Chad Africa

Chad Africa is located in north-central Africa. To its north is the country of Libya. Other bordering countries are Nigeria and Cameroon (southwest), Niger (west), the Central African Republic (south), and Sudan (east). Two of these countries, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Sudan, are not viable tourism destinations at all. Libya and Chad are next on the list of destinations which require extra care, planning, and awareness. There are several border and remote areas in which it is not at advisable to travel. In fact only organized group tours are allowed in Libya; you cannot travel there independently.

This is unfortunate, as both countries contain some excellent attractions. The reasons for this lie in local and regionalized conflict and the fact that this is, in general, a "pretty tough neighborhood" on the continent. Should you decide on travel to Chad (or to any other country in this region), you should pay close attention to current events both before you depart and after you have arrived. This is a changeable region, and is apt to be even more fluid and fragile since the early 2011 unrest, protests, and demonstrations throughout northern Africa and the Middle East, primarily in nearby Egypt, Algeria, and Tunisia.

The areas in Chad Africa where you can safely travel (while always being aware of your surroundings and current events) include the capital city of N'Djamena, located in the south-central part of the country near the border with Cameroon; Lake Chad, located not far north of the city; Zakouma National Park to the southeast of the city; and the southern Sahel. The surprisingly sleepy capital of N'Djamena offers wide, graceful boulevards, courtesy of its French-colonial period. There is an excellent museum here, a number of mosques, and a cathedral. There is a decent selection of hotels, including a Meridien and a Kempinski, both of which are operated by European chains and are luxury hotels. Lake Chad offers serene boat rides to view a plethora of birdlife, crocodiles, and hippos.

Zakouma National Park was once teeming with wildlife, but decades of civil war and poaching devastated the park, as it did in other places on the continent, notably Mozambique, Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, the Chad Africa government and the European Union partnered to restock the park, and today there are again herds of elephants, buffalo, and wildebeest; prides of lions and families of hyenas; ostriches and giraffes; and a wide variety of antelopes, primates, and birdlife. This is today undoubtedly one of the finest parks in Central Africa for wildlife safaris. Travel to Chad to this wonderful wildlife refuge is an expedition not for everyone. Lodging at the comfortable Tinga Lodge within the park is relatively inexpensive, but transport to the park requires thorough planning and can be expensive ($200 to $400 per day). If you have the means and intrepidness for the journey, it is a worthwhile trip. There are flights from the capital, but after the price of the ticket and car/driver/guide hire, cost is comparable to the driving expedition.

You can travel to Chad on flights from Paris, which are the only flights that do not originate in an African country. Other flights arrive from Johannesburg in South Africa, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Tripoli in Libya, and Khartoum in the Sudan.

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