Road Conditions and Safety: While some major thoroughfares in urban parts of Togo are paved, most secondary streets are not. Streets, especially in Lom?, can become flooded and impassable when it rains. Driving conditions are hazardous throughout Togo due to aggressive and poorly trained drivers who are not licensed and often carry loads in excess of their vehicle?s capacity. The presence of pedestrians, bicyclists, animals on the road, swarms of motorcycles, gaping sewer holes, and deteriorating pavement make driving both inside Lom? and outside particularly hazardous. Overland travel off the main north-south road connecting Lom? to Ouagadougou and east-west road connecting Lom? to Accra and Cotonou are usually unpaved and may require four-wheel drive. Togo also has a mountainous region abutting Ghana with roads that can rise up to an altitude of 500 meters within a few kilometers of driving.
Nighttime travel in Togo is especially dangerous and never recommended, particularly on the main north-south and east-west roads that see heavy semi-truck traffic from neighboring countries day and night. Even when driving in the city, keep car doors locked and the windows up. You should be aware of your surroundings and drive defensively. If you are involved in an accident, do not get out of the car if the vehicle is still drivable; instead, drive to the nearest gendarme or police precinct to report the accident. Tell other individuals involved where you are going so that they may follow. Do not attempt to negotiate the issue of damages or fault on the street without a Togo traffic officer or gendarme present.
Traffic Laws: Many drivers in Togo do not obey traffic laws, which are rarely enforced. Traffic signals often do not function properly or are missing from major intersections. If you choose to drive in Togo, you should observe someone else drive beforehand in order to familiarize yourself with atypical driving practices, including stopping prior to entering a traffic circle. You should be prepared for drivers who run red lights and stop signs or drive in the wrong direction on one-way streets. Driving can be chaotic, particularly in the crowded city center and in the dense neighborhoods along the Ghanaian border.
At official checkpoints, Togolese security officials prefer that you approach with your interior light on, headlights dimmed, and have your driver?s license, registration, and proof of insurance ready. You should carry copies of important documents, such as your passport and driver?s license, to provide to authorities rather than handing over your originals. You should never pay a bribe to the police or gendarmes for them to perform their work or to be released. Be firm and polite, and ask for permission to drive with the officer who is making the traffic stop, or trail their vehicle or motorbike, to the nearest police precinct if a resolution cannot be reached on the street. Do not let the officer enter your vehicle.
Public Transportation: Safety standards for small, private buses and taxis are substandard. You should exercise caution when using any form of local public transportation, and avoid motorcycle-taxis when possible. Never get into a taxi with unknown passengers, and always agree on the fare before getting into the car.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Togo, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Togo?s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Togo should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.
Please visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page?for more information on COVID-19 in?Togo.
Medical facilities and services in Togo are severely limited, including in the major cities of Lom? and Kara. The standard of care, including basic medical services, such as imaging or blood tests, is much lower than that of the United States and even neighboring Ghana. If you have a recurring or limiting medical condition that requires regular consultation or treatment by a medical professional, you should not travel to Togo.
You should carry adequate supplies of any needed prescription medicines, along with copies of your prescriptions, the generic name of the drugs, and a supply of preferred over-the-counter medications. You may encounter shortages of routine medications, and supplies and counterfeit medications are a frequent problem.
Refer to the CDC website for health information for travelers to Togo.
For emergency services in Togo, dial:
- Police ? 117
- Gendarmerie ? 172
- Fire (sapeurs pompiers) ? 118
- Main Lom? Hospital Sylvanus Olympio ? 22 21 25 01 (most suitable for trauma)
- Embassy?s Duty Officer ? 90 25 84 78
- Ambulance services are:
- not widely available, and training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.
- Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor?s prescription. The Togolese government does not maintain a website with prohibited medications, but usually if the medication is legal in France, it is legal in Togo.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further Health Information:
Health Facilities in General:
- Public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies.
- Hospitals and doctors require payment ?up front? prior to service or admission. Credit card payment is not available.
