Toggle Menu SearchSearch

Chad

smartraveller.gov.au smartraveller.gov.au

Summary

  • Reconsider your need to travel to the capital of Chad, N'Djamena, due to high levels of crime and threats of indiscriminate violence and terror attack.
  • Do not travel in Chad outside N'Djamena, due to significant threats of terrorist attack and kidnapping and high levels of serious crime and lawlessness.
  • A terror attack could happen anywhere and at any time in Chad. Attacks could target westerners or western interests. The Lake Chad region is under a state of emergency due to attacks by the Boko Haram terrorist group. See Safety and security.
  • Armed groups are active in many parts of the country. Border areas are particularly dangerous, There are minefields and a high risk of violence, especially in areas near Libya, Sudan and the Central African Republic. Borders can be closed with little or no warning. See Safety and security and Entry and exit.
  • Carry identification documents at all times. Police carry out random checks. If you can't present identification, you could be detained. See Laws.
  • Anti-government protests occur in Chad. Avoid all large gatherings, protests and demonstrations as can may turn violent. See Safety and security.
  • Chad is unsafe for tourism. If, despite our advice, you decide to travel to Chad, have appropriate personal protective security measures in place. See Safety and security.
  • Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Chad. The Australian Embassy in Paris provides consular assistance to Australians in Chad. See Where to get help.
  • See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.

Entry and exit

Visas

You'll need a visa to visit Chad. Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact an Embassy or Consulate of Chad for 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
Phone: +86 10 6532 1296 or +86 10 6532 4830
Fax: +86 10 532 3638

Other formalities

You'll need a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate to enter Chad. Yellow fever is a serious and potentially fatal disease that is preventable by vaccination. It is endemic in Chad. Some airlines may not let you board flights out of the country without a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate. Read Yellow fever for information on re-entry to Australia following exposure to yellow fever.

More information: Yellow fever risk and certification requirements (by country, WHO)

Land borders

Borders may be closed without warning. In May 2014, Chadian authorities closed the border between Chad and the Central African Republic to all but returning Chadian citizens, until further notice. In 2017 the border with Libya also closed, with the exception of one crossing point.

More information: Travel advice for Central African Republic

Passport

Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you intend to return to Australia.

Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.

Be aware of attempts to get access to your passport by deception. If you are forced to hand over your passport, contact an Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate for advice.

If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible.

Money

The currency of Chad is the Central African CFA franc (XAF). Declare all local and foreign currency in excess of XAF10,000 on arrival and departure.

Euros and US dollars are also accepted. 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. Bring sufficient cash to meet your needs.

Safety and security

Terrorism and kidnapping

There is a significant threat of terror attack in Chad. A terror attack could happen anywhere and at any time.

Chad's involvement in the fight against the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram may make it a target for retaliatory attacks by Boko Haram. The Government of Chad has imposed a state of emergency in the Lake Chad area due to the risk of attacks by Boko Haram. 

Armed groups are active in many parts of Chad. Regional terrorist groups could also launch attacks in Chad. Attacks could target westerners or western interests, including hotels, restaurants, bars, places of worship, markets and shopping areas.

There is a risk of kidnapping in remote areas of the Sahel region of Africa, which includes Chad. Humanitarian workers may be a targeted. Regional terrorist groups have carried out a number of kidnap for ransom operations and other attacks against Western interests in neighbouring countries.

The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it does not make payments or concessions to kidnappers.

If you travel to Chad despite the risks:

  • seek professional security advice
  • use effective personal security measures
  • be alert to possible threats at all times
  • in planning your activities, consider the kind of places known to be terrorist targets and the level of security provided
  • report any suspicious items or activities to police
  • monitor the media and other sources for any new or emerging threats
  • take official warnings seriously
  • follow the instructions of local authorities
  • if there is a terror attack, leave the affected area immediately if it is safe to do so
  • avoid the affected area in the aftermath of an attack because of the risk of secondary attacks.

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world.

More information:

Civil unrest and political tension

The security environment in Chad is 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 the Central African Republic. There is a high risk of violence in these areas.

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 and can turn violent.

If you travel to Chad despite the risks:

  • avoid all large gatherings, protests and demonstrations.
  • monitor the media for reports of planned or possible unrest or conflict and avoid affected areas
  • follow instructions from local authorities.

Crime

There are high and increasing levels of serious criminal activity, including armed robbery, kidnapping, carjacking and murder, throughout Chad, including in N'Djamena. Some crimes target Westerners.

Pickpocketing and other petty crime occurs in market and commercial areas. The risk of being a victim of crime increases at night.

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

If you travel to Chad despite the risks:

  • be alert to your surroundings at all times
  • carry only what you need -  leave other valuables in a secure location
  • don't tempt thieves – avoid displaying expensive watches, jewellery, phones and cameras
  • avoid carrying significant amounts of cash
  • keep vehicles doors locked, windows up and valuables out of sight at all times, including when moving
  • secure your accommodation against intruders, including when you're in it
  • avoid walking on the street in N'Djamena, even for short distances
  • avoid travel around N'Djamena at night.

Local travel

Landmines

There are extensive minefields along the border with Libya, Sudan and Central African Republic. If you travel to these areas despite our advice, do not stray off marked tracks.

Telecommunications

Telecommunications outside of N'Djamena can be unreliable. Use a satellite phone. Register your satellite phone with local authorities.

