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					Omni Country Guide for


Section   1    Contact Addresses

          2    Overview

          3    General Information

          4    Money

          5    Duty Free

          6    Public Holidays

          7    Health

          8    Accommodation

          9    Social Profile

          10   Business Profile

          11   Climate

          12   History and Government


Location: Central Africa.

Country dialling code: 235.

Direction du Tourisme
BP 86, N’Djaména, Chad Tel: 522 303. Fax: 524 419.

Embassy of the Republic of Chad
Boulevard Lambermont 52, B 1030 Brussels, Belgium Tel: (2) 215 1975. Fax: (2) 216
3526. E-mail:

Embassy of the Republic of Chad
65 rue des Belles Feuilles, 75116 Paris, France Tel: (1) 4553 3675. Fax: (1) 4553 1609.

The British High Commission in Yaoundé deals with enquiries relating to Chad (see Cameroon

British Honorary Consul: Tel: 523 970 or 520 172. Emergency assistance only.

Embassy of the Republic of Chad
2002 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA Tel: (202) 462 4009. Fax: (202) 265
1937. E-mail: info@chadembassy.orgWebsite: Also deals with enquiries
from Canada.

Embassy of the United States of America
BP 413, avenue Félix Eboué, N’Djaména, Chad Tel: 517 009 or 524 727 or 516 211. Fax:
515 654. E-mail: Website:

Note: The Canadian Embassy in Yaoundé deals with enquiries relating to Chad (see Cameroon


Travel warning
It is not advisable to travel at all to the Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti provinces or to the areas around
the border with Sudan and the Central African Republic. For further advice, visitors should
contact their local government travel advice department.Chad is situated in central Africa,
bordered by Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Sudan. The
topography ranges from equatorial forests to the driest of deserts. N’Djaména, Chad’s capital, is
slowly regaining its pre-war reputation as one of Central Africa’s liveliest cities. Bullet holes in
buildings serve as a reminder of troubled times, but the atmosphere here is increasingly upbeat.
The historic quarter, with its colourful daily market, is fascinating and a good place to pick up
colourful Chadian rugs and jewellery. Zakouma National Park is located on an immense plain
across which the Bahr Salamat and its tributaries flow from north to south. Here, visitors may
view what is left of the wildlife (the area has suffered greatly at the hands of poachers). Lively
dancing and music is to be found in the capital, where there are several nightclubs. Outside
N’Djaména, nightlife is limited, although bars and open-air dancing can generally be found.


Area: 1,284,000 sq km (495,800 sq miles).

Population: 8,348,000 (UN estimate 2002).

Population Density: 6.5 per sq km.

Capital: N’Djaména. Population: 530,965 (1993).

GEOGRAPHY: Chad is situated in central Africa, bordered by Libya to the north, Niger, Nigeria
and Cameroon to the west, the Central African Republic to the south, and Sudan to the east. The
topography ranges from equatorial forests to the driest of deserts. In the northeast lies Ennedi,
and to the north the volcanic Tibesti range - largely sheer cliffs, ravines and canyons set among
Saharan sand dunes.

Government: Republic. Gained independence from France in 1960. Head of State: President
Idriss Déby since 1990. Head of Government: Prime Minister Moussa Faki since 2003.

Language: The official languages are French and Arabic. Other widely spoken African languages
include Sara (in the south). The territory’s boundaries enclose a small but highly diverse

Religion: 50 per cent Muslim, 30 per cent Christian, 20 per cent Animist.

Time: GMT + 1.

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz.



Country code: 235. It may be necessary to go through the operator.

Mobile telephone

GSM 900 network covers the N’Djaména area, and other small clusters, mainly in the south.
Network operators include Celtel Tchad (website: and Tchad
Mobile SA (Libertis).


Services are available in large hotels in main cities.


Limited facilities are available in N’Djaména.


Available in major post offices in N’Djaména, Sarh, Moundou and Abéché.


Airmail takes about one week. Post office hours: Mon-Fri 0700-1130 and 1530-1830, Sat


Newspapers are printed in French and generally have a low circulation. Dailies include Info-Tchad
and Le Progrès.

Radio: BBC World Service (website: and Voice of America
(website: can be received. From time to time the frequencies change and the
most up-to-date can be found online.


