Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

ALERT - COVID-19 Do not travel overseas at this time. Due to the difficulty travellers are experiencing returning home, New Zealanders overseas need to take steps to stay safely where they are and shelter in place....Read more

ALERT - COVID-19 Do not travel overseas at this time. Due to the difficulty travellers are experiencing returning home, New Zealanders overseas need to take steps to stay safely where they are and shelter in place....Read more

  • Reviewed: 19 March 2020, 14:33 NZDT
  • Still current at: 22 September 2020

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Travel outside N’Djamena
New Zealanders who decide to travel outside N’Djamena should ensure they put in place appropriate personal security protection measures. We recommend travelling in convoy, with a local guide and only during daylight hours. You should prepare well in advance and make sure you have a satellite phone as telecommunications outside D’jamena can be unreliable. Such measures may mitigate some risks but will not eliminate them entirely.

The Government of Chad has extended a state of Emergency in the Lac region (Lake Chad), western Tibesti region bordering Niger and the eastern Sila and Ouddaï regions bordering Sudan until further notice, following a number of Boko Haram attacks.

We recommend monitoring media reports and local information sources for possible threats to your safety and security. If you decide to travel outside N’Djamena you are required to obtain authorisation from the Chad Ministry of the Interior before you travel, which may take several days to be issued.

There is a threat of terrorism throughout Chad, including in N’Djamena. The terrorist group Boko Haram regularly mounts large-scale attacks in areas of northern Nigeria that border Chad. There are ongoing military operations targeting Boko Haram in areas around Lake Chad and there is a risk of spill-over violence. On 15 June 2015, two suicide bomb attacks on police facilities in N’Djamena killed 23 people and injured at least 100 others. There were numerous attacks in the Lake Chad region in 2016 and 2017 where Boko Haram remains active. Security across the country has been reinforced and police check points and vehicle checks are now routine.

Terrorist attacks could occur at any time and may be directed at locations known to be frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. New Zealanders are advised to be security conscious at all times, particularly in public areas.

There is a threat of kidnapping against foreigners in Chad, particularly in the Lake Chad region, remote areas and in the east of the country. Non-governmental organisation (NGO) and humanitarian workers have been targeted in the past. New Zealanders in Chad are advised to seek professional security advice and ensure appropriate personal security measures are in place at all times.

Civil Unrest
Violent civil unrest has occurred throughout the country. The security situation remains unpredictable and the potential for further violence remains.

New Zealanders in Chad are advised to maintain a high degree of personal security awareness and take sensible security precautions at all times. We recommend monitoring the media and other local sources for information about new safety or security risks. We also recommend avoiding all demonstrations, protests and rallies as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning.

Violent Crime
There is a high and increasing level of violent crime in Chad including armed robbery, carjacking and murder. We recommend you avoid travelling at night and to isolated areas. Petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse snatching also occurs in markets and commercial areas.

New Zealanders in Chad should be aware that victims of financially motivated violent crime are often targeted because of their perceived wealth. It is therefore advisable to avoid wearing or displaying items that appear valuable, such as jewellery, laptops and mobile devices. No resistance should be given if you are the victim of a robbery, mugging or carjacking as this could lead to an escalation in violence. Be vigilant, and take particular care in N’Djamena.

Border Areas
Travel to areas bordering Libya, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Niger and Nigeria is particularly dangerous. Armed groups are active along southern and eastern borders and there are a large number of refugees and internally displaced people in eastern Chad, displaced by conflict in Sudan and the Central African Republic. Travellers may encounter increased border patrols and tighter border security. The borders with Libya and the Central African Republic remain closed, where landmines are reportedly present. Other borders such as those with Sudan may close with little or no warning.

General Travel Advice
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Chad to avoid offending local sensitivities.

All photography requires a permit issued by the Government of Chad (the Ministry of Public Security and Immigration).

Local police often ask to see proof of identity or documentation. We recommend you carry a photocopy of the bio-data page of your passport and a copy of your Chadian visa at all times. Failure to present identification may result in detention.

There are limited ATMs in Chad and credit cards or other electronic forms of accessing funds are generally not accepted.

There is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Chad. The ability of the government to provide consular assistance to New Zealand citizens in Chad is severely limited.

We offer advice to New Zealanders about contingency planning that travellers to Chad should consider.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Chad should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. Medical supplies may be extremely limited. 

New Zealanders travelling or living in Chad are strongly advised to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

See our regional advice for Africa

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