Location: Caucasus
Capital: Yerevan
Time zone: GMT/UTC plus 4 hours
Daylight savings time: no
Current time: 14:19
Population: 3,004,000
Currency: dram
Dialling code: +374
Internet suffix: .am

Armenia is a predominantly Christian country located in the Caucasus region. It is notable for its ancient history, distinctive language and having the world’s oldest national church.

While largely stable, it remains in a border dispute with neighbour Azerbaijan which occasionally turns violent. Security is less of a concern away from the disputed territory and the country could otherwise be described as relatively safe.

Additional territory information
For further analysis and information on Nagorno-Karabakh please click here.


Overall security situation: security challenges exist
Crime rate: very low
Murder rate: very low
Gun ownership levels: moderately high
Kidnapping hotspot: no
Maritime piracy hotspot: no
Do landmines/unexploded munitions pose a significant risk in parts of the country: yes

On a day-to-day basis Armenia is relatively quiet from a security perspective. The crime rate is certainly very low.

However, the country remains in a dispute with neighbouring Azerbaijan over the status of the territory Nagorno-Karabakh. This results in occasional skirmishes around the border, which has caused loss of life, normally amongst the security forces. There is normally a limited impact on the rest of the country but it is useful to stay aware of the latest developments when visiting.

Grievances amongst members of society also sometimes result in civil unrest. While this is normally peaceful, it can be disruptive to traffic and there is a general risk of poor crowd control.

There is a theoretical risk of terrorism but overall the risk is low and incidents are extremely rare.


Aviation safety levels: potential concerns
Annual road fatality rates: high
Vehicles drive on the: right
Infrastructure quality: very poor
Urban ATM availability: good
Electricity supply: 230V 50Hz
Electricity supply reliability: relatively consistent
Plug types: C and F

Plug type C (2 round pins, not grounded/earthed)

Plug type F (2 round pins, grounded/earthed, socket compatible with plug types C and E)


 


Is tap water drinkable: yes but precautions are advised and/or occasional health scares have been reported which necessitate periodic care
Healthcare quality: room for improvement
Infectious disease prevalence: relatively low

Vaccinations

Travellers should consult a medical practitioner prior to their trip but the following vaccines may be considered before travelling to the country, depending on factors such as specific destination, planned activities, intended time and length of stay as well as personal medical conditions (in some cases no additional vaccines may be required at all):

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B (not always needed)
  • Rabies (usually only for long-term stays, or for those spending time in isolated areas or coming into contact with animals)
  • Typhoid
  • Standard vaccinations (ie those commonly used in the developed world, such as diphtheria, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tuberculosis and tetanus).

Disease presence

Malaria risk: none
Yellow fever presence: no
Dengue fever prevalence: rare/non-existent
Rabies prevalence: high risk
HIV prevalence in society: low
Hepatitis A prevalence: intermediate
Hepatitis B prevalence: high
Hepatitis E prevalence: not highly endemic
Cholera status: low risk
Chikungunya virus presence: not present

Zika virus presence: not recently reported
Japanese encephalitis presence: no
Cutaneous leishmaniasis presence: endemic
Visceral leishmaniasis presence: endemic
Onchocerciasis presence: non-endemic
Schistosomiasis presence: none
Tick-borne encephalitis status: low/non-existent risk

Chagas disease presence: none
Typhoid fever presence: endemic
African trypanosomiasis presence: none
Plague status: not thought to be present
Rift Valley fever status: not present
Lassa fever status: not present
Polio status: not endemic
Ebola outbreaks: no
Meningococcal meningitis hotspot: no


Climate: highland continental, hot summers, cold winters
Terrain: Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valley
Natural disaster risk: moderately high
Natural hazards: occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts; flooding; storms; temperature extremes
Tropical storms: few/none
Volcanic activity: low/none
Previous earthquake(s) with over 1,000 fatalities: yes


Government type: republic
Socio-economic development score: 6/10 (medium levels of socio-economic development)
Adult literacy rate: 99.7%
Unemployment rate: high
Civil liberties: restricted

Investment rating: sub-investment grade / speculative grade / junk status
Corruption levels: fairly high
Same-sex sexual activity: legal
Death penalty: abolished
Languages: Armenian (official) 97.9%, Kurdish (spoken by Yezidi minority) 1%, other 1%
Ethnic groups: Armenian 98.1%, Yezidi (Kurd) 1.1%, other 0.7%
Beliefs: Armenian Apostolic 92.6%, Evangelical 1%, other 2.4%, none 1.1%, unspecified 2.9%