                Passport Required?         Visa Required?         Return Ticket Required?
British         Yes                        Yes                    Yes
Australian      Yes                        Yes                    Yes
Canadian        Yes                        Yes                    Yes
USA             Yes                        Yes                    Yes
OtherEU         Yes                        Yes                    Yes
Japanese        Yes                        Yes                    Yes

PASSPORTS: Passport valid 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.

Types of visa and cost: Ordinary visa (includes visas issued for business or touristic purposes):
€70 (single-entry); €100 (multiple-entry).

Validity: One month.

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

Application to: Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy); see Contact Addresses section for
details. In countries with no Chadian representation, French consulates may deal with

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.


Currency: CFA (Communauté Financiaire Africaine) Franc (CFAfr) = 100 centimes. Notes are in
denominations of CFAfr10,000, 5000, 2000, 1000 and 500. Coins are in denominations of
CFAfr250, 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 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 & debit cards: Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted at two hotels in
N’Djaména. 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’Djaména. To avoid additional
exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in Euros.

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.

Exchange rate indicators
The following figures are included as a guide to the movements of the CFA Franc against Sterling
and the US Dollar:DateMay '04Aug '04Nov '04Feb '05£1.00 =983.76978.35936.79992.84$1.00

Banking hours: Mon-Sat 0700-1300, Fri 0700-1030.


The following goods may be imported into Chad without incurring customs duty for passengers
over 18 years of age:400 cigarettes (or cigarillos) or 125 cigars or 500g of tobacco (women are
permitted to import cigarettes only); three bottles of wine and one bottle of spirits.

Note: There is free export of 1000 cigarettes or 250 cigars or 1kg of tobacco.


Jan 1 2005 New Year’s Day. Jan 21 Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice). Mar 25 Easter Monday.
Apr 13 National Day. May 1 Labour Day. May 25 Liberation of Africa (anniversary of the OAU’s
foundation). Aug 11 Independence Day. Nov 1 All Saint’s Day. Nov 3-5 Eid al-Fitr (End of
Ramadan). Nov 28 Proclamation of the Republic. Dec 1 Day of Liberty and Democracy. Dec 25
Christmas Day. Jan 1 2006 New Year’s Day. Jan 13 Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice). Apr 17
Easter Monday. Apr 13 National Day. May 1 Labour Day. May 25 Liberation of Africa (anniversary

of the OAU’s foundation). Aug 11 Independence Day. Nov 1 All Saints’ Day. Oct 22-24 Eid al-Fitr
(End of Ramadan). Nov 28 Proclamation of the Republic. Dec 1 Day of Liberty and Democracy.
Dec 25 Christmas Day.

Note: Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and
the dates given above are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid
al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be
interrupted. Many restaurants are closed during the day and there may be restrictions on
smoking and drinking. Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-
Adha may last anything from two to 10 days, depending on the region. For more information, see
the World of Islam appendix.


                         Special Precautions    Certificate Required
Yellow Fever             Yes                    1
Cholera                  Yes                    2
Typhoid and Polio        3                      N/A
Malaria                  4                      N/A

1: A yellow fever certificate is required from travellers over one year of age.

2: Following WHO guidelines issued in 1973, a cholera vaccination certificate is no longer a
condition of entry to Chad. However, cholera is a serious risk in this country and precautions are
essential. A current Cholera outbreak is affecting N'Djaména, Chari Baguirmi, Karem and Lac. Up-
to-date advice should be sought before deciding whether these precautions should include
vaccination as medical opinion is divided over its effectiveness. See the Health appendix for more

3: Immunisations or boosters for typhoid and polio are recommended.

4: Risk of malaria (and of other insect-borne diseases) exists all year throughout the country.
The malignant falciparum form is prevalent. Resistance to chloroquine is reported. The
recommended prophylaxis is mefloquine.

