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More about Chad

Chad shares borders with Sudan, Libya, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and the Central African Republic. Chad is Africa’s 5th largest country, and is made up of the following regions:

  • Zakouma National Park -  the country’s prime safari spot in the south east of Chad. It lies within…
  • Southern Chad -  fertile Sudanian Savanna area
  • Lake Chad - the second largest lake in Africa, and Chad’s most expansive wetland
  • Northern Chad - dry desert area - it includes the Ennedi Cultural and Natural Reserve
  • Central area  - arid Sahelian belt
  • Capital City - N’Djamena - largest city in Chad

A country ready to be explored

Chad has a wildlife rich landscape.  But in addition, it’s virtually unexplored - a significant part of its allure!  The country is one of the least visited in Africa, and very few visitors travel beyond the capital of N’Djamena.  We guarantee that if you travel to Chad, you’ll discover amazing remote and unspoiled central African savanna and desert.

You’ll pass through an Africa virtually untouched by tourism, as well as seeing fascinating new species and sub species.  We won’t send you to Chad if you’re a first timer to Africa, but if you’re adventurous and don’t mind pushing the boundaries… you’ll reap the rewards.

camels desert Ennedi Chad

Camels - Ennedi. Courtesy African Parks

Geography and Climate

The country lies within a wide basin.  This is surrounded on two sides by the Ennedi Plateau (add link) and Tibesti Mountains. In the north, the dormant volcano - Emi Koussi rises above sea level to 3,414 m.  In the west, Lake Chad covers 17,806 square km. The area of the lake fluctuates throughout the seasons, and has done so over millennia.  Currently, a large part lies just below the surface.  It is the second largest area of water in Africa.

In the northern Sahara area annual rainfall is less than 50 mm. The only vegetation growing are the date-palm groves around the oasis. To the south of the Sahara is the Sahelian belt and rainfall here is between 300-600 mm every year. A parched, sandy landscape of acacia scrub continues down to the more fertile southern savanna areas.

By contrast, rainfall in the south can be well over 900 mm pa, with the grasslands providing good grazing for wildlife.

Wildlife of Chad

In 2002,  conservationists estimated 134 mammal species, 509 bird species and more than 1,600 plant species. They include many of Africa’s key species such as lion, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, leopard, hyena, elephant, rhino, antelope and cheetah.

However, until 2010 the country suffered badly from poaching.  The country’s flagship park  Zakouma National Park was particularly severely affected.  Here, poachers targeted and killed thousands of elephant, until only around 400 remained.  But thanks to the management of African Parks, this is now under control.  Elephant numbers in the park are rapidly increasing once again.  It is one of Africa’s success stories.

In addition, the oases of the stunningly beautiful Ennedi Plateau shelter one of the Sahara’s last surviving colonies of West African crocodiles - which African Parks are also committed to saving.

Deforestation has also impacted on wildlife numbers - with the loss of acacias, baobab, dates and palms affecting the natural habitat. Consequently numbers of lion, rhino and leopards have dropped dramatically.  Over 1.2 million trees have been planted due to a conservation initiative by the Food and Agricultural Organization.  They work with the local farmers, to encourage sustainable development.

Experience Chad.. join our 10 day Zakouma safari

Additional reading from the New Yorker - Lake Chad: The World’s Most Complex Humanitarian Disaster

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