Camels in the mountain deserts of Chad
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Camels in the mountain deserts of Chad

© Hemera / Thinkstock

Chad Travel Guide

Key Facts

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


11.2 million (2013).

Population density

8.7 per sq km.




Republic. Gained independence from France in 1960.

Head of state

President Idriss Déby since 1990.

Head of government

Prime Minister Kalzeubé Pahimi Deubet since 2013.


220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are used.

A dusty swathe of land at the heart of Africa, Chad is a sun-baked country which, while rocked with conflict, offers up a striking backdrop of sub-Saharan scenery.

Its capital, N'Djamena, is a friendly and laid-back city featuring a wonderful Central Market, where the whole experience of haggling for African produce is exceptionally good fun. Lake Chad, once one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, is still a serene sight to behold, despite its gradual shrinkage due to climate change and increased demands. It is still of huge economic importance, providing water to millions of people in surrounding countries.

Indeed, Chad itself, although one of the poorest of Africa's nations, is still geographically staggering, ranging from desert in the north to fertile farmland in the south.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 24 January 2015

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:

  • areas within 30km of the border with Libya, Nigeria, Niger and the Central African Republic

  • areas bordering Lake Chad including the regions of Kanem and Lac to the west of the towns of Mao and Bol

  • areas within 30km of Cameroon from Lake Chad as far as Léré

  • the regions of Sila, Wadi Fira, Ennedi, and Tibesti

  • the region of Ouaddaï except the town of Abéché

  • the region of Borkou except within 30km of the town of Faya Largeau

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to all remaining parts of the country including the towns of Faya Largeau in Borkou region and Abéché in Ouaddaï region, but with the exception of the capital N’Djamena to which the FCO do not advise against travel.

You should only undertake travel to those parts of the country to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel if you are confident that you have in place adequate security precautions to protect you from violent crime, the correct Chadian authorities are aware of your journey, you have in place the right permits if required, and you hold comprehensive travel insurance.

Chad has cancelled all incoming flights from or via countries affected by Ebola, including Nigeria, as a prevention measure against the spread of Ebola to Chad. Chad has also cancelled all flights from or via Ghana. Contact your airline or travel company to check whether your flights have been affected.

Since the beginning of November 2014 there has been a severe shortage of fuel in the capital, N’Djamena, resulting in riots and demonstrations. You should avoid large gatherings and keep informed on developments through local media.

There is a general threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. There is a threat of retaliatory attacks following the French intervention in Mali. 

There is no British Embassy in Chad. If you need consular assistance you should contact the British High Commission in Yaoundé, Cameroon.