or unavailable, including many over-the-counter preparations sold in the United States.  Travelers should carry any needed, properly labeled, medicines with them.  In the event of major injury or illness, visitors generally will require medical evacuation.

There are two medical clinics in the capital of N’Djamena that offer "international standard" medical care, International SOS and Europ-AssistanceThese are not walk in clinics and advance membership is required to access services.

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease.  Plasmodium falciparum malaria, the type that predominates in Chad, is resistant to the anti-malarial drug chloroquine.  Because travelers to Chad are at high risk for contracting malaria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that travelers should take one of the following anti-malarial drugs: mefloquine (Lariam™), doxycycline, or atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone™).  Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and what anti-malarials they have been taking.  For additional information on malaria, including protective measures, visit the CDC Travelers’ Health pages.

Other widespread diseases in Chad include diarrhea and upper respiratory infections.  Meningitis outbreaks usually occur annually and several other diseases (cholera, diphtheria, chicken pox, typhoid) periodically appear.

AIDS is becoming an increasingly serious problem as infection rates have risen to alarming levels (up to 25 percent in high-risk groups).  The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Chad.

For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) web site.  Further health information for travelers is available from the WHO.

MEDICAL INSURANCE:

The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.  Please see our information on medical insurance overseas.

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.  The information below concerning Chad is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Roads are in poor condition and dangerous.  In the capital city of N'Djamena, only the main roads are paved; the rest of the roads are either hard-packed dirt or looser dirt and sand.  During the summer rainy season (mid-June to mid-September) many roads become impassable or are restricted by rain barriers, while during the drier season, clouds of dust rising from the roads reduce visibility.

Visitors should take great care while driving.  Both paved and unpaved roads are poorly maintained, and often have large ruts and potholes.  All drivers should adjust their speed accordingly.  At night, streets are not lit; it is imperative to watch for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and livestock, as they may not become visible until they are in very close proximity.

Driving in Chad tends to be erratic both in cities and in rural areas.  In cities, particularly N'Djamena, motorists share the roads with bicycles, motor scooters, pedestrians, and non-motorized wheelchairs.  Lanes are not marked, and it is not uncommon for a normally two-lane thoroughfare to become a four-lane road during rush hours (generally 7:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 7:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Friday).  Drivers are urged to be particularly observant at these times because motorists often attempt to overtake slower traffic by moving into oncoming lanes, usually at high speeds.  There are only a few traffic lights in N'Djamena, and these are often out of service.  Drivers yield to traffic on their right, particularly when entering the many traffic circles.

In rural areas, drivers should watch for livestock crossing the roads, and for large hawks that rest on the roads.  These birds can be fearless, and cause damage by smashing into drivers' windshields; drivers may avoid this by slowing down when approaching the hawks, and allowing them sufficient time to fly away.  Finally, drivers should be alert to older transport trucks traveling between cities, which do not always have functioning headlights.

No emergency services exist, so drivers should exercise extreme caution.  Travelers should always wear seat belts.  When traveling by car, be sure to carry a spare tire.  Roadside service is limited to good Samaritans and children who will help push cars to the side or out of holes.  When traveling outside the capital, it is imperative to carry sufficient quantities of drinking water.  Drivers should ensure that their gas tanks are at least half-full at all times, as gas stations are not widely available.  In an emergency, gas may be purchased in bottles from roadside stands, but it is generally of poor quality.

Travelers on roads in all areas of the country are subject to attack by armed bandits.

Please refer to 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 Chad's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standardsFor more information, travelers may visit the FAA web site.

U.S. Government personnel are prohibited from traveling on Air Toumai, Chad’s national airline, due to safety and maintenance concerns.

CHILDREN'S ISSUES:

For information see our Office of Children’s Issues web pages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.

REGISTRATION / EMBASSY LOCATION:

Americans living or traveling in Chad are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Chad through the State Department’s travel registration web site, Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.  The U.S. Embassy in Chad is located in N'Djamena on Avenue Felix Eboue; mailing address is B.P. 413; telephone (235) 251 7009/251 6211/251 9052/251 9233/251 7759/252 4727.

This replaces the Country Specific Information dated March 2, 2009 to correct the phone numbers in the Registration/Embassy Location.

 


 

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office also has information regarding Chad HERE......

Looking for an Embassy ?, you can check out our World Wide Embassy Listings Section HERE (For US Citizens) or HERE (For UK Citizens).......

There is a Travel Warning for Chad, access it HERE....

Regards

The SW Team.....

 

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