Chad Travel Information
Local time is GMT +1.
Electrical outlets in Chad usually supply electricity at 220 volts, 50Hz. European two-pin plugs with round or flat pins are standard.
French and Arabic are the official languages of Chad. English is not widely spoken.
Chad is a malaria area and all visitors should seek medical advice regarding the best medication. Vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid and meningococcus. Visitors arriving from a country where yellow fever is a risk require a vaccination.
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 may be at risk of receiving animal bites should consider a rabies vaccination. Chad's HIV Aids infection rates are alarmingly high and visitors are advised to take precautions where necessary.
Medical facilities in Chad are extremely limited and the treatment of any serious ailment will most likely require medical evacuation. For this reason, travellers should ensure they have comprehensive health insurance.
Also, medicines are in short supply. Visitors should carry any medication they require in its original packaging, along with a signed and dated note from a doctor detailing what the medication is and why they need it. Travellers should drink only bottled, filtered, boiled or chemically-treated water.
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 fact, the only area 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. Terrorism and petty theft are high threats in both the capital city and elsewhere throughout the country, meaning travellers should avoid carrying valuables, wearing jewellery, and walking or travelling at night.
A state of emergency remains active in the Lake Chad region. This area, as well as within 30km of all borders, remains extremely volatile. Tourists are strongly discouraged from travelling to these areas.
Chad's diverse tribal and religious make-up means customs and culture vary quite a bit. That said, some points of etiquette are universal in the country, such as respect for elders and maintaining a reserved demeanour in public.
Smoking and drinking in public is frowned upon. Women should dress conservatively, with their legs and shoulders covered. Shorts are generally not worn in public.
Visitors should respect the restrictions in place during Ramadan, including not eating during the day. It's impolite to give or receive money, attempt to shake hands, or eat with the left hand, as it is considered unclean. Tourists should be wary of photographing any government or military buildings.
According to the World Bank, Chad is consistently one of the world's lowest-ranked countries for ease of doing business. Among other things, this is a consequence of its poverty, instability and the difficulty of establishing business connections. Even so, the oil sector has made progress in recent years, and increasingly attracts expats and foreign business.
Meetings seldom start punctually, but attendees may offend colleagues if they're late. Dress is conservative, behaviour is formal and small talk is an important aspect of developing partnerships.
Chad's telecommunication system is 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 is +235, and the area code for N'Djamena is 51. Travellers will struggle to get internet access outside of the capital city. Free wifi is available at upmarket hotels in N'Djamena.
Visitors may import three bottles of wine and one bottle of spirits, an amount of perfume reasonable for personal use, and an amount of camera film reasonable for personal use. Men may possess up to 400 cigarettes, 125 cigars and 500g of tobacco, while women may only bring cigarettes. No allowance is given for gifts.
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