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Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets

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Travel Warning & Consular Information Sheet

Sub-Saharan Africa - Tips for Travellers to Sub-Saharan Africa. Important Tips


Your trip to Africa will be an adventure off the beaten path. Conditions and customs in Sub-Saharan Africa can contrast sharply with those in the United States. These pages contain advice to help you avoid inconvenience and difficulties. Take our advice seriously but don’t let it keep you at home. Most Americans have unforgettable experiences in Africa. We are often welcomed and helped by Africans who are happy to share not just their scenery, but their culture and traditions as well.

This brochure covers all of Africa except the five nations bordering the Mediterranean. Sub-Saharan Africa includes 48 nations. Forty-two of these nations are on the mainland. In addition, four island nations in the southwest Indian Ocean (Madagascar, The Comoros, Mauritius, and Seychelles) and two island nations in the Atlantic Ocean (Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe) are considered part of Africa. For convenience, we will often use the word "Africa" to refer to the sub-Saharan region. For information on the five northern African nations of Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Libya, and Egypt, see Tips for Travelers to the Middle East and North Africa.

Before you go, learn as much as you can about your destination. Your travel agent, local bookstore, public library and the embassies of the countries you plan to visit are all useful sources of information. The Department of State’s Background Notes series includes a pamphlet for every country worldwide, including those in Africa. You may obtain Background Notes via the Internet by visiting the Department of State home page at http://www.state.gov.

Consular Information Program

Before traveling, obtain the Consular Information Sheet for any countries you plan to visit. You should also check to see if the Department of State has issued a Travel Warning or Public Announcement for the country or countries you will be visiting. Travel Warnings are issued when the Department of State decides based on all relevant information, to recommend that all Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Public Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate information quickly about relatively short-term and/or trans-national conditions that would pose significant risks to the security of American travelers. Consular Information Sheets are available for every country in the world. They include such information as the location of the U.S. embassy or consulate in the country, unusual immigration practices, health conditions, crime and security information, road safety, unusual currency and entry regulations, and drug penalties. A description of political disturbances may be included in the Consular Information Sheet under an optional section entitled "Safety/Security." On limited occasions, the Department also restates in this section U.S. Embassy advice given to official employees. Consular Information Sheets present information so travelers can make knowledgeable decisions concerning travel to a particular country. Countries to which we suggest that you not travel will have Travel Warnings as well as Consular Information Sheets.

How to Access Consular Information Sheets, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements

By Internet

The most convenient source of information about travel and consular services is the Consular Affairs home page on the Internet’s World Wide Web. The web site address is http://travel.state.gov. If you do not have access to the Internet at home, work or school, your local library may provide access to the Internet.

By Telephone

Consular Information Sheets and Travel Warnings may be heard any time by dialing the office of American Citizens Services at (202) 647-5225 from a touchtone phone.

In Person/By Mail

Consular Information Sheets, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements are available at any of the regional passport agencies, field offices of the Department of Commerce, and U.S. embassies and consulates abroad, or by writing and sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Office of American Citizens Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Room 4811, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818.

By Fax

From your fax machine, dial (202) 647-3000, using the handset as you would a regular telephone. The system will instruct you on how to proceed.


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