General guidelines

  • The following advice has been compiled by travel safety specialists and ex-special forces personnel.
  • However, please note that it is of a general nature only and may not reflect the reality of your circumstances.
  • Ensure you have proper insurance cover in place.
  • Select good quality accommodation and properly prepare for any tasks, excursions or other activities you have to undertake.
  • Be mindful of local laws and cultural norms, bearing in mind that they might be different to what you are accustomed to.
  • Consider conducting or obtaining a risk assessment specific to you, your profile and your trip, task or operation.
  • This should take into account the likelihood of potential risks affecting you, as well as the likely impact they will have, and will help you decide, depending on your risk appetite and implementable risk mitigation measures, whether or not you should proceed.

Weather

  • If rainfall, flooding, extreme temperatures or other types of severe weather are a concern, check the local weather patterns to find out if there are times of the year where the risk is much higher.
  • Consider avoiding travel to at-risk destinations during these times.
  • Try to stay in good quality accommodation.
  • Take appropriate clothing and footwear.
  • Take appropriate protection for any sensitive equipment you wish to bring.
  • Note that storms, flooding and other types of harsh weather can overload infrastructure, lead to traffic jams and power cuts.
  • Flooding and heavy rainfall can also raise the risk of landslides, as well as insect- and water-borne diseases in some parts of the world.
  • As such, be prepared to delay, alter or even cancel travel plans to affected or high-risk areas.

Road traffic accident

  • Be aware of local driving conditions and hazards.
  • Drive defensively and adhere to speed limits to minimise the risk of being caught up in an accident, or request that your driver(s) do the same.
  • If using a taxi or local driver, ensure that they are qualified and competent and that their vehicle appears well maintained.
  • Ensure that vehicles are in good working order before travel.
  • Perform regular checks on your vehicles for oil, fuel, tyres and seatbelts.
  • Consider taking additional equipment such as a jack, spare tyres, water, blankets, torches and a first aid kit, especially if travelling to more rural or isolated areas.
  • Consider using four-wheel drive vehicles for particularly poor road conditions.
  • Car users should know how to perform emergency repairs.

Healthcare

  • Bear in mind that healthcare facilities and services may be significantly less extensive than more developed countries.
  • There may be very limited facilities, staff, techniques and medications available, especially in more isolated or underdeveloped areas.
  • There may not be adequate reliable blood supplies in local hospitals.
  • Pharmacists and other sources of even basic medical products may be difficult to find.
  • Aim to be as medically self-sufficient as possible, taking basic medical supplies.
  • Research whether or not certain medications are legal in your destination(s).
  • Take extra supplies of any routinely-taken medicines.
  • It may also be advisable to have them accompanied by a note from your doctor.
  • Avoid carrying medication for other travellers.
  • In the event of serious illness or injury it may be necessary for a patient to be evacuated out of the country.
  • Ensure that there is sufficient medical insurance in place to cover such an event.

Infrastructure

  • Be prepared for potentially poor-quality roads and other forms of transportation.
  • This can make it difficult to get around.
  • Consider obtaining a high-quality vehicle that can handle difficult terrain if you intend to travel anywhere with particularly bad-quality roads.
  • Bear in mind that traffic safety conditions may be poor.
  • Try to ensure that any accommodation or workplace is located in a good quality building.
  • Bear in mind that in the event of an accident or emergency, the emergency response services may have very limited resources available.

Aviation safety

  • Try to use reputable airlines.
  • Check the safety records of any companies you use to charter flights.
  • Check the weather forecast in advance of travel – particularly for domestic flights.
  • Consider delaying your trip or using an alternative means of transport rather than taking a risky flight.

Unexploded ordnance

  • Find out where the at-risk areas are in a country and consider avoiding them, particularly if any minefields are poorly demarcated.
  • If you have to go to an at-risk area, consider undergoing minefield awareness training first.
  • Seek local knowledge on the whereabouts of potential unexploded ordnance as residents will often have the most up-to-date information.
  • Stick to well used roads, routes and paths.
  • Don’t touch or approach suspicious items.
  • If in doubt when travelling, especially on foot, turn back and retrace your steps.
  • If driving in an at-risk area, avoid leaving the vehicle as far as possible.
  • Take particular care after heavy rainfall as flooding can wash away warning signs or even displace unexploded ordnance and move it into new areas.

