Togo - Consular Information Sheet
June 19, 2001
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Togo is a small developing country
in west Africa. French is the official language. Tourism facilities
are limited, especially outside the capital city of Lome.
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: A passport and visa are required.
Travelers should obtain visas prior to arrival, as only visas
of limited validity are available at the airport and some border
posts. Travelers applying for visa extensions have experienced
significant delays. Travelers may obtain the latest information
and details from the Embassy of the Republic of Togo, 2208 Massachusetts
Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 234-4212.
Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Togolese embassy
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments
have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include
requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission
for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not
present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required,
may facilitate entry/departure.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Togo has experienced periodic violence,
strikes, and political tensions since 1990. These periods of unrest
often lead to a clampdown by security forces, particularly in
Lome. In addition, the government has in the past been known to
open/close its border with Ghana from time to time. Motorists
should be prepared to stop at numerous police checkpoints in Lome
and upcountry. U.S. citizens should avoid political rallies and
street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times.
When driving, keep windows rolled up and doors locked. If possible,
carry a working mobile phone in your car.
CRIME: Pickpocketing and theft are common, especially
along the beach and in the market areas of Lome. Residential burglary
is becoming more common, as are carjackings.
Business fraud, usually stemming from Nigerian scam operations,
targets Americans and poses dangers of financial loss and physical
harm. Persons contemplating business deals in Togo are strongly
urged to check with the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department
of State or U.S. Embassy in Togo before providing any information,
making financial commitments, or traveling to Togo. Recent variations
of this advance-fee fraud include what appear to be legitimate
business deals requiring advance payments on contracts. Another
common variation is a request for an American to pretend to be
the next-of-kin to a recently deceased Togolese who left a fortune
unclaimed in a Togolese bank. This variation generally includes
requests for lawyers' fees and money to pay taxes to withdraw
the money. These are all variations of advance-fee fraud, and
the best way to avoid becoming a victim is common sense - if it
looks too good to be true, it probably is. Please check the
Embassy web site at http://usembassy.state.gov/togo/ for the
most current information on fraud in Togo.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
The pamphlets A Safe Trip Abroad
for Travelers to Sub-Saharan Africa provide useful information
on protecting personal security while traveling. Both are available
the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or via the
Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities in Togo are limited.
There is no emergency medical care. While some medicines are available
through local pharmacies, travelers should carry needed prescription
medicines and medication with them.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly urges
Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior
to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas
and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical
evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs
incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage
is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do
not provide payment for medical services outside the United States.
However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance
plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including
emergency services such as medical evacuations.
When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans
should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require
payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical
evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of 50,000 dollars
(US). Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often
face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior
to your trip, ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas
healthcare provider or whether you will be reimbursed later for
expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage
for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the
event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via
the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Malaria is endemic in Togo,
and anti-malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended. Travelers
who contract malaria while taking an anti-malaria prophylaxis
should discuss their treatment options with their physician due
to potentially fatal drug interactions between treatment drugs
commonly used in Togo and the prophylaxis. For more information
on this subject, please refer to the
U.S. Embassy Internet home page at http://usembassy.state.gov/togo/.
Additional information on vaccinations and other health precautions
may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's
hotline for international traveler's at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747);
fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299); or via CDC's
Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Togo is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Urban roads are generally paved, but driving conditions are hazardous
due to the presence of pedestrians and livestock on the roadways.
Overland travel off the main network of roads generally requires
a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Poorly marked armed checkpoints, often
manned by undisciplined soldiers, exist throughout the country.
Nighttime travel on unfamiliar roads is dangerous. Banditry, including
demands for bribes at checkpoints, has been reported on major
inter-city highways, including the Lome-Cotonou coastal highway.
The presence of many small motorbikes and poorly maintained vehicles
add to the danger of driving in Togo. Travelers are advised to
be aware of their surroundings, and drive defensively.
Americans should also be aware of the possibility of staged accidents
when driving in Lome. Motorbikes have been known to cut in front
of a vehicle, cause a collision, and draw a crowd, which can turn
hostile if you attempt to leave the scene of the so-called accident.
Such encounters appear designed to extort money from the vehicle
driver. Pedestrians can also cause staged accidents. Travelers
should drive with their doors locked and windows closed, and have
a radio or cell phone in the vehicle. If you are involved in this
kind of accident and can drive away, leave the scene, drive to
a safe location, and alert both the police and the U.S. Embassy.
For additional general information
about road safety, including links to foreign government sites,
see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial
air service by local carriers at present, or economic authority
to operate such service, between the U.S. and Togo, the U.S. Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Togo's Civil Aviation
Authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards
for oversight of Togo's air carrier operations.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit
Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The U.S.
Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air
carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding the Department of Defense (DOD) policy
on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at (618) 229-4801.
POWER SHORTAGES: Although Togo is taking measures to increase
its energy-generating capacity, tourist facilities, especially
those upcountry, often experience power outages.
CREDIT CARDS: Only certain U.S. credit cards are accepted
in Togo. Most major hotels and the restaurants attached to them
accept American Express, MasterCard, and Visa, while smaller hotels
and restaurants do not. Travelers planning to use credit cards
should know which cards are accepted before they commit to any
transaction. Keep all credit card receipts, as unauthorized card
use and overcharging are common.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Togolese law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
in Togo are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences
and heavy fines.
PHOTOGRAPHY RESTRICTIONS: Taking pictures of, or near,
government or military buildings is strictly prohibited. Government
buildings may not always be clearly identifiable, as they vary
from very well marked to not marked at all. In addition, taking
pictures of government or military personnel is strictly prohibited.
Cameras and film may be confiscated.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: At this time, Togo is not a signatory
to the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. For
information on international adoption of children and international
parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site
at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: U.S. citizens are encouraged
to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy and
to obtain updated information on travel and security in Togo.
The Embassy is at the intersection of Rue Kouenou and Rue Tokmake
(formerly known as Rue Pelletier Caventou and Rue Vauban), Lome,
telephone (228) 21-29-92 (days) or (228) 21-29-93 (after hours),
fax (228) 21-79-52. The mailing address is B.P. 852, Lome.