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Chad

Chad (Arabic: ????, French: Tchad) is one of the poorest and most corruptly mis-governed countries in the world, with most of its inhabitants living in poverty as subsistence herders and farmers.

It shares a short border with Nigeria and is landlocked in the Sahel, south of Libya, east of Niger and Cameroon, north of the Central African Republic, and west of Sudan.

Due to its distance from the sea and desert climate, Chad is sometimes described as the "Dead Heart of Africa".

Regions

Cities

  • 1 N'Djamena — the national capital
  • 2 Moundou
  • 3 Abéché
  • 4 Faya

Understand

History

For more than 2000 years, the Chadian Basin has been inhabited by agricultural and sedentary peoples. The earliest of these were the legendary Sao, known from artefacts and oral histories. The Sao fell to the Kanem Empire, the first and longest-lasting of the empires that developed in Chad's Sahelian strip by the end of the 1st millennium AD. The power of Kanem and its successors was based on control of the trans-Saharan trade routes that passed through the region.

French colonial expansion led to the creation of the Territoire Militaire des Pays et Protectorats du Tchad in 1900. By 1920, France had secured full control of the colony and incorporated it as part of French Equatorial Africa. The French primarily viewed the colony as an unimportant source of untrained labour and raw cotton. The colonial administration in Chad was critically understaffed and had to rely on the dregs of the French civil service.

Fifteen thousand Chadian soldiers fought for Free France during WWII and after the war ended, France granted Chad the status of overseas territory and its inhabitants the right to elect representatives to both the French National Assembly, and to a Chadian assembly. Chad was granted independence on 11 August 1960 with the PPT's leader, François Tombalbaye, as its first president. Two years later, Tombalbaye banned opposition parties and established a one-party system. In 1965 Muslims began a civil war. Tombalbaye was overthrown and killed in 1975, but the insurgency continued. In 1979 the rebel factions conquered the capital, and all central authority in the country collapsed. The disintegration of Chad caused the collapse of France's position in the country, and a civil war in which the Libyans (unsuccessfully) became involved.

A semblance of peace was finally restored in 1990. The government eventually drafted a democratic constitution, and held flawed presidential elections in 1996 and 2001. In 1998, a rebellion broke out in northern Chad, which sporadically flares up despite several peace agreements between the government and the rebels. In 2005 new rebel groups emerged in western Sudan and have made probing attacks into eastern Chad. Power remains in the hands of an ethnic minority. In June 2005, President Idriss Deby won a referendum to remove constitutional term limits. In February 2008, an attempted coup rocked the capital.

Climate

Each year a tropical weather system known as the inter-tropical front crosses Chad from south to north, bringing a wet season that lasts from May to October in the south, and from June to September in the Sahel.

Landscape

The country's landscape comprises broad, arid plains in the centre, desert in the north, mountains in the northwest, and lowlands in the south. Lowest point: Djourab Depression (160 m/525 ft). Highest point: Emi Koussi (3,415 m/11,204 ft).

The dominant physical structure is a wide basin bounded to the north, east and south by mountain ranges such as the Ennedi Plateau in the north-east. Lake Chad, after which the country is named, is the remains of an immense lake that occupied 330,000 km2 (205,000 mi2) of the Chadian Basin 7,000 years ago. Although in the 21st century it covers only 17,806 km2 (11,064 mi2), and its surface area is subject to heavy seasonal fluctuations, the lake is Africa's second largest wetland.

Get in

Visa

Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal.

For all others, a visa is necessary. A single-entry visa costs US$100 for 1 month and multiple-entry visas cost US$150 (3 months) or US$200 (6 months). A letter of invitation is required.

By plane

Air France has daily flights from Paris to N'Djaména. Ethiopia Airlines flies to Addis Ababa, Turkish airlines to Istanbul, Royal Air Maroc to Casablanca, Sudan Airways to Khartoum, Egypt Air to Cairo, and Camair-co to Douala.

