Chad is one of the poorest states in Central Africa without any access to the sea. It shares its borders with Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Sudan, Lebanon, and the Central African Republic on the south.
Chad has three climatic zones. On the north, the climate is desert, in the center – sub-equatorial and on the south, equatorial climate with trade winds is predominant. The average winter temperature varies from +15°C to +21°C and in summer, it can be as high as +35°C. From May to October is a rainy season in Chad. The best time for visiting the country is from November to March.
Over 200 ethnic groups live in Chad. The biggest of them are the Sara (28%) and the Arabs (12%). The majority of the population are the Muslims.
The official languages are French and Arab but on the south people speak the language of Sara.
Chad cannot boast of heavy and diverse vegetation or sandy beaches but this country can offer a lot of natural reserves, rivers, and savannas with a lot of active entertainments for the tourists.
In the capital city N’Djamena, there is the best hippodrome in Central Africa. The lovers of wild nature will enjoy the horse-riding or riding on camels across the savannas and deserts of Chad. 4 kilometres away from the capital city is a wonderful golf club.
There are several rivers in Chad and the tourists can have a swim or go canoeing.
To the north of the capital city is the resort Douguia which is the starting point of the route along the Chari river to the Elephant Rock.
Close to the city of Mao, there is a crater Aorounga, Tarso Voon and Tousside Volcanoes and the Plateau Tibes. In Mao, you will find a world-famous lake Chad which does not have any apparent outlet.
The Fada Province will amaze the tourists with its amazing natural Aloba Arch and Ouadi Rime-Ouadi Achim Faunal Reserve and Fada Archei Faunal Reserve.
As Chad is situated inside the African continent, the tourists can get there only by plane from Paris or they can take transit flights with a transfer at the airport of neighbouring countries. The N’Djamena International Airport accepts the planes by Air France, Ethiopian Airlines, and Cameroon Airlines.
The flight from Paris will take you 5 hours and 30 minutes.
The tourists can get to Chad by bus or by car from neighbouring countries. The bus to Chad is running from Cameroon.
During a wet season, the tourists can get to Chad from Cameroon and Nigeria along the navigable rivers.
CIS and European tourists must obtain a visa for travelling to Chad. The international passport should be valid for, at least, 6 months.
If the tourists arrive at the N’Djamena airport as a transit point in their trip, a visa is not necessary.
They can stay within the transit zone of the International airport for two days.
As soon as the travellers arrived at Chad, withing 72 hours they must register at the Immigration Department (Surete).
The tourists can take any amount of foreign cash to Chad but the money must be declared. The export of foreign currency is limited to the amount indicated on the declaration form. The tourists are allowed to export and import 10.000 of the national currency.
There is a touristic tax (5.000 XAF) and a safety tax (3.000 XAF). The transit tourists who visit Chad are exempt from paying the taxes provided that they will leave the territory of the country within 24 hours.
The tourists are allowed to bring in alcohol and cigarettes for personal use.
One can bring in the pets only if there is an international vet certificate confirming that a pet has been vaccinated against rabies.
It is prohibited to export exotic goods (ivory and skins of animals), antiquities and coins without a permission of the authorities. It is not allowed to export bronze crafts made by the local craftsmen.
At the Customs, the tourists must provide a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
The staple food in Chad is millet and other grains.
The most popular dish on the south and the north of the country is millet paste Bouillie. The locals make a porridge and then form small balls and eat them dipping in a sauce.
The traditional breakfast in Chad is Fangasu. These are small balls made of wheat flour, millet which are fried in peanut oil. We recommend trying popular pancakes Tapgasu made of several types of flour.
Peanut is served here as an appetiser and peanut oil is the base for a sauce which is typically served with rice.
On the north, there are a lot of Muslims and they do not eat pork. But on the south, you will try roasted pork with savoury or hot sauce.
Do not miss a chance to try the Nile perch in Chad. They roast the fish, boil it, grill, dry-cure, and smoke. The most popular fish dish among the locals is fried African lungfish with okra boiled in a fish broth. Meat is often served with fish sauce Gumbo and Bolero.
