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More about Chad

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

  • Lake Chad – the second largest lake in Africa and Chad’s most expansive wetland
  • Northern Chad is the dry desert area – it includes the Ennedi Cultural and Natural Reserve
  • Central area is the dry Sahelian belt
  • Southern Chad is a fertile Sudanian Savanna area
  • Largest city is N’Djamena

A country ready to be explored.

Chad has a wildlife rich landscape but its allure is that it’s virtually unexplored. Most westerners travel to the capital N’Djamena but the country itself is one of the least visited in Africa. Travel to Chad and you’ll discover remote and unspoilt regions of the Sahara. We won’t send you to Chad if you’re a first timer to Africa but if you don’t mind pushing the boundaries… you’ll reap the rewards.

camels desert Ennedi Chad

Camels – Ennedi. Courtesy African Parks

Geography

The main feature is a wide basin which is surrounded on two sides by the Ennedi Plateau (add link) and Tibesti Mountains. The dormant volcano – Emi Koussi rises above seal level to 3,414 m. Lake Chad covers 17,806 square km. The area of the lake fluctuates throughout the seasons and 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 landscape of acacia bushes down to the southern savanna in the Sudanese zone – rainfall here rises to more than 900 mm and the grasslands provide good grazing for wildlife.

Wildlife of Chad

In 2002, 134 mammal species, 509 bird species and more than 1,600 plant species were recorded in the country. Lions, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, leopards, hyenas, elephants, rhino, antelope and cheetahs. The area has suffered from poaching and elephant poaching in the Zakouma National Park has been severe. But thanks to the management of African Parks, this is now under control and elephant numbers in the park are on the rise. The Ennedi Plateau is home to one of the Sahara’s last surviving colonies of West African crocodiles.

Deforestation has also had an impact on wildlife numbers – with the loss of acacias, baobab, dates and palms affecting the natural habitat for wildlife. Consequently numbers of lion, rhino and leopards have dropped.

Conservation efforts have seen the planting of over 1.2 million trees with the Food and Agricultural Organization who are working with the local farmers, encouraging 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

Back to Chad

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Wherever in the world you are, our Zambezi community is full of easy-going travel-minded friends who take their fun seriously. Come and join the adventure.

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