A question which until recently might have been a hard one to answer. But Chad is fast becoming the destination of choice for safari connoisseurs. Virtually unvisited for three decades due to a series of civil wars, the last of which ended in 2010, the country has finally reached a level of stability and is opening up to travellers.
Slightly larger than South Africa and stretching from the deep Sahara in the north to tropical savannah in the south, Chad will in time offer many attractions. Prime among these is the Zakouma National Park in the south-east of the country. Big game abounds in this tremendously varied landscape, where endemic species such as Kordofan Giraffe, Tiang and Pale Fox share space with the more familiar main-players of the plains – lion, buffalo and Elephant. The birdlife of Zakouma is similarly spectacular with concentrations of water birds and wildfowl not found elsewhere.
Through Rod Tether, who joined us in 2015, Natural High are now among a small number of companies able to offer safaris to Zakouma. To find out more about what to expect from safaris in Chad, drop Rod an email or read more about trips to Zakouma.
For now the other-worldly desert scenery of the Ennedi Plateau and the Lakes of Ounianga in the remote north-east remain tantalisingly out of reach for all but the most determined traveller. Happily, this looks set to change, with African Parks – guardians of Zakouma – eager to expand their wonderful conservation work within the country.
What to expect when landing in Chad
To describe the capital N'djamena as classically beautiful would be stretching things, but it is certainly exotic and exciting. A historic crossroads in the desert and a port on the Chari River, over a thousand kilometres from the nearest seaport, it was laid out in grand scale with wide boulevards and ceremonial squares. Livestock are herded through crumbing buildings, local women in the most gloriously coloured fabrics pass the time of day and outrageously overloaded wrecks share road space with the shiny new land-yachts. It may be twinned with Toulouse, but it almost feels like another planet entirely.