Road travel

Road travel is dangerous because of the presence of armed groups, bandits and driving hazards. Hazards include very poor road conditions, insufficient street lighting, poorly maintained vehicles, high speeds and dust storms. Roads can be crowded, including with pedestrians, animals and non-motorised vehicles, which pose additional hazards. Traffic incidents can provoke an aggressive or violent response from the local community.

Flooding can occur, making some roads impassable, especially during the rainy season from June to September.

Authorisation from the Ministry of Interior is required to travel outside of N'Djamena. Travel outside N'Djamena is by four wheel drive (4WD) vehicles only. Fuel purchased in rural areas may be of poor quality.

If you need to travel by road, first:

  • verify local security and road conditions
  • seek local advice on possible routes
  • check you have adequate insurance cover
  • familiarise yourself with local traffic laws and practices
  • make contingency plans
  • adopt appropriate personal and vehicle security measures
  • get authorisation from the Ministry of Interior, if needed
  • make sure your vehicle is appropriate for the road conditions
  • get a satellite phone, if you'll travel outside N'Djamena.

More information: Road safety and driving

Transport

Do not use local taxis as they can be unreliable and in poor condition. Do not use public transport due to security concerns and reliability issues. Instead, hire a car and driver from a reputable company.

Air travel

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

More information: Air travel

Laws

You're subject to local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Drug laws

Penalties for using or possessing drugs are severe.

More information: Carrying or using drugs

Other laws

Local laws reflect the fact that Chad is a predominantly Muslim country. Use your common sense and discretion in deciding how to dress and behave.

Police checks are common.

As a measure to combat terrorism, the government of Chad has banned the wearing of burkas and other face coverings.

Activities that are illegal in Uganda include:

  • certain sexual acts between members of the same sex – more information: LGBTI travellers
  • failing to produce identity documents when requested
  • taking any type of photo without a government permit
  • photographing military zones, military assets, military or police personnel, airports or government buildings, even if you have a photography permit
  • buying or selling precious gems without a licence
  • exporting precious gems without authorisation.

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you may be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:

  • bribery of foreign public officials
  • child pornography
  • child sex tourism
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage
  • money laundering
  • terrorism.

More information: Staying within the law

Dual nationals

Read Dual nationals.

Local customs

Chad is a predominantly Muslim country. Respect local religions and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. Homosexuality is not widely accepted in Chad.

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is expected to occur between early May and early June 2019. During Ramadan, take care to respect religious and cultural sensitivities, rules and customs. In particular, avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public and in the presence of people who are fasting.

More information: Ramadan

Health

Travel insurance

Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. Make sure your policy includes adequate coverage for any pre-existing conditions.

You're likely to need a specialised insurance policy for travel to 'do not travel' destinations. Some Australian insurance policies may not cover you for travel to 'do not travel' destinations.

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 your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.

Confirm:

  • what circumstances and activities are and are not covered under your policy
  • that you are covered for the whole time you will be away.

More information: Travel insurance

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

  • At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
  • Get vaccinated before you travel.

More information:

Medication

Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may be illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

Before you leave Australia, check if your medication is legal in each country you're travelling to and find out if any quantity restrictions or certification requirements apply. Consult your doctor about alternatives well in advance of travel

Take enough legal prescription medicine with you to last for the duration of your stay so you remain in good health. Carry copies of your prescription and a dated letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only.

More information: Prescription medicines

Health risks

Insect-borne diseases

Yellow fever is endemic and malaria occurs widely throughout the year. Other insect-borne diseases (including filariasis and African sleeping sickness) also occur. 

Protect yourself against insect-borne diseases:

  • ensure your accommodation is insect proof
  • take measures to avoid insect bites, including using insect repellent and wearing long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing
  • get vaccinated against yellow fever before you travel
  • consider taking malaria prevention medication
  • seek medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.

More information:

HIV/AIDS 

HIV/AIDS is prevalent. Exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.

Other infectious diseases

Water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases (including cholera, tuberculosis, typhoid, hepatitis, meningitis and rabies) are prevalent. More serious outbreaks occur from time-to-time.

  • Use good hygiene practices including frequent handwashing.
  • Boil all drinking water or drink bottled water.
  • Avoid ice cubes.
  • Avoid raw and undercooked food.
  • Don't swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to certain water-borne diseases.
  • Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering diarrhoea.

Medical facilities

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.

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 providing treatment. Although paved roads extend from N'Djamena to several outer regions, medical evacuation to the capital city by air is highly recommended.

If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated from N'Djamena to a destination with appropriate facilities. Medical evacuation is very expensive.  

Natural disasters

Severe weather can have an impact on your travel overseas. Monitor local media for up-to-date weather information.

If a natural disaster occurs:

  • secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location or carry it on you at all times (in a waterproof bag).
  • closely monitor local media and other sources such as the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
  • follow the advice of local authorities
  • contact friends and family in Australia with regular updates about your welfare and whereabouts.

If you're visiting an area recently affected by severe weather or natural disaster:

  • confirm your plans and activities with your tour operator or travel provider
  • check the condition of infrastructure and facilities with local tour operators and hotels.

More information: Severe weather

Where to get help

Depending on what you need, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Emergency phone numbers

  • Fire: phone 18
  • Medical emergencies: dial 2251 4242 in N'Djamena or go direct to the hospital
  • Crime: phone 17 or visit the nearest police station

Always get a police report when reporting a crime.

Australian Government

Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to assist you overseas.

Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Chad. For consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Paris.

Australian Embassy, Paris

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

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

If you're unable to contact the Embassy in a consular emergency, contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Additional information