CHAD

Country Description: Chad is a developing country in north central Africa which has one of the lowest per capita incomes in the world. Though currently exhibiting signs of stability and political, social and economic recovery, Chad still faces daunting challenges. Years of war, drought, and famine have severely damaged the country's institutions and infrastructure. Facilities for tourism are limited.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: A visa is required and must be obtained in advance. Visitors must check in with the national police and obtain a registration stamp within 72 hours of arrival. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of the Republic of Chad, 2002 R Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009, telephone (202) 462-4009. Overseas inquiries should be made to the nearest Chadian embassy or consulate.

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. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment in advance of treatment. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. The Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide for payment of medical services outside the United States. In some cases, supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas and medical evacuation coverage has proven useful. For additional health information travelers can contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers hotline, telephone (404) 332-4559.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Armed insurgents opposed to the government continue to operate in several parts of the country, including the far north and the Lake Chad region. Chad's northern provinces bordering Libya remain heavily mined. Travel to this area is extremely dangerous and requires permission from the Chadian government. Travelers who are not in possession of a valid passport and visa may experience difficulties at police roadblocks or during other checks. Overland travel after dark is discouraged because of the activity of highway bandits.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Pickpockets and purse snatchers are endemic in market and commercial areas. Burglary and vehicle thefts increase during times of political instability. Travelers to Northern Cameroon should contact the U.S. Embassy regional security officer prior to crossing the border because of a high incidence of road attacks in the region. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The pamphlets "A Safe Trip Abroad" and "Tips for Travelers to Sub-Saharan Africa" provide useful information on protecting personal security while traveling abroad and on travel in the region in general. Both are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: Roads are in poor condition and dangerous. No emergency services exist. Travelers on roads in all areas of the country are subject to attack by armed bandits.

Photography Restrictions: A government permit is required for all photography. Photography of military sites, official buildings, airports and wildlife parks and sanctuaries may be prohibited, even with a permit.

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs are strictly enforced. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Registration/Embassy Location: Upon arrival, U.S. citizens are urged to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in N'Djamena on Avenue Felix Ebque, and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Chad before traveling outside of N'Djamena. The mailing address is B.P. 413. The telephone numbers are (235) 51-62-11, 51-70-09, 51-77-59, 51-90-52, 51-92-18 and 51-92-33. The fax number is (235) 51-56-54.

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