Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Learn About Your Destination > Chad International Travel Information
Requirements for Entry:
Visit the Embassy of Chad website or the nearest Chadian embassy or consulate for visa information. Contact the National Police to extend your visa.
First time tourist or humanitarian/aid workers must:
Previous tourists must reregister if you are issued a new passport.
Once registered, any subsequent visit using the same passport does not require a registration stamp.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors or foreign residents of Chad.
Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to target crowds more effectively. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:
Areas of Concern:
Because of the unpredictable security situation, U.S. Embassy personnel are subject to restrictions when traveling in certain areas of N’Djamena as well as outside of the capital, including the Lake Chad Basin.
For more information, see our Terrorism page.
Crime: Crime, such as car jackings, continue to be a problem. No specific group appears to be targeted. The trend has shifted from primarily nighttime occurrences to both day and night.
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault may contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes to the local police at 2020 throughout Chad (French/Arabic) and contact the U.S. Embassy at (235) 22 51 50 17. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime. Legal response or recourse for victims of crime in Chad is extremely limited.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Tourism: Limited formal tourism industry infrastructure is in place. Tourists are considered to be participating in activities at their own risk. Emergency response and subsequent appropriate medical treatment is not available in-country. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.
You may be detained for questioning by the police if unable to produce an acceptable form of identification. Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs (including marijuana, which is illegal) result in long prison sentences and heavy fines.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Photography: All photography requires a permit issued by the Ministry of Public Security and Immigration. Additionally, it is illegal to take pictures of military sites, official buildings, airports, and public monuments. Such sites are not always clearly marked.
Telecommunications and Satellite Phones: Satellite phones are illegal. Travelers using satellite phones risk arrest and seizure of phones. Cellular phones are widely used. SIM cards can be purchased locally and used with a compatible cell phone. The two major providers are Tigo and Airtel. Chadian networks use GSM technology.
Military Service for Dual U.S. – Chadian citizens: Article 56 of the Chadian Constitution states that military service is obligatory for both men and women. The conditions for fulfillment of this duty are determined by local authorities.
Currency: The Central African CFA franc (XAF) is the official currency. ATMs are unreliable. There are several Western Union and Money Gram offices in N’Djamena. Exporting local currency is prohibited and the export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared upon arrival.
Travel authorization (“autorisation de circuler”): Before traveling to a humanitarian zone or refugee camp, anyone planning to take photos, including journalists, need prior approval from HAMA (Haute Autorité des Médias et de l’Audiovisuel) and ANS (Agence Nationale de Sécurité). NGO humanitarian workers must submit a request for a travel authorization to the Ministry of Public Security via the “Commission Nationale pour l’Accueil et la Reinsertion des Refugies et Rapatries” (CNARR). Allow 3-4 days for processing and the request should include:
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following web pages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: Strong social and cultural strictures against homosexuality exist, and LGBTI organizations do not operate openly in the country. Chadian law punishes same sex sexual relations with prison and a fine.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Access to transportation, lodging, and public buildings is limited. There are few sidewalks and no curb-cuts, and most buildings lack elevators.
Women Travelers: In addition to the safety and security measures outlined elsewhere, women travelers should never go walking or jogging alone in secluded areas, particularly at night; and never tell strangers, however friendly, where you are staying or disclose travel plans.
While the law prohibits marriage before the age of 18, forced marriage of underage girls and women remains a serious problem. The law also prohibits female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), but the practice remains widespread.
Domestic violence, including spousal abuse, is widespread. Wives have limited legal recourse in cases of abuse. There is no reliable data on the extent of sexual assault though it is widely acknowledged as a problem. Cultural and social biases often lead to rape not being reported.
See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Consult the CDC website for Chad prior to travel.
Medical facilities are limited throughout the country. In the capital, International SOS offers limited U.S. standard medical and emergency care including ambulances, referrals, and evacuation. Membership is required and should be purchased prior to arrival in country. There are five hospitals in N’Djamena. Hopital de la Renaissance is the only one recommended for use by U.S. citizens; however, adequate care is contingent upon personnel availability, some medical equipment is nonoperational and medical supplies and medical personnel can vary.
Carry your prescription medication in the original packaging that is labeled with your name, medication name and prescribing provider. Carry all over the counter medication in original packaging.
In the summer, temperatures can reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and dehydration is a concern.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance. All care providers expect payment in U.S. dollars before treatment.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance covers you overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental medical insurance with medical evacuation coverage.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
During the dry season (November-April), dust storms may diminish air quality.
Air pollution is a significant problem in several major cities in Chad. Consider the impact seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on you and consult your doctor before traveling if necessary.
The air quality varies considerably and fluctuates with the seasons. It is typically at its worst in the dry season. People at the greatest risk from particle pollution exposure include:
Health facilities in general:
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.
The following diseases are prevalent:
Use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mosquito repellents and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays.
There are shortages of food, water, medicine, medical supplies, etc. throughout Chad.
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Chad.
Further health information:
Road Conditions and Safety: In N’Djamena, main roads are paved; others within the city are dirt and gravel roads that have large ruts and potholes. During the rainy season, mid-June to mid-September, many roads become impassable. Numerous traffic accidents occur daily. Excessive speed, erratic driving habits, and chronic lack of road signs make driving dangerous. Street lighting is limited, and it is difficult to see pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchairs, and animals at night.
Other risks include:
To mitigate the threat of roadside crime or becoming stuck in sand/mud when driving outside of N’Djamena, travel in daylight hours only.
Traffic Laws: An international driving permit is required. Use of cell phones while driving and/or driving a vehicle with tinted windows is illegal.
Roadblocks: Security forces set up spontaneous roadblocks in and around N’Djamena, especially after dark, to conduct vehicle searches and check passengers for identity papers. They may also solicit bribes and require drivers to submit to pat-down body searches.
Accidents: Remain inside the vehicle, and call for police. Although it is illegal to move your vehicle before police arrive, if a hostile mob forms or you feel your safety is in danger, leave the scene and proceed directly to the nearest police station to report the incident.
Public Transportation: Public transportation is not recommended for tourists. Privately operated minibuses are often not properly maintained and dangerous. Although taxis are available throughout N’Djamena, they are unsafe and should not be used. Hire private transport from reliable sources; travel agencies and local hotels may also be able to arrange private transport for you.
See 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 the government’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.