By train

There are no usable rail links.

By car

Roads are in disrepair and are typically unpaved - there is only one paved road, which runs from Massakory in the north through N'Djamena on to Guelendeng, Bongor, Kelo and Moundou. It is the best road in the country but still has numerous potholes and as it runs through the centre of a number of small villages, drivers should exercise caution and moderate speeds even while on the main road.

There are several border crossings with Cameroon, most notably via Kousseri near N'Djamena and near the towns of Bongor and Lere. Be very careful, drive defensively, and don't stop unless absolutely necessary. Do not drive at night, as coupeurs de route (road bandits) are common. They are a particular concern along the two roads leading out of Guelendeng, towards Ba-Illi (where expats were attacked in two separate incidents in 2005, resulting in the death of one Catholic nun) and towards Bongor.

By bus

By boat

It is impossible to reach Chad by boat unless crossing illegally through Lake Chad.

Get around

Talk

The main languages of Chad are Arabic and French. Few Chadians other than the educated and well-travelled speak literary Arabic, however; a dialect of Arabic known as "Chadian Arabic" is much more widely spoken and is the closest thing the country has to a trade language. Chadian Arabic is significantly different from Literary Arabic, but similar to the dialects of Sudan and Egypt. Literary Arabic speakers can typically understand Chadian Arabic but the reverse is not true. Over one hundred indigenous languages are also spoken.

See

  • Oasis of Faya.
  • Lake Chad.
  • Ennedi Plateau.

Do

Parc National de Zakouma

Buy

Money

The currency of the country is the Central African CFA franc, denoted FCFA (ISO currency code: XAF). It's also used by five other Central African countries. It is interchangeable at par with the West African CFA franc (XOF), which is used by six countries. Both currencies are fixed at a rate of €1 = 655.957 CFA francs.

There are no restrictions on bringing foreign currencies into Chad. Euros and US dollars are often accepted in payment. Chad is an expensive place compared to much of Africa.

ATMs

There are Ecobank ATMs in Chad where you can get a cash withdrawal with a Master Card and Visa card. Look at the Ecobank website for a full list of locations.

Eat

Meat dishes are very popular in Chad, and foreigners speak highly of the meat. Lamb and camel meat are common and tasty. Food is usually eaten without utensils, and hand sanitizer may be a good precaution. Muslims find it offensive to eat with the left hand. If eating with or being served by Muslims in Chad, eat with your right hand only.

Follow common health travel guidelines concerning raw fruit and cooking requirements to avoid disease. The US State Department website has resources concerning safety while eating abroad.

Drink

Sleep

Years ago few hotels existed in Chad, but now N'Djamena hosts a myriad of affordable options. The Hotel N'Djamena, Radisson Blu Hotel, Mercure N'Djamena Le Chari, Ibis N'Djamena La Tchadienne, Ledger Plaza N'Djamena are some of the higher end hotels. Some Bed and Breakfast and budget minded hotels include the Shanghai Hotel, Hotel La Mirande Tchad, Hotel Gulf Club de Mara, Hotel Gueri, and the Asfa Hotel.

Stay safe

Chad is consistently engulfed in political turmoil and attacks from rebels will probably not happen, but are certainly possible. The situation has stagnated, but it remains a threat. Violence from the Darfur conflict overspills into Eastern Chad from Sudan, a country which shares hostilities with Chad. Any activity outside of N'Djamena is done with difficulty at best. Northern Chad is barren, scorching desert and guides (good luck) and meticulous planning are required. In 2013, Boko Haram jihadists were spotted in Chad.

N'Djamena is relatively safe, although one should be wary of petty street crime and corrupt police/officials. Most border crossings are extremely difficult (Sudan and Libya not being viable options) although the border crossings with Niger and Cameroon are relatively painless.

