SAFETY TIPS

SAFETY AND SECURITY

A presidential election is due to take place on February 22, 2020. Demonstrations could occur before, during and after the election.

DEMONSTRATIONS

There are tensions throughout the country over the political situation, which is particularly tense in big cities, notably in Lomé and Sokodé. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for the latest information

BORDER WITH BURKINA FASO

Be particularly vigilant near the border with Burkina Faso due to security concerns.

CRIME

Crimes of opportunity such as petty thefts and muggings are prevalent. Thieves are active in Lomé, particularly along beaches, in market areas and near ATMs and banks. Be extremely vigilant when withdrawing money, and only do so during the day.

Armed assaults, violent robberies, armed carjacking and residential burglaries occur regularly, mainly at night but also during the day.

Remain vigilant at all times, don’t show signs of affluence and avoid walking alone, especially after dark. If you are the victim of an armed attack, don’t offer resistance.

TERRORISM

There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.

Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.

ROAD SAFETY

City roads are usually paved. Motorcycles, poorly maintained and erratically driven vehicles, pedestrians and roaming animals pose risks. Road signs are often poorly visible or completely missing. Heavy seasonal rains and flooding can affect local road conditions.

In Lomé, bandits frequently lure drivers out of their vehicles by pretending to need assistance. Armed bandits also set up illegal roadblocks to stop and rob vehicles. Attacks also occur near the Burkina Faso border, mostly after dark.

Don’t travel overland after dark. Keep vehicle doors locked and windows shut at all times. If you are involved in a road accident, call the police. Don’t try to leave the scene as it could draw a crowd that can turn hostile. In remote areas, travel in a convoy of at least two vehicles. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended for travel off the main roads.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Exercise caution when using public transportation. Taxis are available, but some are poorly maintained. Don’t share taxis with strangers. Motorcycles and mopeds also operate as taxis and are common, especially in Lomé.

AIR TRAVEL

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

PIRACY

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live Piracy Report – International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre

FRAUD

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
  • use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

More about overseas fraud

SWIMMING

Coastal waters can be dangerous. Several drownings occur each year. Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities.

GENERAL SAFETY INFORMATION

Tourist facilities are limited and may be affected by chronic power shortages.