Chad Travel Information
- Zakouma National Park in Chad... any good?
- Got a question or comment about Chad? Ask a Travel Expert!
Local time is GMT +1.
Most households in Chad have no access to electricity. Electrical outlets in Chad usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts, 50Hz. European two-pin plugs with round or flat pins are standard.
Arabic and French are the official languages of Chad and English is not widely spoken.
Chad is a malaria area and prophylaxis is recommended for all travellers; consult with your doctor to decide which malaria medication will suit you best. Vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid and meningococcus (during the dry season between November and June). A yellow fever vaccination is required for entry to Chad for any persons arriving from countries with a yellow fever risk. Travellers may also be advised to ensure they are up to date on vaccinations for tetanus-diphtheria (every 10 years), MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), and polio. Those who intend to spend a lot of time outdoors and who may be at risk of animal bites should consider a rabies vaccination. The infection rates of HIV Aids in Chad are alarmingly high and visitors are advised to take precautions where necessary. Travellers should drink only bottled, filtered, boiled or chemically-treated water.
Medical facilities in Chad are extremely limited and travellers should ensure they have comprehensive health insurance as the treatment of any serious ailment will most likely require medical evacuation. As medicines are in short supply any medication required should be taken along in its original packaging and accompanied by a signed and dated note from a doctor detailing what the medication is and why it is needed.
Small tips for good service are appreciated in Chad. Service charges are not usually included in restaurants and tips of about 10 percent for waiters are acceptable. Taxi fares should be rounded up if the service is good.
Constant political turmoil makes safety in Chad far from certain. The British Foreign Office has travel warnings in place for the entire country, advising against all but essential travel to Chad. In addition, travel to the following areas is advised against in any and all circumstances: within 18 miles (30km) of the borders of Libya, Nigeria, Niger and the Central African Republic; the regions of Sila, Ouaddi, Wadi Fira, Ennedi, Borkou and Tibesti; and areas north of Faya Largeau. Tibesti and the areas north of Faya Largeau especially are to be avoided, as there are numerous land mines. The US government likewise cautions against all travel to eastern Chad, the Chad/Sudan border area, and the Chad/Central African Republic border area. In fact, the only area of the country with no travel restrictions is the capital city of N'Djamena; however, the city has a high rate of violent crime and attacks on foreigners are fairly common. Petty theft is also a problem, and travellers should avoid carrying valuables or wearing jewellery, as well as walking or travelling at night.
Customs and culture in Chad vary quite a bit in terms of the diverse tribal and religious backgrounds of the local population. Some etiquette in Chad is universal, however, including respect for elders and maintaining a reserved demeanour in public. Smoking and drinking in public is frowned on. Women should dress conservatively with their shoulders and legs covered, and shorts are generally not worn in public. Visitors to Chad should respect the restrictions in place during Ramadan, including not eating during the day. Never attempt to shake a person's hand, give or receive money, or eat with the left hand as it is considered unclean. Tourists should be wary of photographing any military or government buildings.
Chad is consistently one of the lowest ranked countries in the world for ease of doing business according to the World Bank. This is a result of the country's poverty and instability and the difficulty of establishing business connections, among other things. In recent years there has been progress in the oil sector which is hopeful for the country and increasingly attracts expats and foreign business.
Dress is conservative and behaviour formal in business meetings and small talk is important. Meetings seldom start punctually, but offense may be taken if you are late. The average working week runs from Monday to Saturday: 7am to 1pm from Monday to Thursday; 7am to 10.30am on Friday; and 7am to 1pm on Saturday.
The telecommunication system in Chad is very basic and expensive, with services provided by the state telephone company Sotel Tchad. The country has one of the lowest telephone density rates in the world. The international access code for Chad is +235 and the area code for N'Djamena is 51. Chad lacks the infrastructure to support efficient broadband services but international funding has been promised to tackle the problem. There are many internet cafes in N'Djamena, although travellers will struggle to get internet access outside of the capital city.
Visitors to Chad may import three bottles of wine and one bottle of spirits, an amount of perfume reasonable for personal use, an amount of camera film reasonable for personal use. Men may possess up to 400 cigarettes/125 cigars/500g of tobacco, while women may only bring cigarettes. No allowance is given for gifts.
Become our Chad Travel Expert
We are looking for contributors for our Chad travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Chad or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.