Stay healthy

Drink water brands you recognize from stores. Eat at restaurants recommended to you by friends and locals you trust. Eat food that has been freshly prepared and cooked well. If you are eating local dishes, make sure the food was freshly prepared, cooked well, and still warm from the grill or cooking pot. Wash your hands often.

Ensure your vaccinations are up to date before visiting Chad. The country is in the African Meningitis Belt, and there is a risk of polio.

Respect


There are 200 distinct ethnic groups. In the north and center: Arabs, Gorane (Toubou, Daza, Kreda), Zaghawa, Kanembou, Ouaddai, Baguirmi, Hadjerai, Fulbe, Kotoko, Hausa, Boulala, and Maba, most of whom are Muslim; in the south: Sara (Ngambaye, Mbaye, Goulaye), Moundang, Moussei, Massa, most of whom are Christian or animist; about 1,000 French citizens live in Chad.

The Chadian-Libyan conflict is something to be avoided at all times; Chadians known to be living in Libya have been tortured and murdered on previous occasions.

Connect

Direct Translation Impossible: Tales from the Land of the Rising Sun

Chad Frisk

Many Westerners are intrigued by Japanese culture, but only a small percentage of them get to see it up close. Very few of them indeed get as close as Chad Frisk. In his short new book he shares his experiences:

Struggling with and mastering a foreign languageOvercoming culture shock and its neglected cousin, reverse culture shockTeaching English with no formal trainingBreaking into traditional Japanese festivalsManaging cross-cultural miscommunicationConstantly feeling stupid.

This book is a window into the life of a foreigner in Japan and will appeal to anyone who is considering teaching English abroad, wants to see Japan from the inside without buying a plane ticket, or enjoys the occasional dose of schadenfreude.

Project Future: The Inside Story Behind the Creation of Disney World

Chad Denver Emerson

On November 22, 1963, one airplane flight changed not only the future of Central Florida but also that of the entire nation. Aboard the plane was Walter “Walt” Elias Disney, the creative genius who ushered in a new era of American entertainment through his animated feature films and Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California. From his window seat, he looked down on thousands of acres of rural swampland and orange groves, an environment that hardly seemed ripe for what would become one of the largest private developments ever in the United States. Yet, with his foresight, he saw an opportunity where other people did not, so much so that a small team of Disney confidants soon began acquiring twenty-seven thousand of those isolated acres for what would become the iconic Walt Disney World Resort. Even before that plane flight, Walt’s interest in creating an eastern project to accompany his Disneyland park in California had been piqued. This story recounts the amazing set of events that enabled Walt Disney’s vision to become a reality.

Chad 1:1,500,000 Travel Map *** (International Travel Maps)

ITM Canada

Double-sided, indexed and very detailed map of Chad. Formerly the northern portion of French Equatorial Africa, Chad is famous among history buffs as being the jump-off point of General LeClerc's masterful march across the Sahara to Tunisia with Free French units loyal to the Allies, during WW1. In more modern terms, Chad is the site of Lake Chad, once a massive interior African lake, but now sadly depleted in size. The map distinguishes roads ranging from divided paced highways to tracks/foot-paths. Legend includes places of interest, mosques, lodges/rest houses, churches, pagodas/temples, clinics, hotels, airfields, national/domestic airports, nature reserves. and includes an inset of the capital N'Djamena.

The Van Meter Visitor: A True and Mysterious Encounter with the Unknown

Chad Lewis

For several nights in 1903, the small town of Van Meter, Iowa was terrorized by a giant bat-like creature that emerged from an old abandoned mine. The identity of this mysterious visitor was never discovered. Over 100 years later, three researchers set out to Van Meter to shine a light on this amazingly bizarre case. Filled with eye witness reports, historic photos, and current accounts of the paranormal, this in-depth book looks to discover what really happened in the town of Van Meter.