Food & Drink: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Water used for
drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Milk is
unpasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is advised, but
make sure that it is reconstituted with pure water. Avoid all dairy products. Only eat well-cooked
meat and fish, preferably served hot. Pork, salad and mayonnaise may carry increased risk.
Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

Other risks: Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is present, but only in the south and southeast of the
country. Avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water; swimming pools which are well chlorinated
and maintained are safe. River blindness (onchocerciasis) and sleeping sickness
(trypanosomiasis) are also prevalent. Meningococcal meningitis occurs, particularly in the
savannah areas during the dry season (November to May). Immunisation is compulsory. A recent
outbreak in the Iriba district resulted in 15 cases and four deaths - above the epidemic threshold.
Immunisation against diphtheria and hepatitis B should be considered for longer visits. Hepatitis

A and E are widespread in the region (especially in the north and east of Chad). Between June
and August 2004 there were 672 cases/21 deaths of acute jaundice syndrome (AJS) in Coz Amer,
where lies a camp of Sudanese refugees - and the Hepatitis E virus has been confirmed.
HIV/AIDS is prevalent. Rabies is present. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should
be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay. For more information,
consult the Health appendix.

Health care: Medical facilities are poor, particularly in the north, and health insurance (to
include emergency repatriation) is essential.

Travel - International

Note: It is advised against all travel to the area bordering the Darfur region of Sudan where, due
to the conflict in Darfur, the security situation in the region is extremely unstable. All travel to the
Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti provinces in the north of the country, and to the area bordering the
Central African Republic where there have been recent armed clashes/reports of increased rebel
activity, is advised against. The Sudan and Libyan borders are subject to closure. Terrorists are
active in neighbouring countries, including Algeria, and in March 2004, Chadian forces fought
with members of an African extremist group in the northern Tibesti region of Chad.

AIR: There are at least two flights a week from Paris to Chad and several times a week from
Congo, Ethiopia and Central African Republic. Airlines serving Chad include Afriqiyah Airways, Air
France, Cameroon Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, and Sudan Airways.

Approximate flight times: From N’Djaména to Paris is five hours 30 minutes. There are no
direct flights or good connections for those travelling from London. Overnight transit costs may
be covered by some airlines.

International airports: N’Djaména (NDJ) is 4km (2.5 miles) northwest of the city. Taxis are
available, operating 24 hours, for a fare of about CFAfr5000. Airport facilities include a post
office, car hire, refreshments and bar, as well as restaurants.

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

RAIL: There is no railway network in Chad. There have been long-standing plans for a rail link
with Cameroon but construction is not yet underway.

ROAD: There are routes from Cameroon, Central African Republic, Niger and Nigeria. The border
between Cameroon and Chad is the River Logone, which flows into Lake Chad. Boats ply across
the river (there is no bridge). Access from Nigeria is via a sliver of northern Cameroon. There is a
road from N’Djaména via Sarh to the Central African Republic. The road from N’Djaména to
Maidguri in Niger is paved. Roads can be inaccessible during the rainy season. It is not possible,
or advisable, to cross the border from Sudan. Care should be taken when travelling in the area
around the border with Cameroon as there have been reports of armed bandits. Bus: Minibuses
and bush taxis operate between N’Djaména and Kousséri in Cameroon. Rudimentary public
transport is available to the Central African Republic, Niger and Nigeria, although it may be
necessary to change vehicles at the border.

Travel - Internal

AIR: At present, the only internal flights are chartered by private companies. Enquire at the
Direction de la Promotion Touristique for further details; see Contact Addresses section.

ROAD: Travel by road outside N’Djaména is possible by 4-wheel-drive vehicle and permits are
usually needed. Buses run fairly regularly to Sarh during the dry season. Security conditions and
a lack of housing, food, petrol and vehicle repair facilities have resulted in the Government
restricting travel, especially in the central and northern areas of the country. Petrol is expensive.
Many roads urgently need repair, and are impassable during the rainy season, especially in the
south. It is advised to travel in convoy, keep doors locked, carry spare fuel and supplies, and not
travel after dark, due to the potential for highway bandits. Traffic drives on the right. For travel
to all areas outside N'Djaména, authorisation from the Ministry of the Interior is required, which
is usually granted without difficulty after a few days. Documentation: International Driving Permit
required for car hire (which is expensive) as well as an official autorisation de circuler.

URBAN: The city of N’Djaména has an adequate road system and there are limited self-drive
and chauffeured car hire facilities. Minibuses and taxis operate in N’Djaména, with a flat fare
charged. A 10 per cent tip is expected by taxi drivers.


