Latest update

This Advice was last issued on Thursday, 23 October 2014.   This advice contains new information in the Summary and under Entry and exit and Health (Chad has cancelled all incoming flights from or via countries affected by Ebola and from Nigeria and Ghana). We continue to strongly advise you not to travel to Chad at this time, and to reconsider your need to travel to the capital N'Djamena, due to the threat of terrorist attack, kidnapping and high levels of serious crime and lawlessness.

Chad overall

N'Djamena

Summary

  • We strongly advise you not to travel to Chad at this time due to the threat of terrorist attack, kidnapping and high levels of serious crime and lawlessness.
  • We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to the capital N’Djamena at this time due to the threat of indiscriminate violence and high levels of crime. If you do decide to travel to N’Djamena, you should exercise extreme caution.
  • There is a general threat of terrorist attack in Chad. Attacks could target westerners or western interests. Armed groups are active in many parts of the country.
  • The outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) centred in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone continues to worsen. Chad has cancelled all incoming flights from or via countries affected by EVD, and from Nigeria and Ghana, as a precaution against the spread of the disease. For information on regional travel implications, see the Ebola outbreak in west Africa travel bulletin.
  • Chad is unsafe for tourism. If you are in Chad, you should have appropriate personal protective security measures in place.
  • Police can carry out random checks of documentation. You should carry identification documents at all times. Failure to present identification may result in detention.
  • We strongly advise against travel to border areas with all neighbouring countries. There are minefields along the borders with Libya, Sudan and Central African Republic and a high risk of violence in these areas. Borders may be closed with little or no warning.
  • You should avoid all large gatherings, protests and demonstrations as they may turn violent.
  • If you choose to travel to Chad, we strongly recommend that you register your travel and contact details with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, so we can contact you in an emergency.
  • Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Chad. The Australian Embassy in Paris provides consular assistance to Australians in Chad.
  • Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
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Entry and exit

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Chad for the most up to date information. The Chadian embassy accredited to Australia is located in Beijing, China:

Embassy of Chad in Beijing
21 Guanghua Lu
100600 Beijing, China
Telephone: +86 10 6532 1296 or +86 10 6532 4830
Fax: +86 10 532 3638

The outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) centred in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone continues to worsen. Chad has cancelled all incoming flights from or via countries affected by EVD, and from Nigeria and Ghana, as a precaution against the spread of the disease. For information on regional travel implications, see the Ebola outbreak in west Africa travel bulletin.

Chad is listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as endemic for yellow fever. Yellow fever is a serious and potentially fatal disease preventable by vaccination. A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for entry into Chad.

Some airlines may require passengers to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate before being allowed to board flights out of the country. For more information about yellow fever, including Australian re-entry requirements, see the Department of Health website.

Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.

Safety and security

Chad is unsafe for tourism. If you are in Chad, you should have appropriate personal protective security measures in place.

Terrorism

We strongly advise you not to travel to Chad at this time, and to reconsider your need to travel to the capital N’Djamena, due to the threat posed by regional terrorist groups.Attacks could target westerners or western interests, including hotels, restaurants, bars, places of worship, markets and shopping areas.

Armed groups are active in many parts of the country.

Kidnapping: There is a risk of kidnapping in remote areas of the Sahel region of Africa, including Chad. Humanitarian workers may be a target for kidnappers. Regional terrorist groups have carried out a number of kidnap for ransom operations and other attacks against Western interests in neighbouring countries. For more information see our Kidnapping threat bulletin.

The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it does not make payments or concessions to kidnappers. The Australian Government considers that paying a ransom increases the risk of further kidnappings, including of other Australians. If you do decide to travel to an area where there is a particular threat of kidnapping, you should ensure you have personal security measures in place and seek professional security advice.

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General advice to Australian travellers.

Civil unrest/political tension

We strongly advise you not to travel to Chad at this time, and to reconsider your need to travel to the capital N’Djamena, due to high levels of serious crime and lawlessness. We advise you to monitor the local media for possible new risks to your safety and security.

Despite the conclusion of a peace agreement between Chad and Sudan in 2010, the security environment remains volatile. Fighting between Chadian government forces and armed groups can occur without warning throughout the country, particularly in the east.

The security situation is particularly dangerous in border areas. Armed groups are active along the borders with Libya, Sudan and Central African Republic. There is a high risk of violence in these areas.

Recent conflict in Sudan and the Central African Republic has led to an increase in numbers of displaced people in border areas of Chad. There are also a large number of displaced people throughout Chad.

Anti-government demonstrations occur in Chad. You should avoid all large gatherings, protests and demonstrations as they may turn violent.

Crime

There are high levels of serious criminal activity, including armed robbery, kidnapping, carjacking and murder, throughout Chad. Crimes targeting Westerners do occur.

Petty crime, including pickpockets, occurs in market and commercial areas. The risk of being a victim of crime increases at night.

N’Djamena: We recommend you do not travel around N’Djamena at night, as the risk of being a victim of crime increases at night. We recommend that you avoid walking on the street, even for short distances. Seek advice from hotel staff on using hire car operators.

Local security forces or people posing as them may attempt to extort money from travellers through bogus fines or intimidation.

Money and valuables

There are limited ATMs in Chad, and credit cards and other electronic forms of accessing cash are generally not accepted. Only a few hotels in N’Djamena and Air France accept credit cards or travellers’ cheques.

The currency is the Central African CFA franc (XAF), also used in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Euros and US dollars are also accepted in Chad.

