Foreign travel advice

Togo

Summary

Terrorist attacks in Togo can’t be ruled out. Attacks could be indiscriminate. You should be vigilant, especially in places visited by foreigners.

On 19 August 2017, at least 2 people were killed during demonstrations in Lomé over demands to restore the 1992 constitution and a number of arrests were made. Opposition parties held a day of reflection on Friday 25 August and further demonstrations took place on 6 and 7 September 2017.

Marches and protests are planned in Lomé and around the country for the week commencing 18 September 2017. You should remain vigilant during these times, avoid crowds and demonstrations and monitor local media. Tensions remain heightened and further marches and protests, both by the government and the opposition, are likely.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

Safety and security

Political situation

On 19 August 2017, at least 2 people were killed during demonstrations in Lomé over demands to restore the 1992 constitution and a number of arrests were made. Opposition parties held a day of reflection on Friday 25 August and further demonstrations took place on 6 and 7 September 2017. Tensions remain heightened and further marches and protests, both by the government and the opposition, are likely. You should exercise caution during these times, avoid crowds and demonstrations and monitor local media.

Crime

Violent crime, theft and pick-pocketing are common throughout Togo and you should be especially cautious in Lomé along the beach and in the markets. Attacks occur during daylight as well as at night. You should avoid travelling alone where possible, even within Lomé city limits, especially at night. You should be alert to the risk of car-jackings, including through staged accidents. It’s generally better not to resist armed attack.

Scams

British nationals are increasingly being targeted by scam artists operating in West Africa. The scams come in many forms: romance and friendship, business ventures, work and employment opportunities and can pose great financial risk to victims. You should treat with considerable caution any requests for funds, a job offer, a business venture or a face to face meeting from someone you have been in correspondence with over the internet who lives in West Africa.

Local travel

Exit and entry points at borders can be opened and closed at short notice. Be prepared for checks by the local police and military.

Road travel

Driving standards and road conditions in Togo can be poor. Avoid travelling outside towns and cities at night as roads are poorly lit. During the rainy season minor, unpaved roads may become impassable. You should stop at all control points on request, turn on interior vehicle lights and only continue when permission has been given to do so. You may encounter official and unofficial roadblocks.

Take care when using public transport; driving standards and vehicle maintenance are poor.

Sea travel

There have been incidents of piracy and armed robbery against large vessels in Togolese waters and those of neighbouring countries. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Swimming

You should take care if you decide to swim in the sea as ocean currents are very strong along the coast. There have been a number of drownings each year.

Consular assistance

The number of British visitors to Togo is low. The main type of incident for which British nationals need consular assistance in Togo is replacing lost and stolen passports. You should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times and keep your passport in a safe place.

There’s no British embassy in Togo. If you need consular assistance, you should contact the British High Commission in Accra on +233 302213200.

Terrorism

Terrorist attacks in Togo can’t be ruled out. Togo contributes to the UN peacekeeping initiative in Mali (MINUSMA) and may therefore be considered a legitimate target by Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQ-M) and its associated groups.

As seen in Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, terrorist groups continue to mount attacks on beach resorts, hotels, cafés and restaurants visited by foreigners. Be especially vigilant in these places.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas 

British passport holders need a visa to enter Togo. You are advised to get a visa before travel. Visas issued on arrival in Togo are limited to 7 days and getting an extension can be time-consuming. For more information and advice, contact the Embassy of Togo in London.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of one year from the date of exit from Togo.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry to and exit from Togo.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Local laws and customs

Photography near sensitive or government sites, like military installations or the airport, is strictly prohibited.

Possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs is a serious offence and can result in lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines.

Homosexuality is illegal. Penalties include fines and prison sentences.

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

Medical facilities are poor. Emergency facilities are extremely limited. For serious medical treatment, medical evacuation would be necessary. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation and contact your insurance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Water-borne diseases (including cholera), tuberculosis, meningitis and malaria are common.

The 2015 UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic estimated that around 110,00 adults aged 15 or over in Togo were living with HIV; the prevalence percentage was estimated at around 2.4% of the adult population compared to the prevalence percentage in adults in the UK of around 0.2%. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.

Money

Togo is a cash-based society and credit cards are not universally accepted, especially Mastercard. There are some ATMs at major banks in Lomé, dispensing local currency (West African CFA). Take care when using your credit card or an ATM.

Travel advice help and support

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London on 020 7008 1500 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send us a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.