There are several good hotels in N’Djaména, 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. It is advisable to book in advance and prospective
travellers should contact the Embassy in Paris for the latest information (see Contact Addresses


Chad’s capital is slowly regaining its pre-war reputation as one of Central Africa’s liveliest cities.
Bullet holes in buildings serve as a reminder of troubled times, but the atmosphere here is
increasingly upbeat. The historic quarter, with its colourful daily market, is fascinating and a good
place to pick up colourful Chadian rugs and jewellery. The National Museum has collections of the
Sarh culture dating back to the 9th century. There is a distinctive difference between the Arab
section of town (very quiet at night) and the area where the southerners live (lively and full of

Zakouma National Park

This is located on an immense plain, across which the Bahr Salamat and its tributaries flow from
north to south. Here, visitors may view what is left of the wildlife (the area has suffered greatly
at the hands of poachers).

Lake Chad

This was once the centre of Africa’s lucrative salt trade but is now shrinking (literally) and
sparsely populated. The lake is best seen during the August to December period, when the water
level is highest and the occasional hippo or crocodile can be seen drifting by.


Situated 550km south of N’Djaména, Sarh is Chad’s second-largest city and has gained a
reputation as a strong sugar-cane and cotton-growing region. Things to see include the small

National Museum and the Centre Artisanal, where woodcarvings and traditional paintings and
embroideries can be purchased.


Chad’s up-and-coming city, due to an oil rush from the Doba basin, is known for its Gala
Brewery, that produces some of the best beer in the country. Although Moundou lies 400km
south of the capital, the trip may take up to a day to complete by road.


Lying 890km east of N’Djaména, Abéché is surrounded by desert. Former capital of the powerful
Ouadaï sultanate, the town has retained much of its oriental charm with interesting mosques,
cobbled narrow streets and old markets.

Tibesti Mountains

Home of the fierce Toubou tribe, this astonishing region of chasms and crags has seldom been
seen by non-Muslims and remains closed to travellers. The range is said to be home to the best
racing camels in the world. The inhabitants are distantly related to the Tuareg of the Western
Sahara, and were made famous by Herodotus as the ‘Troglodytes’ stocky but immensely agile


Food & Drink: N’Djaména offers a fair selection of restaurants serving mainly French and
African food. Chad’s excellent beer, Gala, is brewed in Moundou and is widely available in the
non-Muslim parts of the capital. 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.

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’Djaména
(non-Muslim areas): groups of women hire bars and sell drinks all day. Outside N’Djaména,
nightlife is limited, although bars and open-air dancing can generally be found.

Shopping: Chad has an excellent crafts industry. Items include camel-hair carpets, all kinds of
leatherware, embroidered cotton cloths, decorated calabashes, knives, weapons, pottery and
brass animals. Shopping hours: Tues-Sat 0900-1230 and 1600-1930. Food shops open Sunday
morning. The market in the capital is open from 0730 until dusk.

Special Events: Celebrations in Chad are largely confined to Muslim feasts and festivals, and
private, tribe-specific ceremonies.

Social Conventions: Chadians are a relaxed and friendly people, but respect for traditional
beliefs and customs is expected. Dress is informal but conservative in respect of Muslim laws.
There is strict segregation of women in the Muslim areas. It is customary to shake hands. The
left hand should never be used for offering or accepting food, nor should the sole of the foot be
exposed in the presence of a Muslim. Identification should be carried at all times; failure to do so
may result in detention by police. Photography: It is necessary to obtain a permit from the
Ministry of Information in order to take photographs. Photographing military sites, airports and

official buildings is prohibited. Other photography requires a government permit. Tipping: 10 per
cent is normal for most services (US Dollars are the preferred currency).


Economy: Chad is one of the world’s poorest countries, with a per capita annual income of just
US$200. Civil war, poor infrastructure, few natural resources and droughts have hampered any
development of the economy during the last few decades. Subsistence level farming occupies 70
per cent of the population, producing mainly sorghum, millet and groundnuts. Cotton is the main
cash crop. Nonetheless, there are chronic food shortages which can, in many areas, only be met
by international food aid. Agro-industrial operations, most of which are based in the south of the
country, dominate the small industrial sector. Mineral deposits including tungsten, tin, bauxite,
gold and iron ore have been located: only natron (hydrated sodium carbonate) is mined in
commercial quantities. However, the country now has a unique opportunity to transform its
economic fortunes following the discovery of large oil deposits in the Doba Basin in the
southwest. A 1000km pipeline linking the fields to the Cameroonian port of Kribi (Chad is
landlocked) was due on stream in 2003. Chad is expected to earn around US$3 billion over 25
years, which will increase national income by around 50 per cent. France is by far the largest
trading partner, followed by Nigeria, The Netherlands, Italy, the USA, the UK, Cameroon and
Germany. Chad is a member of the Central African Economic and Customs Union (CEEAC).