The Big 50: Cincinnati Reds: The Men and Moments that Made the Cincinnati Reds

Chad Dotson

The Big 50: Cincinnati Reds is an amazing, full-color look at the 50 men and moments that made the Reds the Reds. Experienced sportswriters Chad Dotson and Chris Garber recount the living history of the Reds, counting down from No. 50 to No. 1. Big 50: Reds brilliantly brings to life the Reds remarkable story, from Johnny Bench and Barry Larkin to the roller coaster that was Pete Rose to the team’s 1990 World Series championship and Todd Frazier’s 2015 Home Run Derby win.

Alexandria (Images of America)

Fr. Chad Partain

On the banks of the Red River, in the heart of Louisiana, is the city of Alexandria. First settled by the French in the mid-1700s, the little Post de Rapides grew to be a thriving trading center. Established in 1805 by Alexander Fulton, a Pennsylvania merchant fleeing from justice after the Whiskey Rebellion, the town of Alexandria flourished when steamboats lined its wharves and cotton was king. Reduced to ashes by Union troops during the Civil War, the town slowly rebuilt itself and, with the coming of the railroads, found new wealth in the timber trade. In 1940 and 1941, Alexandria played host to the US Army as Gen. George Marshall and future heroes of World War II planned a grand strategy in the Hotel Bentley and played war games across central Louisiana. The life and culture of central Louisiana has been captured in Alexandria-native Rebecca Wells’s popular novels Little Altars Everywhere and The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

An Illustrated Guide to Korean: Essential Words and Phrases

Chad Meyer

Ideal for foreigners looking for an easier, more entertaining way to learn Korean. This book organizes material into themes and adds even more fascinating tips about Korean culture. The book also features easy and useful Korean expressions and charming illustrations that aid comprehension.

Chad Flag Journal: Chad Diary, lined Journal to write in

Country Flag Journals

Travel Journal, Chad Flag Diary Chad Gift, Present, Souvenir Book Blank neutral wide-ruled paper with a line at the top for the date to write down all of your notes of your trip to the Republic of Chad. The blank diary contains 132 lined pages to write in. Write your own travel diary and capture the thoughts of your trip to the Republic of Chad. Blank Lined Chad Flag Journal to write in for women and men, kids and teens. The small portable blank book with lined pages (6"x9") is light enough to carry in a bag or a backpack. Perfectly sized at 6"x9" 132 Pages Softcover bookbinding Flexible Paperback Glossy cover design, Retro Look Flag Neutral wide-ruled paper with a line at the top for the date Ideal for taking notes, dreams, thoughts, memories, writing in as a diary, or giving as a gift

The Wisconsin Road Guide to Mysterious Creatures

Chad Lewis

Grab your camera and set off in search of Wisconsin's most elusive creatures. This guide features on-site investigations into the Bigfoot of the north woods and the vampire of Mineral Point to phantom chickens and werewolves that roam rural Wisconsin. Filled with witness drawings, eye-witness testimony, and mysterious photos this guide provides the reader with directions to these bizarre places where you might just come face to face with Wisconsin s most mysterious creatures.

The Most Gruesome Hauntings of the Midwest

Chad Lewis

Explore the Midwests most gruesome haunted locations that are cursed by murders, tragic accidents, suicides, untimely deaths, mob hits, and serial killers. *Warning- Not for the Faint of Heart Haunted places where you can discover the: Cemetery where Ed Gein dug up the bodies of deceased women, Spirit of Buddy Holly haunts the site where his airplane crashed, Bloody alley where gangster John Dillinger was mowed down by the FBI, Old farmstead where a deranged mother murdered her seven children, Restaurant where an ill-fated love affair continues-even from the grave, and many, many more.

AVOID ALL TRAVEL; see also regional advisories.

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.

Despite a strong military presence in Chad, there is a possibility of clashes between rebels and government troops. Tensions are especially high in the eastern provinces, where armed rebel groups are attempting to control the area. If you are contemplating travel to Chad despite the warning, you should check with local authorities or with the Embassy of Canada in Khartoum (Sudan) for the latest security and safety information before finalizing any travel plans.

