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Chad Country Guide

  1. CountryFacts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Africa
Full Name: Republic of Chad
Capital City: N'Djamena
Language Spoken: French (official),Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects

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Geographic data

15 00 N, 19 00 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Djourab Depression 160 m highest point: Emi Koussi 3,415 m

Land boundaries

total: 5,968 km border countries: Cameroon 1,094 km, Central African Republic 1,197 km, Libya 1,055 km, Niger 1,175 km, Nigeria 87 km, Sudan 1,360 km

Natural hazards

hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds occur in north; periodic droughts; locust plagues

Natural resources

petroleum, uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad), gold, limestone, sand and gravel, salt

Land use

arable land: 2.8% permanent crops: 0.02% other: 97.18% (2005)

Environmental current issues

inadequate supplies of potable water; improper waste disposal in rural areas contributes to soil and water pollution; desertification

Climate

Hot, tropical climate, though temperatures vary in different areas. The southern rainy season lasts from May to October and the central rains from June to September. The north has little rain all year. The dry season is often windy and cooler during the evenings. Required clothing Linens and tropical waterproof clothing.

Time difference

time difference: UTC+1

Population

9,944,201 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 47.9% (male 2,396,393/female 2,369,261) 15-64 years: 49.3% (male 2,355,940/female 2,550,535) 65 years and over: 2.7% (male 107,665/female 164,407) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 16 years male: 15.3 years female: 16.6 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

2.93% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

45.73 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

16.38 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.11 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 47.52 years male: 45.88 years female: 49.21 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

6.25 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Crime

Incidents of petty theft and theft from vehicles occur. There are also reports of armed robbery, sometimes targeting expatriates. Highway bandits are known to operate in Chad. There is a high level of banditry; much of it carjacking ambushes, south of GozBeida. Take sensible personal security precautions. Avoid carrying valuables or wearing jewelry in public and avoid isolated or poorer areas of towns. Avoid walking around and traveling at night. A series of civil wars within Chad has left guns readily available, and weapons flooded in from the conflict in Sudan's Darfur province, which borders eastern Chad. Criminals do not hesitate to use violence when presented with resistance. Corruption and ill-discipline in the security forces is a significant concern. N'djamena residents have noted that since the government cracked down on pay fraud in the security forces in 2004, crime worsened significantly in the city, with many of the perpetrators enjoying the protection of the police force. The government cited dissatisfaction with the crackdown as a major motivator for an abortive army mutiny in May 2004. The government's clean-up campaign weeded out several thousand fictitious soldiers, whose salaries were augmenting the low salaries of security officers. Since a private in the Chadian army earns less than US$30 per month, the temptation to illegally supplement army salaries has always been high. The Republican Guard and the National and Chadian National Nomadic Guard (GNNT), two well-armed sections of the armed forces that both took a significant role in the mutiny, are especially notorious for extorting money from drivers when demanding to see their papers at checkpoints. N'djamena residents say that if armed robbers break into a house or steal a car, the victim is better off blowing a whistle than calling a policeman. When one person blows their whistle, others join in and the whole street is alerted in the hope that the criminal will be scared away. Residents fear that calling the police will be futile, as the criminal may be under the protection of the police or armed forces - or a member of them. This has been the case in a spate of recent incidents reported in the local press, where the criminal has been simply released. Sometimes, even when the police are prevailed upon to pursue criminals, they demand money for their services. As an alternative to relying on the police, better-off residents of the capital keep guns and tear gas canisters ready to deal with attackers and intruders. Even the head of the local human rights association carries a pistol, explaining: "I was nearly killed in my office. A guy came to my office and pointed his gun at me. I took out mine and he fled. This was the seventh time I had been attacked." Those unable to afford sophisticated defense carry knives. Particularly immune from prosecution are members of President Deby's small Zagawa ethnic group from eastern Chad. Local residents observe that when police officers apprehend a Zagawa offender, some higher-ranking Zagawa officer commonly intervenes to have the suspect freed, regardless of the crime.

Hotels

There are several good hotels in N'Djam?na, but accommodation elsewhere is very limited. There are some small hotels at Sarh, a modern hotel complex in Zakouma National Park, and various small hunting hotels in the southwest.

