The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.
You are advised to sign up for our Registration of Canadians Abroad service and maintain contact with the High Commission of Canada in Accra, Ghana.
The rise in crime is a serious concern in urban areas, including in LomÃ©. Several attacks, armed assaults, including machete attacks and violent robberies have been reported in the past months. Exercise extreme vigilance and caution as a new scheme of armed carjackings and residential burglaries targeting foreigners is on the increase.
Crimes of opportunity such as petty thefts and muggings are prevalent. Thieves are active in LomÃ©, particularly along beaches and in market areas. You should not show signs of affluence and avoid walking alone, especially after dark.
There have been incidents of illegal roadblocks set up by armed bandits who stop and rob vehicles. Attacks have been reported near the Burkina Faso border and have occurred mostly after dark.
Political demonstrations occur frequently, especially in LomÃ©, and can turn violent with little warning. Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
Urban roads are usually paved, but small 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 could affect local road conditions.
Overland travel after dark should be avoided. In LomÃ©, beware of individuals who appear to need assistance, as bandits frequently use this tactic to lure drivers out of their vehicles. You should keep vehicle doors locked and windows shut at all times. In case of a road accident, you should call the police and do not try to leave the scene as it will draw a crowd that can turn hostile. In remote areas, travel in a convoy of at least two vehicles. Since emergency vehicle services are non-existent, in the event of an accident, you should proceed to the nearest police station or hospital. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended for travel off the main roads.
Identification papers and vehicle documentation should be readily available for frequent police checkpoints.
Exercise caution when using public transportation. Taxis are available, but some are poorly maintained. You should not share taxis with strangers. Motorcycles and mopeds also operate as taxis and are common, especially in LomÃ©.
See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.
Pirate attacks occur in coastal waters and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions. For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.
Cases of attempted fraud are frequently reported in this country. See our Overseas Fraud page for more information on scams abroad.
General safety information
Tourist facilities are limited and may be affected by chronic power shortages.
You should carry certified copies of identification and travel documents at all times and keep originals in a safe place, for example, in a hotel safe. It is also advisable to carry a cellular phone.
Ocean currents are very strong along the coast. Many drownings occur each year.