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. Following Chadian independence in 1960, the intervening years of war, drought and famine severely damaged the country’s institutions and its infrastructure. Facilities for tourism are limited.
A valid passport and visa are required. Evidence of yellow fever vaccination may also be 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 St. N.W., Washington D.C. 20009, telephone 202-462-4009. Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Chadian Embassy or Consulate.
The potential for conflict between armed insurgents and government security forces is largely confined to the Tibesti region of Chad’s northwest; travel to the region poses a security risk to foreigners. Chad’s northern provinces bordering Libya remain heavily landmined. Travel to this area is extremely dangerous and requires permission from the Chadian government. Visitors who are not in possession of a valid passport and a visa may experience difficulties at police roadblocks or during other checks. Overland travel after dark is discouraged owing to the activity of highway bandits. In April 1998, the Peace Corps suspended its operations in Chad, citing security concerns.
U.S. citizens should avoid crowds, political rallies, and street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times
Pickpockets and purse snatchers are endemic in market and commercial areas. Burglary and vehicle thefts increase during times of political instability. Since the beginning of 2000, expatriate residences have been targeted for armed robbery, and some foreigners have been assaulted in the process. Travelers to northern Cameroon should contact the U.S. Embassy Regional Security Officer in N’Djamena, Chad prior to crossing the Chad/Cameroon border because of a high incidence of road attacks there.
Medical facilities are extremely limited in Chad. Medicines are in short supply or unavailable, including many over-the-counter preparations sold in the U.S. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars or more. Often cash payments must be made directly to doctors and hospitals in advance of treatment.
U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties. Check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation. Ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death. Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
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.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions /Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Non-existent
Roads are in poor condition and dangerous. No emergency services exist. Travelers on roads in all areas of the country are subject to attack by armed bandits. During the summer rainy season (mid-June to mid-September) many roads become impassable or are restricted by rain barriers.
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 Chad’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs are strictly enforced. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.
U.S. citizens living in or visiting Chad are urged to register at the U.S. Embassy immediately upon arrival. The Embassy can provide updated information on travel and security in Chad and strongly recommends that travelers contact the Embassy prior to travel outside N’Djamena. The U.S. Embassy is located in N’Djamena on Avenue Felix Ebque; mailing address is B.P. 413. Telephone: (235) 51-62-11, 51-70-09, 51-77-59, 51-90-52, 51-92-18 and 51-92-33. Fax: (235) 51-56-54.