Communications

The country code is 235. It may be necessary to dial through the operator. Post office hours are 0730-1200 Monday to Friday; 1430-1830 Saturday; 0800-1100 Sunday (for the purchase of stamps).

Electricity

is a 220/380 volts AC, 50Hz. Electricity 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin plug.

Plug Types

D,E,F

Food And Dining

N'Djam?na offers a fair selection of restaurants serving mainly French and African food. Standard European-style service is normal. Outside the capital, restaurants tend to be cheap and cheerful and there is an acute shortage of some foodstuffs. Visitors should exercise caution with street market food.

National specialties:
? Peanut sauce over rice, often eaten in Southern Chad. National drinks:
? Chad's excellent beer, Gala, is brewed in Moundou and is widely available in the non-Muslim parts of the capital.
? Karkanji, a drink made from Hibiscus flowers. Tipping : 10 per cent is normal for most services (US Dollars are the preferred currency).

Nightlife
Lively dancing and music is to be found in the capital, where there is an increasing number of nightclubs. Pari-matches take place on most Saturdays and Sundays in N'Djam?na (non-Muslim areas): groups of women hire bars and sell drinks all day. Outside N'Djam?na, nightlife is limited, although bars and open-air dancing can generally be found.

Entry departure requirements

Visa immigration information

Passports

Passport valid for at least six months required by all.

Visas

Required by all except those continuing their journey within 48 hours by the same or first connecting aircraft provided holding tickets with reserved seats and valid travel documents. All visitors must register at the S?ret? (immigration department) within 72 hours of arrival; two passport photographs are also required.

Types of visa and cost

Ordinary visa (includes visas issued for business or tourist purposes): US$20 (single-entry); US$118 (multiple-entry).

Validity

One month.

Note

Single parents or adults traveling alone with children should be aware that documentary evidence of parental responsibility may be requested.

Application to

Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy); see Passport/Visa Information for details. In countries with no Chadian representation, French consulates may deal with applications.

Application requirements

(a) Valid passport. (b) Two passport-size photos. (c) Two application forms. (d) Letters of recommendation from employer (for business visits). (e) Valid return ticket. (f) Fee. (g) Yellow fever vaccination certificate, provided upon arrival. Failure to do so may result in a further vaccination being administered, for which a charge will be made.

Working days required

Three.

HIV entry requirements

No Test required

Departure tax

CFAfr5000 (tourist tax) and CFAfr3000 (security tax). Students and transit passengers continuing their journey within 24 hours are exempt.

Embassies

Embassy of Chad in France

65 rue des Belles Feuilles, 75116 Paris, France
Tel: (1) 4553 3675.

Embassy of Chad in the USA

2002 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Tel: (202) 462 4009.
Website: http://www.chadembassy.us/
Also deals with enquiries from Canada.

Travel Advice

Travelers are advised against all travel to the area of Chad bordering the Darfur region of Sudan where, due to rebel activity and the conflict in Darfur, the security situation is extremely unstable.
Travelers are advised against all travel to the Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti provinces in the north of the country, to the area bordering the Central African Republic (CAR) and to the area south of Goz Beida. The Sudan and Libyan borders are subject to closure.
When traveling in Northern Chad, tourists must be accompanied by a local guide provided by the local authorities or Sous-prefet.
The tri-border area where Chad, Sudan and CAR meet should be avoided.
Terrorists are active in countries neighboring Chad, including Algeria.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.
Website: www.fco.gov.uk

US Department of State

Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

Currency

CFA (Communaut? Financiaire Africaine) Franc (XAF) = 100 centimes. Notes are in denominations of XAF10,000, 5000, 2000, 1000 and 500. Coins are in denominations of XAF250, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1. Chad is part of the French Monetary Area. Only currency issued by the Banque des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale (Bank of Central African States) is valid; currency issued by the Banque des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (Bank of West African States) is not. The CFA Franc is tied to the Euro.

Currency restrictions

If importing or exporting local currency from other countries in the French monetary area, there are no restrictions; the import or export of local currency from any other country is limited to CFAfr10,000. Import of foreign currency is unrestricted, provided declared upon arrival. Export of foreign currency is limited to the amount imported and declared.