In every eatery in Chad, you will be offered carcade tea with cinnamon and cloves. You should definitely order a cocktail Juice de fruit (a fruit mix with milk and cardamom).
In Chad, people brew a millet beverage Billi Billi. The best beer in Chad is light millet beer Gala produced at the breweries in Mundu. The local homebrew Arki is also made with millet.
The official currency in Chad is the Central African Franc (XAF). The National Bank of Chad issues:
- the bank notes (from 500 to 10.000 XAF);
- coins (from 1 to 250 XAF).
Chad is included in the Common Monetary Area and XAF is pegged to Euro.
The touristic can exchange the currency at banks, bank offices, and exchange offices. Keep the receipts issued by a bank or an exchange office as they will be required to perform a reverse exchange.
MasterCard, Diners Club, and Visa are accepted only in two large hotels in N’Djamena. You can cash the traveller’s checks in some banks in N’Djamena and the best exchange rate is for Euro.
In some restaurants, you can pay with Euros or US dollars.
The criminal situation in Chad is not favourable. Armed robberies of the foreigners in residential areas of N’Djamena occur very often.
Details of interest
Customs and traditions in Chad
The locals are quite friendly towards the tourists. On the north, it is customary to give a small gift to the hosts and on the south, it is impolite to look into the eyes of the host during a meal.
The largest ethnic group Sara preserved the practice of inserting wooden plates or bones into the women’s lips since the slave period. The diameter of the plates may reach 30 cm. This was a way the women made themselves ugly to avoid becoming the slaves. Now, this is believed to be beautiful.
Sightseeing in Chad
- The travelers should visit the main sights in N’Djamena such as the Avenue Charles de Gaulle and the Avenue Felix Eboue. These are the main touristic streets. At the crossroads, there is the N’Djamena Cathedral. The tourists can also take a picture of the Place de la Liberation Square, the Presidential Palace, the University of N’Djamena, and the Chad National Museum. The Museum has a collection of items the Sara people used in the 9th century. At the downtown of the capital city, there is the best African market Grand Market. In front of it is the Grand Mosque which was built on the ruins of the Sao dynasty palace.
- In Chad, you will find a lot of natural monuments, parks, and reserves. On the south, there is the Bahr Salamat Faunal Reserve which occupies the territory of 20.000 square meters. This is a habitat for the panthers, bisons, and other Africa animals and birds. The Zakouma National Park is situated in the Salamat Region in the southeast of Chad to the west of the Am Timan and about 800 away from N’Djamena. Zakouma is considered to be the last outpost of wild nature in Central Africa. In the administrative center of Batha, there is the Ouadi Rime-Ouadi Achim Faunal Reserve which contains over 267 species of birds. The Fada Archei Faunal Reserve is in the administrative center of Ennedi on the northeast of Chad. The tourists can go to an interesting safari-tour in the national parks Aouk, Goz Beida, and Manda. In the Sahara Desert, there are unique Lakes of Ounianga. The lakes are under UNESCO protection. The unique hydrological system of freshwater lakes is viable even in the desert.
- The tourists will be impressed by the largest water basin in Africa the Lake Chad which is also known as ‘the sea of Sahara’. Today, the lake provides freshwater to the African people and in the past, it was the center of salt trading on the whole continent.
- To the north away from N’Djamena, there is a touristic center Douguia which is the starting point of the route along the Chari river. The river serves as a border with Cameroon.
- The city of Mao is the capital of the Kanem Region. Mao is situated on the border of Sahara Desert and the tropical savanna Sahel.
- In Fada, the administrative center of Ennedi, the tourists can see amazing rocks and caves with rock art. The freshwater basin Guelta d’Archei, trees and plants around it are the main sight in Fada.
Souvenirs in Chad
An amazing airy shawl with Arabia embroidery or forged products (cigar cases, pipes, ash trays, knives) crafted by the local people of Mao will remind you of your trip to Chad.
Copper or silver plates are made by the craftsmen in Fada.
The tourists also buy pottery and woven goods (rugs, dishware, jewelry with silver or metallic plates).
The Aborigines living on the Chari river can make very cute wooden figurines of people and animals, ritual masks, and jewelry. The figurine of the African lungfish is what you should definitely buy in Chad.