seriously off-piste

where west meets east meets south - mammal melange

I have wanted to see the wildlife of Chad ever since I read Romain Gary's "Roots of Heaven" 30+ years ago. It seems that now it might just be possible - is it?'”

Simon, Dorset, UK

What we recommended - and why

A safari to Zakouma is now possible after a twenty-year hiatus - and this is a very exciting prospect indeed. It's a very rare thing that a place so off-the-map and of which so few people are aware that is so rewarding and game-rich. Zakouma is like nowhere else.

It's a short season here, running from the middle of December to the beginning of April (as with most safari destinations in Africa it gets progressively hotter and drier as it progresses) and split in to a dozen weeks which are available to the handful of African Parks endorsed guides to lead, of which Rod Tether is one.

We are hosted by African Parks who provide all the logistics for us - typically we would spend 7 nights exploring the Park on foot and by vehicle, based primarily on an incredibly dynamic drying Pan, with the option to fly-camp along one of the seasonal rivers.

Visiting Chad however is not entirely without challenges, there are some ongoing skirmishes in the area (notably the Chadian army's honourable pursuit of Boko Haram and the repercussions thereof) and so it does hit the news and western diplomats don't appear particularly enthusiastic about encouraging their citizens to visit. The fact remains that the likelihood of an attack is infentisimal (probably less than a western European capital city) and there are fewer safer places to be than deep in the well-protected Zakouma NP.

By far the best way to visit Zakouma is to find a group of 6 to 8 like-minded friends to travel together and we will take care of the rest. We were for a time offering fixed-date scheduled departures to Zakouma but found that these were largely unviable due to the risk of any of the participants pulling out and therefore jettisoning the trip and leaving the remaining participants disappointed.

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Rod Tether
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Our team

Our experienced travellers include:

Rod Tether
Catherine Ronan
Alex Edwards

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary. All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

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