Civil unrest and violent incidents can occur throughout the country. Carry all necessary travel documents, including valid passports and visas, at all times. Monitor local news, avoid large crowds and demonstrations where political violence may occur and follow the advice of local authorities.

Increased threat of attacks and kidnappings

In 2013, the French military assisted the Malian government in efforts to repel armed rebels. Terrorist groups in the region declared their intention to increase attacks and kidnappings targeting Westerners. While the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali has been supporting the transitional authorities in stabilizing the region since July 2013, citizens of countries supporting the intervention are still at particular risk, but all travellers should exercise increased vigilance in the region.

Northern Chad (see Advisory)

Travel in northern Chad, especially in the Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti region, is considered dangerous. The presence of landmines has been reported along the border with Libya. Attempting to cross the border would be hazardous. Border closure can occur without notice.

Western Chad (see Advisory)

Contraband from Cameroon is frequently smuggled across the Chari River, which can result in armed intervention by Chadian customs and river police. Rural areas around Lake Chad are also subject to periodic violence.

A state of emergency is in effect in the Nigerian state of Borno, which borders Chad. Instability in this province could spill over into Chad.

Border with Sudan and the Central African Republic (see Advisory)

In the border areas with Sudan and the Central African Republic, rebel groups are active and create an extremely insecure situation. Attacks have occurred in these areas and there is a serious threat of kidnapping against foreigners. The humanitarian situation in eastern Chad (including the regions of Biltine and Ouaddaï) is serious, given the ongoing potential for trans-border clashes and the presence of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees who have fled the conflict in Darfur. Targeted attacks on humanitarian workers by bandits and armed militias have increased, and several local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have suspended or reduced operations. You should exercise extreme caution in and around the city of Abéché, where violent incidents have been reported. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR ) recommends travelling in convoys of at least two vehicles and avoiding all movements in the region after 6:00 p.m. There are live minefields in this region. Crossing the border anywhere in this area is extremely dangerous.

N’Djamena (see Advisory)

Avoid all non-essential travel to the capital city of N’Djamena. There is a risk of violence, kidnapping and serious crime in N’Djamena. Travellers entering or exiting the capital must go through security check points. If travel outside N'Djamena is necessary, a permit issued by the Ministry of Interior is required. The permit may take several days to be issued. Outside N’Djamena, telecommunication systems are very unreliable. Travellers with Thuraya satellite phones should register the phones with the Chadian authorities. You are advised to hire a local driver to avoid being the victim of mob justice in response to a road accident.

Crime

Pickpockets and purse snatchers are active in market and commercial areas. Do not show signs of affluence and leave valuables and personal belongings, including cash and airline tickets, in a hotel safe or other secure place. Dress conservatively and avoid walking alone, especially after dark. Burglary and vehicle theft increase during periods of political instability. Banditry is common. Foreigners are increasingly targeted, particularly at night.

Road travel

Road conditions are dangerous. Roads are poorly maintained and mostly unpaved, even in N’Djamena. Streets are poorly lit and road signs are often missing. Excessive speeds, erratic driving habits, lack of vehicle maintenance, roaming wildlife and livestock, cyclists, and pedestrians pose risks. You are advised not to travel between cities at night due to poor road infrastructure.

Emergency services do not exist.

Fuel is not always available in major cities and is very scarce in rural areas.

You should travel in convoy outside N'Djamena, during daylight hours only and carry additional fuel, a spare tire and provisions.

Keep windows closed and doors locked at all times. You should stop and cooperate at all police or military roadblocks. Proper identification should be readily available.

Public transportation

There is no operational train or bus network in Chad. Trucks and minibuses are not properly maintained and are often dangerous. They are not recommended for any intercity travel.