Banking hours

Mon-Sat 0700-1300, Fri 0700-1030.

Currency exchange

It is advisable to bring US Dollars or Euros rather than Sterling into the country. CFA Francs can be difficult to exchange outside the French Monetary Area.

Credit cards

Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted at two hotels in N'Djam?na. It may not be possible to obtain cash advances at banks on credit cards.

Travellers cheques

May be exchanged at one or two banks in N'Djam?na. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in Euros.

N/A

  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreak
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

There is little or no dental care available apart from a couple of western trained dentists in N'djamena

Medication Availability

Medication in short supply and even when available is often out of date, heat damaged or counterfeit

Blood supplies

Blood supplies should be considered as unsafe in Chad

Medical facilities

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.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools; avoid freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured.

Immunization

Cholera: Although limited in effectiveness, vaccination may be appropriate for persons living and/or working in less than sanitary conditions for more than 3 months where medical facilities are unavailable. Vaccination may also be appropriate for travelers with impaired gastric defenses who are planning an extended visit or being exposed to unsanitary conditions. Vaccination is not advised for pregnant women, infants younger than 6 months old, or persons with a history of severe reaction to the vaccine. Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Meningitis: Meningococcal vaccine is recommended for travelers, particularly during the December-June dry season when epidemics are most likely to occur. Importance of vaccination increases with length of stay and/or exposure to crowded conditions. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination. Protection may be less effective for infants and children aged 3-23 months than it is for persons aged 2 years and older. Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Rabies: Preexposure vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 30 days who are expected to be at risk to bites from domestic and/or wild animals (particularly dogs), or for persons engaged in high risk activities such as spelunking or animal handling. Need for vaccination is more important if potential exposure is in rural areas and if adequate postexposure care is not readily available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Yellow fever: Vaccination is recommended for travelers over 9 months of age going outside of urban areas. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne diseases: are major causes of illness. Many diseases, including yellow fever, are endemic, with only scattered cases being reported and, from time to time, more extensive outbreaks. Filariasis - prevalent Leishmaniasis - occurs (both cutaneous and visceral types may be found, particularly in the drier areas) Loiasis - prevalent Malaria - prevalent Onchocerciasis (river blindness) - prevalent Relapsing fever - occurs Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) - occurs (human type - mainly in small, isolated areas - is reported) Typhus - occurs (louse-, flea-, and tick-borne types occur) Food-borne and water-borne illness: highly endemic. The dysenteries and diarrheal diseases, giardiasis, the typhoid fevers and viral hepatitis are widespread. Echinococcosis (hydatid disease) is widespread in animal-breeding areas. Cholera - occurs Dracunculiasis - occurs Helminthic (parasitic worm) infections - prevalent Schistosomiasis - common Other hazards: Diseases such as measles and diphtheria are commonly reported, and cases of polio still occur regularly. Influenza risk extends throughout the year. Meningococcal meningitis - occurs (risk is highest during the December-June dry season, when epidemics are most likely) Rabies - occurs Trachoma - prevalent

Entry requirements

Yellow fever: Chad recommends yellow fever vaccination for all travelers over 1 year of age but does not require it. (Contrary to published requirements, the U.S. Embassy reports that proof of yellow fever vaccination is required; however, this policy may not be consistently enforced.)

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

N/A

Media

The broadcast media is state-controlled, with coverage generally favoring the Government. Radio is the main means of mass communication. Radiodiffusion Nationale Tchadienne is state-run and operates national and regional radio stations. There are about a dozen private radio stations on the air, despite high licensing fees. These are subject to close official scrutiny. Some are run by non-profit groups. The only television station, Teletchad, is state-owned. Private newspapers, critical of the Government, circulate freely in N'Djam?na but have little impact among the largely rural and illiterate population.
Press: Newspapers are printed in French and generally have a low circulation. Dailies include Le Progress and weekly, privately published newspapers such as Le Temps.
TV: State-owned Teletchad is the only channel.
Radio: Radiodiffusion Nationale Tchadienne is the national state-owned channel. Dja FM was Chad's first private station, FM Libert? is owned by a group of human rights organizations and La Voix du Paysan is owned by the Catholic Church.

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