Business: A knowledge of French is essential as there are no professional translators available.
Best months for business visits are between November and May. Office hours: Mon-Thurs 0700-
1530, Fri 0700-1200.

Commercial Information: The following organisation can offer advice: Chambre de
Commerce, d’Industrie, d’Agriculture, des Mines et d’Artisanat, 13 avenue du Colonel Moll, BP
458, N’Djaména (tel: 525 264; fax: 525 263).


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.


History: Indications of population around the shores of Lake Chad date back to Neolithic times.
The shores were an important junction for several major trans-Saharan caravan routes for
centuries. From the 11th to the 15th century, the state of Kanem was the dominant force in the
region, occupying much of the area that makes up present-day Chad. In the 15th and 16th
centuries, the state of Borno, which had its centre on the other side of Lake Chad (in present-day
Nigeria), exercised a major influence. A gradual process of Islamisation took place in the region
from this time, especially during the 16th and 17th centuries during the kingdoms of the Bagirmi
and Ouaddai. The slave trade was a key component of their economies and as this declined from

the early 19th century onwards, so did the kingdoms. In the 1880s, riven by internecine feuding,
they were conquered by the Sudanese warlord Rabih al-Zubair. The Europeans arrived a few
decades later, in the latter stages of their carve-up of the African continent.Chad was first
defined as a national territory in 1910, as one of the four making up French Equatorial Africa.
Chad achieved independence in 1960 with François Tombalbaye, leader of the Parti Progressiste
Tchadien (PPT), as Prime Minister. Its history since then has been characterised by political
instability and tensions, largely due to religious and cultural divisions between the Muslim north
and Christian/animist south a pattern that may be found in many other African countries,
including Nigeria and Sudan.The northern rebels organised the Front de Libération Nationale du
Tchad (FROLINAT). Tombalbaye was killed in a military coup in 1975 and the new regime sought
a settlement with FROLINAT, who refused, and launched a successful offensive 3 years later,
giving them control of the country. Within months of taking power, FROLINAT had split into
factions around the movement’s leader and national President Goukouni Oueddei (backed by
Libya), and Defence Minister Hissène Habré (backed by the French and, subsequently, the
Americans). Fighting between supporters of the two factions escalated into full-scale war until
1982 when Habré’s forces captured the capital and installed him as President. Habré’s regime
lasted until 1990 when he was overthrown by the former army commander, Idriss Déby.Since
taking power, Déby has managed to stabilise the political situation to some extent and install a
working democratic constitution. Déby himself was elected to the presidency by a comfortable
majority in 1996. That result was repeated, despite some complaints over irregularities, at the
most recent poll in May 2001. Déby’s political vehicle, the Mouvement Patriotique du Salut (MPS),
controls the National Assembly, with a sizeable opposition party in the form of the Union pour le
Renouveau et la Démocratie (URD) led by Wadal Abdelkader Kamougue. The main extra-
parliamentary opposition is the Mouvement pour la Démocratie and la Justice au Tchad (MDJT),
led by Déby’s ex-Defence Minister, Youssouf Toigimi, which launched an armed rebellion in the
northern Tibesti region in October 1998, although its potency has diminished following serious
injuries to Toigimi suffered in August 2002.The discovery of large oil deposits in the southern
Doba region of the country (see Economy section) has provided the Government with an
opportunity to develop the economy. It has also heightened interest in Chad a relative
international backwater from outside, and has led to some improvement to previously rocky
relations with France, the USA, and international institutions such as the World Bank.

Government: Under the terms of the constitution adopted by national referendum in March
1996, the President is directly elected for a 5-year term and holds executive power, assisted by
an appointed Prime Minister and Cabinet. Legislative power is vested in a bicameral legislature,
comprising the 125-strong National Assembly, which is directly elected for a 4-year term in a
mixture of single-member and multi-member constituencies; and the Senate, which is elected for
a 6-year term (one-third of which is renewed every 2 years).