- Private hospitals usually require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient.
- Medical staff may speak little or no English.
- Generally in hospitals only minimal staff is available overnight. Consider hiring a private nurse or having family spend the night with the patient, especially a minor child.
- Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals.
- Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, even in the larger cities, with hospital-based care only available through government institutions.
- Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas. Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescriptions in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls. Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.
- U.S. citizens have suffered serious complications or died while seeking medical care from non-traditional ?healers? and practitioners in Togo. Ensure that you have access to licensed emergency medical facilities in such cases.
- In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.
- Do not swim or bathe in or drink fresh or brackish water in streams, rivers, waterfalls, or lakes in Togo. Both Guinea Worm and Schistosomiasis are common in Togo, and contracted primarily through exposure to fresh water, even if the body of water is fast moving or is partially salty.
- Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel.
- Most adventure travel in Togo involves the ocean ? swimming, whale watching, fishing, surfing, and wind surfing. Travelers coming to Togo for ocean-based recreation should use caution when engaging in these activities in a new area. The undertow is extremely strong, particularly from January to May, across the entire Bight of Benin, which includes Ghana, Benin and Togo. Water depths are variable, and water that may appear shallow near the coast can suddenly deepen due to variations in sand or wave formations. Togo has no emergency capability to respond to swimmers in distress, near drownings, or stranded or capsized vessels.
The following diseases are prevalent:
- Yellow Fever
- Travelers? Diarrhea
- Meningococcal Meningitis
- Use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ? recommended mosquito repellents, and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays. Travelers should carry their own mosquito repellent according to CDC recommendations. The Embassy cannot guarantee the quality and the side effects of the repellent products available locally.
- Visit the CDC website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Togo.
Air Quality: Visit Air Now Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. embassies and consulates.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. The Embassy does not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Medical Tourism and Elective Surgey:
- Visit the CDC website for information on medical tourism, the risks of medical tourism, and what you can do to prepare before traveling to Togo.
Local laws and Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business. The U.S. Embassy will not intervene in private contract or family law disputes in Togo, and you must seek the recourse of the Togolese judicial system, even if you are a U.S. citizen.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report ? see country reports
- Human Rights Report ? see country reports
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: Local law forbids ?acts against nature committed with an individual of one?s sex,? widely understood to mean same-sex sexual activity. If you are convicted of engaging in consensual same-sex sexual activity, you may be imprisoned and/or fined. However, the U.S. Embassy has not witnessed Togolese prosecutions against U.S. citizens for same-sex activity to date.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: The Togolese government does not mandate accessibility to public or private facilities for persons with disabilities, although some buildings may have ramps and wider entrance ways.
Women Travelers: Women travelling alone are encouraged to take similar precautions as they would in any large U.S. city while in the country. Travel in groups and be extra vigilant after dark, particularly in the beach and central market areas of Lom?.
See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Safety and Security
Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack ?including knives, firearms, and vehicles ? to target crowds more effectively. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or focused on vulnerable targets, such as:
- High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
- Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
- Places of worship
- Shopping malls and markets
- Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)
For more information, see our Terrorism page.
Crime: Street crime is a serious problem, and violent crime happens on a regular basis. Muggings and purse snatchings are known to occur along the beach at night and even during the day. Be aware of your surroundings, do not display large amounts of cash in public, avoid unlit areas at night, keep your car locked at all times, do not resist, and willingly hand over your possessions. The police and the military actively patrol the Ghana border due to higher crime levels. Although the border is open 24 hours, it should be avoided after dark.
Vehicle Searches: At official checkpoints during night patrols, Togolese security officials prefer that you approach with your interior light on, headlights dimmed, and have your driver?s license and ID card ready. Police may inspect your car and look through the windows. Avoid giving your original passport to the police when possible. Solicitations for money or food should be ignored.
Demonstrations?occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.
- Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly become violent.?
- Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.?
- Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.
Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Togo. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles, or by unsolicited emails and letters. Scammers almost always pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help. Common scams include:
- Money transfers
- Lucrative sales
- Contracts with promises of large commissions
- Inheritance notices
- Work permits/job offersBank overpayments
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes to the local police at 117 and contact the U.S. Embassy at + (228) 22-61-54-70 and after hours at +(228) 90 25 84 78. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- Help you find appropriate medical care.
- Assist you in reporting a crime to the police.
- Contact relatives or friends with your written consent.
- Provide general information regarding the victim?s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion.
- Provide a list of local attorneys.
- Provide our information on victim?s compensation programs in the United States.
- Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution.
- Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home.
- Replace a stolen or lost passport.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance. Local law does not specifically address domestic violence, and police generally do not intervene in abusive situations.
Tourism: Tourists are considered to be participating in activities at their own risk. Emergency response and subsequent appropriate medical treatment is not easily accessible in-country. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Maritime Security: Piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea continue to trend upwards. Pirates/armed groups operating in the region typically carry out attacks on vessels using automatic weapons. Attacks, kidnappings for ransom, and robbery of crew, passengers, and ship?s property continue to be common occurrences.
Entry exit Requirementsh
Please visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page?for more information on entry/exit requirements related to COVID-19 in?Togo.
A valid U.S. passport and Togolese visa are required. Visas may be issued upon arrival at the international airport in Lom?, and at the major Togolese border crossings with neighboring countries. Visas issued upon entry are limited to seven days (arrival counts as one day, even if arriving in the late evening), and can be extended for one year at no cost during the seven-day period. Travelers must surrender their passport while Togolese authorities process the visa extension request. You will be turned away without the required two blank passport pages clear of any visas or stamps. The U.S. Embassy will not intervene for failure to comply with this entry requirement for Togo.
Travelers are advised to obtain a Tourist Visa from a Togolese embassy abroad before arriving in the country to avoid unnecessary inconvenience or delay. To apply for a Togolese visa in the United States, you may contact the Togolese Embassy in Washington, DC at 202-234-4212. The Togolese Embassy is located at 2208 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008.
The Tourist Visa (visa ordinaire) is valid for three months.
To apply for a visa at a land border or the airport, you must complete an application form, provide a passport photograph, and pay 15,000 West African CFA francs (FCFA), or the equivalent in foreign currency, including dollars or Euros (ATMs dispensing FCFA are available at the airport).
Your visa can also be issued upon arrival in Lom? at Gnassingb? Eyadema International Airport (AIGE). You must travel with four passport photos for the visa upon arrival and pay 15,000 CFA francs (subject to change), which is approximately $30 U.S. dollars. More information can be found here. U.S. citizens arriving without a visa should carry an internationally-accepted ATM card to use at one of the secure ATMs located near the airport?s visa kiosk.
This visa issued at the airport has a duration of only one week (seven days), within which you must go to ?Direction G?n?rale de la Documentation Nationale (DGDN)? to renew your visa for a full year without any additional cost.
With the exception of Aflao (Ghana) and Hillah Kondi (Benin) border crossings, land border posts in Togo will not issue a visa upon arrival. Land borders are closed during elections in Togo and in neighboring Ghana and Benin, and may also be closed for other reasons without notice. Register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to obtain up-to-date information on border closures.
Documentation of Yellow Fever vaccination is required for all individuals entering Togo who are over one year of age. You will be turned away without the required World Health Organization yellow card with evidence of a current Yellow Fever vaccination. The U.S. Embassy will not intervene for failure to comply with this entry requirement for Togo. Visit the CDC website for detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions.
U.S. travelers should always carry a copy of their passport while traveling in Togo in case local officials request proof of identity and immigration status. U.S. citizens who exercise their Togolese dual nationality by using a Togo local ID card or passport upon entry should review limitations on the U.S. government?s ability to provide consular protection while in Togo.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Togo.
See the Department of State?s Fact Sheet on Togo for information on U.S. – Togo relations.