Essentials

Visas
Visitors from most countries, including UK, EU and US visitors require a visa for entering Chad. In addition to this, you will require an invitation letter, which we will provide for you. Please note that the embassy requires a copy of a Yellow Fever certificate to issue the visa – you must ensure that this is up to date before applying for the visa. You are also required to send the original copy of your travel insurance certificate. There is no Chadian Embassy in the UK, and applications must be made to the embassy in Paris. There is however an embassy in the US.
Visa regulations can frequently change. Therefore we recommend that you check with your nearest embassy for the most up to date details.

Airport Tax
There is currently no departure tax payable when flying out of Chad.

Health
As with travel to most parts of Africa, we strongly recommend that you contact your doctor’s surgery or a specialist travel clinic for up-to-date information, advice and the necessary vaccinations. Vaccination against yellow fever is a compulsory requirement for entry into Chad, and you must bring your certificate with you. This may or may not be checked when you enter the country, but we strongly advise that you do not risk being denied entry.

Insurance
What should my travel insurance policy cover?
• Medical and health cover for an injury or sudden illness abroad
• 24 hour emergency service and assistance
• Personal liability covers in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property
• Lost and stolen possessions cover
• Cancellation and curtailment (cutting short your trip) cover
• Extra cover for activities that are commonly excluded from standard policies, such as certain sports
The policy should cover the whole time that you are away.
Your policy may also have:
• Personal accident cover
• Legal expenses cover

Common travel insurance policy exclusions
Always check the conditions and exclusions of your policy:
• Most policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents
You must take reasonable care of your possessions or your policy will not cover you.

Practical information

Local Currency
The local currency in Chad is the CFA. For current exchange rates visit www.xe.com. The CFA is rarely obtainable outside of Central Africa, and so it is best to bring currency in Euros. It is possible to exchange US dollars but it is more difficult to do so.

Where currency can be exchanged
It is a simple procedure to change money in banks in Chad, although you should only rely on being able to do this in N’Djamena. It is also often possible to change money at hotels. Your guide will be able to give further advice on this. For our scheduled group tour, there is very little to spend money on once you leave N’Djamena.

Credit cards and travelers cheques
Cashing travelers’ cheques can be very difficult in Chad, if not impossible. We do not recommend that you bring them. Credit cards are not widely accepted.

Best time to go
Generally speaking, the best time to visit Chad is between October / November and March, when the temperature will be hot, but not uncomfortably so. Chad’s rainy season is from May to September and travel can be difficult during this time.

Main Language
A number of different languages are spoken in Chad, but its official languages are French and Arabic. You will also find a number of other languages including Fulfulde and Tubu – there are almost one hundred and twenty different languages spoken within the country. Your guide will speak English.

Main Religion
Both Islam and Christianity are prevalent in Chad. However there are also strong animist traditions and you will find that these are often woven in with other beliefs, as well as being practiced solely by many groups.

Food and drink
While on tour in Chad you will generally be served a mixture of European and African cuisine. Local conditions and availability dictate that food is fairly simple, so do not expect gourmet cooking. Breakfast typically consists of bread, jam, biscuits and coffee, while lunch is normally some type of salad. For the evening meal you can expect pasta, couscous, meat and vegetable stews, soup, rice and other such food, depending on what is available at the markets along the way.
If you have any special dietary requirements you must notify us at the time of booking. While we will make every effort to cater for you, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible.
You may also like to take some snacks with you to vary your diet – energy bars, dried fruit or sweets are generally appreciated.
All meals are included while on our tour in Chad, apart from the first day, and the evening of the final day. Allow around €20 for an evening meal.
Water will be taken from wells along the way – it is not possible to take a supply of bottled water from N’Djamena. This is treated with a sterilizing agent such as Micropur to render it safe to drink.
You might also like to take a bottle of alcohol for the evening – after leaving N’Djamena it is unlikely that you will be able to buy any.

Transport
Our tour in Chad uses Land cruisers and / or Range Rovers, which are ideally suited to the challenging conditions. We also take a mechanic along with us.

Local conditions
Travelling in the destinations that we visit requires a good deal of understanding that often standards simply won’t be as they are at home. While we aim to make your trip as comfortable as possible, please be aware that we are often visiting remote or less developed regions that may have little infrastructure. While we aim to make your trip run as smoothly as possible there may be times when we need to ask for your patience while we rectify any problems. This is particularly the case with Chad, as it is a country with almost no tourist infrastructure, and this tour visits some remote regions. Along the way your guide will need to register details with local authorities, which can take some time.
While camping you should be aware that there are no facilities. We will spend our nights in wild camps chosen each night. There are no toilet facilities. You will be provided with a small amount of water each night to wash with (although on one or two occasions this may not be possible due to distance from wells).
Chad is a difficult destination to travel through and cannot be compared with other countries in the region. The infrastructure here is non-existent and the authorities are not used to tourism. Distances are great, and some driving days may be monotonous, although we will stop as much as possible at points of interest.
We do not recommend Chad to anyone looking for a conventional holiday – comforts are few and far between and conditions are often challenging. It is not comparable to other countries in Africa that you may have travelled to, but the crew travelling with you will do their utmost to make this trip as comfortable as possible. However for those seeking a true adventure to one of the most remote parts of our world, Chad is hard to beat.

Single Supplements
The bulk of the single supplement charge is made up from the initial hotel night in N’Djamena. If you are prepared to share a room with another traveller of the same sex in N’Djamena but would prefer to have your own tent for the remainder of the tour, then we may be able to offer a reduced single supplement charge providing that we can match you up. Please contact us if you would like to do this.