Crime

  • Research and familiarise yourself with your destination in advance of travel.
  • Find out what the local criminal trends are and identify any potential hotspots, such as certain neighbourhoods.
  • Note than crime levels can often be higher around public transport, shopping areas and crowded places.
  • In higher risk areas exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Try not to overtly display your belongings or anything that could make you appear wealthy.
  • Ask yourself if you need to show off your jewellery, watch, mobile phone or other items or equipment.
  • Try to keep your wallet or cash hidden.
  • It also helps to avoid appearing vulnerable in at-risk areas so try to display confidence and purpose as you move around.
  • Avoid consulting a map in public as this will mark you out as both unfamiliar with the environment as well as being potentially vulnerable.
  • Familiarise yourself with local maps and directions before wandering around.
  • Identify routes to your accommodation and other safe havens (such as police stations, embassies, commercial areas with a police presence or quieter, safer neighbourhoods for example).
  • Familiarise yourself with landmarks so you can orientate yourself and find your way out of trouble spots if you need to.
  • Note that crime trends can change, and the level of risk can become higher, after dark.
  • It might be advisable to avoid wandering around at night.
  • Avoid dark alleys in urban areas.
  • It is might also be advisable to travel in pairs or in a group.
  • It may also be preferable to drive or be driven around certain areas rather than walking around in the street, even for going relatively short distances.
  • In general, use your gut instincts and be prepared to avoid situations, places or people that seem suspicious, odd or wrong in some way.

Foreign government warnings

  • Pay attention to the advice issued by your government and/or other countries (such as the US or UK).
  • For most travellers, it will be very much advisable to avoid any areas deemed to be high-risk by official government bodies.
  • For those who need to travel to these locations for work, personal or other essential reasons should consider the risks likely to be present and take appropriate measures.
  • Insurance may not be valid for travel undertaken to these areas, so it is advisable to check with your provider before travel.
  • Note that areas of official high-risk might change at short notice.

Civil unrest

  • Civil unrest can lead to road closures and even curfews, which can affect your travel plans.
  • Be prepared for delays and route alterations.
  • Avoid demonstrations as they can turn violent.
  • If demonstrations take place on a frequent basis, research the trends which tend to accompany them.
  • Where do they tend to take place? Do they tend to turn violent? Do attendees target specific types of building or representative interests associated with a specific nationality, industry, political group (such as party political offices, state buildings or foreign-owned businesses)?
  • Once you have identified the sorts of risks, trends and areas of higher risk to be avoided you can start planning to minimise your exposure.

Terrorism

  • Terrorism can pose a risk, even in otherwise mostly safe countries.
  • Assess the trends and tactics of any relevant terrorist organisations with the potential for targeting your location and identify potential targets.
  • Be vigilant in and around these areas, which could include crowded places, symbolic or sensitive political sites, or busy restaurant, nightlife or tourist spots.
  • Use your judgement on the frequency of incidents taking place. Just because an incident has taken place in a certain city does not mean that the city will regularly be hit again – use rational judgement to decide whether or not there is a likelihood that you will be caught up in any future incidents.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and be prepared to react at short notice in the event of an incident.
  • In the event of an incident, get out of the area quickly if it is safe to do so.
  • Alternatively hide and try to keep out of harm’s way.
  • In most cases you should only try to help other people if it is safe for you to do so.
  • Keep quiet and notify the relevant authorities, colleagues or loved ones only when you are out of danger.

Seismic activity

  • Be prepared to respond at short notice to any seismic activity.
  • Create an emergency plan to follow in the event of an incident that involves a communications breakdown, so you can meet colleagues at a designated meeting point if you are separated and cannot get in contact with one another.
  • Practise drills such as “drop, seek cover and hold on” procedure so that you can take shelter as soon as an incident occurs.
  • Know the location of your nearest medical kit and medically trained personnel.
  • Knowledge of basic first aid will also be very useful.
  • Get away from glass or anything that could fall if shaking starts.
  • Consider carrying a whistle that can be used to alert first responders in the event that you are trapped after an earthquake – although bear in mind that in some circumstances and/or locations there may not be much in the way of first response capabilities, particularly following a damaging earthquake.
  • In the event of an incident, avoid damaged buildings that might still be at risk of collapse.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Note that earthquakes can trigger tsunamis and landslides so be prepared to move out of harm’s way once the shaking has stopped.
  • You may need to move very quickly and with limited time.