Travellers carrying large amounts of cash are an attractive target for criminals. If you are carrying significant amounts of cash, be extremely careful and, if possible, consider sharing the holding of it with your travelling companions.

Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe dry place. It is recommended you carry certified copies of your passport. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible, see below for contact details.

Review the General advice to Australian travellers for further information on being safe and prepared abroad.

Local travel

We strongly advise you to reconsider your need to travel to N’Djamena at this time, and not to travel elsewhere in Chad.

Road travel is dangerous because of the presence of armed groups and bandits.

The condition of roads in Chad is very poor, with large ruts and potholes. Insufficient lighting makes driving dangerous, especially at night. If, despite our advice, you choose to travel outside of N’Djamena, you should do so by four wheel drive vehicle. Authorisation from the Ministry of Interior is required to travel outside of N’Djamena.

Local taxis can be unreliable and in poor condition. You should hire a car with a driver from a reputable company. Be aware that traffic incidents can provoke an aggressive or violent response from the local community.

Other driving risks include dust storms, high speed, poorly maintained vehicles and high number of road users including pedestrians, animals and non-motorized vehicles. Fuel purchased in rural areas may be of poor quality. For further advice, see our road travel page.

The rainy season is June to September when flooding may occur and some roads become impassable.

There are large numbers of minefields along the border with Libya, Sudan and Central African Republic. You should not stray off marked tracks.

Borders may be closed without warning. In May 2014, Chadian authorities announced that the border between Chad and the Central African Republic would be closed until further notice to all but returning Chadian citizens.

Be aware that telecommunications systems outside of N’Djamena can be unreliable. Chadian authorities recommend travellers use satellite phone systems. These phone systems should be registered with local authorities.

Airline safety

The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See instead the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Chad.

Please also refer to our general air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.

Laws

If you choose to travel to Chad, be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail. Research local laws before travelling.

Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter.

Local laws reflect the fact that Chad is a predominantly Muslim country. Common sense and discretion should be exercised in dress and behaviour. You should respect local religions and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. Police checks are common and failure to produce identity documents can lead to detention.

Taking photographs of military zones, military assets, military or police personnel, airports and government buildings, is strictly prohibited. All other photography requires a government permit. Unauthorised photography may lead to the confiscation of cameras and film, as well as fines and/or detention.

A licence is required to buy or sell precious gems and there are heavy penalties for illegally exporting precious gems.

Homosexuality is not widely accepted in Chad and some sexual acts between members of the same sex are illegal. Penalties can include imprisonment. See our LGBTI travellers page.

Penalties for the use and possession of drugs are severe.

Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.

Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.

Local customs

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is expected to begin in mid-June 2015. During Ramadan, Australians travelling to countries with significant Muslim communities should take care to respect religious and cultural sensitivities, rules and customs. In particular, people who are not fasting are advised to avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public and in the presence of people who are fasting. For more information see our Ramadan travel bulletin.

Information for dual nationals

Our Dual nationals page provides information.

Health

The outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) centred in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone continues to worsen. Chad has cancelled all incoming flights from or via countries affected by EVD, and from Nigeria and Ghana, as a precaution against the spread of the disease. For information on regional travel implications, see the Ebola outbreak in west Africa travel bulletin.

We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.

It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.

The standard of medical facilities throughout Chad varies. A private hospital with international standard facilities operates in N’Djamena. Fees must be paid in cash. In some cases, medical evacuation from N’Djamena to a destination with appropriate facilities may still be required, and costs would be considerable.

Outside of N’Djamena, medical facilities are extremely limited. Pharmaceuticals are in short supply and hygiene standards are poor. Doctors and hospitals generally require upfront payment before commencing treatment. Although paved roads extend from N’Djamena to several outlying regions, medical evacuation to the capital city by charter airlines is highly recommended.

Chad is listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as endemic for yellow fever. Yellow fever is a potentially fatal viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, which is preventable by vaccination. We strongly recommend that you are vaccinated against yellow fever before travelling to Chad. See the Entry and Exit section for important information about vaccination certificate requirements. For more information about yellow fever, see the Department of Health website.

Malaria occurs widely throughout the year in Chad. Other insect-borne diseases (including filariasis and African sleeping sickness) also occur. We encourage you to consider taking prophylaxis against malaria and taking measures to avoid insect bites, including using insect repellent at all times, wearing long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing, and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.

Water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases (including cholera, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, typhoid, hepatitis, meningitis and rabies) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. We recommend you boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food. Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to certain water-borne diseases such as bilharzia (schistosomiasis). Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.

Where to get help

Depending on the nature of your enquiry, your best option may be to contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurance provider in the first instance.

The Consular Services Charter explains what the Australian Government can and can’t do to assist Australians overseas. For consular assistance, see contact details below:

Australian Embassy, Paris

4 rue Jean Rey
Paris, France
Telephone: (33 1) 40 59 33 00
Facsimile: (33 1) 40 59 33 10
Email: consular.paris@dfat.gov.au
Website: www.france.embassy.gov.au

See the Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

If you choose to travel to Chad, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we strongly recommend that you register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.

In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the above mission, you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Additional information

For additional general and economic information to assist travelling in this country, see the following links:



While every care has been taken in preparing this information, neither the Australian Government nor its agents or employees, including any member of Australia's diplomatic and consular staff abroad, can accept liability for any injury, loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained herein.

Maps are presented for information only. The department accepts no responsibility for errors or omission of any geographic feature. Nomenclature and territorial boundaries may not necessarily reflect Australian Government policy.