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.
Last updated: 15 April 2014
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 www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
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.
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. In an emergency, you can get consular assistance from the Honorary Consul in N’Djamena, N’Djamena, Chad. Tel: +235 90546447 (during working hours), Email: email@example.com or the British High Commission in Yaoundé, Cameroon.