Consult our Transportation FAQ in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Meningitis

This country is in the African Meningitis Belt, an area where there are many cases of meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease (meningitis) is a serious and sometimes fatal infection of the tissue around the brain and the spinal cord. Travellers who may be at high risk should consider getting vaccinated. High-risk travellers include those living or working with the local population (e.g., health care workers), those travelling to crowded areas or taking part in large gatherings, or those travelling for a longer period of time.

Polio

There is a risk of polio in this country. Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up-to-date.

Rabies

Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from a rabid animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination may be recommended depending on your itinerary.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Central Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Cholera

There have been cases of cholera reported in this country in the last year. Cholera is a bacterial disease that typically causes diarrhea. In severe cases it can lead to dehydration and even death.

Most travellers are generally at low risk. Humanitarian workers and those visiting areas with limited access to safe food and water are at higher risk. Practise safe food and water precautions. Travellers at high risk should get vaccinated.

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis is caused by blood flukes (tiny worms) spread to humans through contaminated water. The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in contaminated water. There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in Central Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley feverWest Nile virus and yellow fever.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

African trypanosomiasis

African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a tsetse fly. Tsetse fly bites are painful and if the disease is left untreated it is eventually fatal. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from bites especially in game parks and rural areas during the day. Avoid wearing bright or dark-coloured clothing as these colours attract tsetse flies. There is no vaccine available for this disease.

Onchoceriasis

Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly.  Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common during the daytime and close to running water. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
  • See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in Central Africa, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

Practise safe sex while travelling, and don’t share needles, razors, or other objects which could transmit infection.

Remember that HIV can also be spread through the use of unsterile medical equipment during medical and dental procedures, tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture. Diseases can also be spread though blood transfusions and organ transplantation if the blood or organs are not screened for HIV or other blood-borne pathogens.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Delays in receiving medical care outside N’Djamena should be expected, as medical facilities are extremely limited throughout most of the country.

Three well-stocked clinics serving expatriates are available to travellers on an emergency basis in N’Djamena. They are expensive, and bills must be paid in cash and submitted to health insurance companies for reimbursement by the patient. French and Swiss doctors are available at the SOS International Clinic, the Clinique Medico Chirugicale and Europ Assistance.

 

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Laws/illegal activities

Criminal convictions for possession or trafficking of drugs can result in strict penalties and often lengthy prison sentences. Persons violating Chad's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Convicted offenders may expect jail sentences and fines.

Homosexuality is not widely accepted and some homosexual activity is illegal.

You are required to have a government permit for all photography. It is prohibited to photograph airports, military establishments and government buildings. Film and cameras may be confiscated without notice.

An International Driving Permit is required.

Dual citizenship

Dual-nationality Chadian/Canadian citizens should be aware that they will be treated as Chadian if arrested, and access to a Canadian consular official may be extremely difficult. Consult our publication entitled Dual Citizenship: What You Need to Know for more information.

Local sensitivities

The majority of the population is Muslim. Common sense and discretion should be exercised in dress and behaviour. Respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities.

Money

The currency is the Central African Franc (CFA) which is also used in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. There are no import restrictions on local or foreign currencies, provided they are declared upon arrival. The export of local currency is prohibited and the export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared upon arrival. Proof of entry of money must be processed through one of the local commercial banks.

There are currently no automated banking machines (ABMs) in Chad. Credit cards are accepted only at the two major hotels in N'Djamena and at Air France, the major airline. Due to the potential for fraud and other criminal activity, use credit cards with caution. Small amounts of local currency can be negotiated on major credit cards from several banks. Canadian currency and Canadian dollar traveller's cheques are not widely accepted worldwide. It is recommended that traveller’s cheques be issued in euros, although U.S. dollars are accepted. Please ensure that you bring your receipt for the purchase of the traveller’s cheques, as it is required when you cash them.

Climate

The rainy season in the south lasts from May to October .The rains in central Chad occur from June to September. Many roads become impassable during the rainy season. The north receives little rain. You should keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly, as rain barriers are closed during rainstorms and for three hours afterwards.

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