What to take with you

First Aid Kit
The first thing on your list should be a first aid kit. Whilst there is no undue cause for alarm, travellers are best advised to travel well-prepared: adequately immunized, with sufficient supplies of prescription drugs, along with a medical kit.

Clothing
Chad is quite warm and so light clothes are generally a good idea. You should ensure that you bring warmer clothes for evenings in the north – it can get a lot cooler in the north once the sun goes down. Please remember that Chad has a large Moslem population and conservative attitudes towards dress, and so women should bear this in mind and ensure that clothing is appropriate. Shorts and a t-shirt / undershirt are not deemed acceptable by many local people.

Footwear
Footwear is a main priority on this tour. Comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended, as well as a pair of sandals. You may also wish to bring a pair of gaiters – in some areas of the Tibesti you can find a sharp spiky grass which will stick into your legs.

Luggage
Your luggage should not exceed 17kgs, and should have soft sides. One large holdall/rucksack, and one small hand luggage rucksack is acceptable.

Other
Sun cream/sun block is a must. Insect repellent, including a bite spray will also be useful to have. As our tour in Chad involves camping, a torch (flashlight) is essential.
You should also bring a towel, a water bottle and toilet paper. You may also wish to consider bringing anti-bacterial hand lotion. You should also bring a lighter / matches (for burning toilet paper). If you wear contact lenses, you may wish to consider bringing a pair of glasses – it can get very dusty while driving and cause irritation to the eyes.

Sleeping bags
You will need to bring a sleeping bag for our tour in Chad. We would recommend a warm sleeping bag, as well as a sleep sheet for any hot nights. You may also like to bring an inflatable pillow, as these are not provided. Sleeping mats however are provided.

Fitness
This tour does not require any special degree of fitness but you will find it more enjoyable if you are reasonably fit.

Cultural and environmental guidelines
You may come across beggars while on tour. Every traveler has different perspectives on this and ultimately the choice is up to you. Many sources recommend that you watch to see if local people give, and then follow their lead with genuine beggars. We do not recommend giving money, sweets, pens etc to children as this can encourage a begging mentality and can lead to children choosing to beg rather than go to school.
Haggling is a way of life in Chad when making many purchases, especially with tourist souvenirs. Usually, but not always, the vendor will start with a price that is higher than they are prepared to accept, and the buyer is expected to haggle. There are no hard and fast rules with this – some vendors may initially quote a vastly overinflated price, others may start with a price close to the true value, while others may just present you with one price and not be prepared to discuss it. Although many tourists may feel uncomfortable with this, it’s important to remember that this is best entered into in a relaxed manner. Once you have agreed upon a price, it is extremely bad form to then not pay this. Please also bear in mind that a small amount of money to you can be a relatively large amount for the vendor, and that it is not necessarily best practice to ‘beat the vendor down’ to the lowest possible price. Remember that they also have a living to make.
Chad has very little tourism and so bargaining for souvenirs can be a little different from in other countries – often the vendor will not be willing to haggle, or may even increase the price rather than reducing it!
You will be spending some time in environments that have very little trace of human presence or development on our tours in Chad. It is important to ensure that they stay this way. Please make sure that you dispose of any rubbish properly – there will be a rubbish bag in camp each day. This includes cigarette butts as well.
Please do not buy any products made from endangered species – this is not sustainable and hastens the species’ decline.

Photography
You should always ask permission before taking anyone’s photograph and respect their decision if they say no. Chad is a country that has always been sensitive with regards to photography – this especially applies to the Tubu people of the Ennedi and further north who generally do not like having their picture taken. You should ask your guide whether it is okay to take photos – if they advise that it is not, please take heed of this as it can sometimes provoke an angry reaction.
Taking photos of military installations, state buildings, and airports can lead to problems with local authorities. If you are unsure about whether it is acceptable to take a photo, please ask your tour leader or guide.
You may be able to charge camera batteries from the cigarette lighters of the vehicles (if you bring the necessary charger), but we would also recommend that you take a spare battery.

Tipping
Tipping is commonly recognized as a way of rewarding guides and drivers for good service. If you are happy with your guide and driver, please consider leaving a tip for them. We recommend that each member of the crew receive a tip of around €50 minimum (to be divided among all group members, not per person).

Foreign Office Advice
We constantly monitor the advice posted by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. At present the FCO advises against travel to all parts of the country except N’Djamena. It is likely travel warnings will remain in place for some time to come, and we are only able to accept a booking on the basis that you are aware this is the case and confirm that you are still happy to travel irrespective of the current FCO advice.
We work very closely with experienced local contacts and are fully confident that it is safe to operate tours in Chad. Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific concerns or would like to know in detail what measures are being taken to ensure visits remain trouble free and without incident.
Furthermore, it is the clients’ responsibility to ensure that they hold full travel insurance which includes medical repatriation.
You should check the validity of your insurance with your provider, given the travel warnings in place. We can however, help you organize insurance which will continue to be valid.
It should be noted that this information applies to British citizens. Other nationals are asked to check the current position of their respective government.

Further Information

Public Holidays in Chad:
1 Jan New Year
1 May Labour Day
11 Aug Independence Day
1 Nov All Saints’ Day
1 Dec Freedom and Democracy Day
25 Dec Christmas Day

Other holidays such as those associated with Ramadan are Islamic holidays and as such follow the lunar calendar, varying year to year. Easter Good Friday and Monday also vary annually.

Dates are for guidance only and may vary year to year

Electrical Supply
Electrical supply is 220V/50 Hz and plugs have two round pins like most European countries.