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Chad

Country of great cultural diversity, Chad combines all the wealth of the African continent. Merely visited, this country is for travelers looking for adventure. Landlocked in the heart of Central Africa, formerly at the crossroads of caravan routes, Chad is one of the largest countries in Central Africa. Its territory is divided between the Saharan area in the north, the Sahel in the center and the Sudanese savannah in the south.

 

The Tibesti Desert, in the north of the country, is home for rock paintings and prehistoric rupestrian engravings proving that the desert was once upon a time very humid.

The Tibesti Desert has also brought to light the remains of Abel and Toumaï (extinct homininae species) making the country the cradle of humanity. The highest peaks of the Sahara are found here: Emi Koussi at 3410 m high and Mount Tousside at 3315 m high.

The Tibesti Desert, which is very difficult to access, thus presents a fascinating lunar landscape, scattered with deep gorges, balanced boulders, and strange turquoise lakes in the erg of Ounania.

N’Djamena, the capital, is located in the Sahel region of Chad, in the south-west of the country, along the Chari River. City of history, it is from N’Djamena, then Fort Lamy, that left the troops of General Leclerc to liberate Paris from Nazi occupation in 1945. Major economic and cultural hub, N’Djamena is also a very modern city. It is the ideal place to discover the Chadian culture.

Lake Chad (located 300 km away from N’Djamena), once considered an inland sea, is now threatened with drying up because of global warming and human overexploitation (the lake is supplying water to Chad but also Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria). The lake is home for hippos, Nile crocodiles, African rock pythons, Black-necked spitting cobras and hundreds of bird species.

In the east of the country, Zakouma National Park is one of the largest animal reserves in Central Africa with large herds of elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, lions, a wide variety of antelopes, primates and nearly 300 species of birds

Chad experiences three distinct climatic periods: very hot from April to May (up to 50 ° C), humid from July to October and dry and cool from December to March. The best time to visit the country is from November to January.

If you are planning to visit the national park of Zakouma, the best time would be March – April (when wild animals gather around the water points) .

The best way to get around N’Djamena is by taxi. Shared taxis always run on the same route. Private buses go to the main cities. If you choose to travel with your own car, be aware of the poor state of the roads.

Art and culture

Chadian craftsmanship is very rich and diverse. Traditional crafts are made with rudimentary materials but are excellent quality. You will find beautiful camel leather carpets, leather and cotton accessories, traditional clothing, decorated calabashes, pottery, leather goods, jewelry and weapons.  They can be found especially on the market N’Djamena where some carpets and jewelry are also made on-site.

Gastronomic specialties

Millet and rice are the basic ingredients of Chadian cuisine (and daily dishes). Kissar is prepared with meat and potatoes with a red sauce or meat and okra, with a green sauce.  Marara (intestines, lungs, and liver of the animal are prepared with chili pepper), is a famous meal. Sheep and beef are the most consumed meats in Chad, which is a country of farming. For drinks, Gala is an excellent Chadian beer.

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