5 based on 17 reviews
Zakouma National Park is one of the last remaining intact Sudano-Sahelian ecosystems in Africa. Due to its close proximity to the centre of the Chadian Basin, the terrain of the park is almost exclusively flat with the exception of the beautiful granite inselbergs found in the south-west near Ibir. As one of three national parks in Chad, Zakouma forms an integral part of the conservation of flora and fauna in the region, as well as being the only game viewing destination offering guest accommodation in the country. The Chadian government has been committed to protecting this natural heritage even through many years of conflict. Today Zakouma is one of the most important protected areas in Central and West Africa. Zakouma has three tiers of accommodation available in the park. Camp Salamat which is a camp site for self catering. Tinga Camp which is a 3* lodge which offers traditional safari activities and very reasonable prices. And new to the park is Camp Nomade which is a high-end mobile safari camp which will be open from January 2015.
I am often asked by guests on safari as to my favorite destinations in Africa – a hard question to answer, since there are so many extraordinary wild places to visit. However in the last two years one place has crept up the list, and now holds top spot - Zakouma National Park in Chad.
I first heard of Zakouma in 2007, when my wife Kate told me she wanted to go there, having seen an article in National Geographic written by Mike Fay, with spectacular images by ‘Nick’ Nichols. I admit to being skeptical. Yes, it looked amazing but seemingly unattainable due to ongoing conflict in Chad and what seemed like an unstoppable wave of poaching. It looked like a place that ‘was’ and had no hope of being on any African traveler’s realistic agenda.
Then came African Parks who took over the park in 2010 and have subsequently done an extraordinary job of stemming the tide of poaching, and carving out a real future for this iconic and truly special corner of Africa. I have the highest regard for African Parks and consider them as arguably the most effective conservation organization operating on the continent today. In Chad they are led by Rian and Lorna Labuschagne, one of the most experienced and highly respected Park management teams you will find.
Today, across Africa, conservation is War and the dedication and bravery of those who fight for what is left of Africa’s Wilderness cannot be understated. The good news is that here in Zakouma at least, the war is being won. Long may that continue.
I first visited Zakouma in 2013 and then again in late April of this year. To say that on both occasions I was blown away is an understatement.
Zakouma National Park is located in the Salamat Region of southeastern Chad, and covers an area of roughly 3000 square kms. It is one of the last strongholds for Central African wildlife and a place of surprising beauty; a vast, flat plain crisscrossed by meandering seasonal watercourses and interspersed with rocky hills.
It is also a place of real abundance, and it is perhaps this that makes it so remarkable. Flocks of 5000 + black crowned crane, swarms of 10 million red-billed quelea, waterfowl too numerous to count and plenty of game, much of it unusual. Large herds of red and brown buffalo (an intermediate form between the Cape and West African sub species) fringe the pans, Kordofan giraffe, roan antelope, Tiang and a host of other antelope species speckle the plains. Lion too are numerous and on my first trip we even had a rare and magical encounter with a leopard as we watched a stack of crocodiles piled around a shrinking waterhole. I could go on – suffice to say that Zakouma feels to me how it felt to go on safari as a child, when the wilds of Africa seemed so much fuller and more complete.
And wild it truly is – getting there is more challenging than many destinations, but once you are there you have the privilege of being where very few have gone before. This is the antithesis of mass tourism. We were the only ones on safari and had that freedom to explore in ways that very few parks can offer in today’s increasingly regulated Africa. We camped under simple mosquito nets on remote pans where none had ventured before. We walked for hours with the famous elephant herd, now numbering almost 450 and a reminder of both past tragedy and future hope. In short, we went of safari.
Before the image of Shangri-La seems too complete, it must be said that it was also blisteringly hot, the tsetse fly were at times as plentiful as the quelea and the accommodations are simple. This is not a safari for everyone, but for those who yearn for the Africa of explorers past, this is one for you.
5 based on 8 reviews
Though Fada is rife with interesting geological formations, the Guelta d'Archei is its most famous.
3.5 based on 19 reviews
Though many of its artifacts have been lost over the years, the Musée National N'Djamena still makes for an interesting visit.
The museum is rather isolated from busy parts of town. It's not extraordinary, but holds a lot of archeological, historical, and cultural. The docents obviously took a great deal of pride in the presentations. Now all of them are not equally interesting, and some of the descriptions may be a bit exaggerated, but where else can you view petrified crocodile poop?
The Gala Brewery, which produces one of Chad's most popular drafts, is responsible in large part for Moundou's excellent nightlife reputation.
5 based on 2 reviews
Great cinema. I was very surprised at the quality and couldn't believe that I hadn't visited before. Most films will be showed in French but usually once a week there will be a "version original" in the original language. It has AC, there is a bathroom, but there aren't snacks. There is a nice restaurant just around the corner so it's nice to eat then go watch or vise versa.
4.5 based on 2 reviews
l'Olympia est constitué de deux salles un bar pub pour les soirées tchadiennes mais aussi un Véritable grand restaurant, accessible midi et soir. Le midi vous avez accès à la carte haut de gamme ou au menu avec un prix accessible. Et globalement question soit la formule choisie vous ne serez pas déçues. L'olympiade mériterait d'être également dans la partie restaurant de trip., je n'ai pas testé la partie pub du soir. Je le recommande vivement sachant qu'à djamena il n'y a pas tant que ça de bon restaurants.
5 based on 4 reviews
A trip to the Tibesti is truly one of those out of this world experiences, across the most grandiose and remote landscapes the Sahara can offer. Add to this a sprinkle of prehistoric rock art sites and a local way of life that has remained untouched (and uncorrupted) by any outside influence for hundreds - if not thousands - of years.
Will post a trip account with photos on the Chad forum in a few weeks.
3 based on 28 reviews
Populated by embassies and colonial houses, the Avenue Charles de Gaulle is evidence of lasting European influence in Africa.
That's the main road of N'Djamena. It is often very dusty, especially during the dry season.
Some nice spots with trees and green areas, many little shops where you can buy a soda or some biscuits, and lots of secondary roads linked to.
If you go to N'Djamena, you will definitely pass by it!
2.5 based on 14 reviews
it appears to be closed, falling into major disrepair. There's a large fence around it, and you can't approach the structure. From the road, it looks like it's completely gutted
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