Top 10 things to do in Chad

Chad

Completely land-locked, and well off-the-beaten-path for all but the hardiest of travellers; very unstable in the north.

Chad is a country.

Chad i/tʃæd/ (Arabic: تشاد‎ Tšād; French: Tchad), officially the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest and Niger to the west. It is the fifth largest country in Africa in terms of area.

Chad is divided into multiple regions: a desert zone in the north, an arid Sahelian belt in the centre and a more fertile Sudanese savanna zone in the south. Lake Chad, after which the country is named, is the largest wetland in Chad and the second-largest in Africa. N'Djamena, the capital, is the largest city. Chad is home to over 200 different ethnic and linguistic groups. Arabic and French are the official languages. Islam and Christianity are the most widely practiced religions.

Beginning in the 7th millennium BC, human populations moved into the Chadian basin in great numbers. By the end of the 1st millennium BC, a series of states and empires rose and fell in Chad's Sahelian strip, each focused on controlling the trans-Saharan trade routes that passed through the region. France conquered the territory by 1920 and incorporated it as part of French Equatorial Africa. In 1960, Chad obtained independence under the leadership of François Tombalbaye. Resentment towards his policies in the Muslim north culminated in the eruption of a long-lasting civil war in 1965. In 1979, the rebels conquered the capital and put an end to the south's hegemony. However, the rebel commanders fought amongst themselves until Hissène Habré defeated his rivals. He was overthrown in 1990 by his general Idriss Déby. Since 2003, the Darfur crisis in Sudan has spilt over the border and destabilised the nation, with hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees living in and around camps in eastern Chad.

While many political parties are active, power lies firmly in the hands of President Déby and his political party, the Patriotic Salvation Movement. Chad remains plagued by political violence and recurrent attempted coups d'état. Chad is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world; most inhabitants live in poverty as subsistence herders and farmers. Since 2003, crude oil has become the country's primary source of export earnings, superseding the traditional cotton industry.

Overall rating: 4.7
Country
Typical length of visit: 4 days

Top 10 things to do in Chad

Faya-Largeau

Faya-Largeau
Faya-Largeau is the largest city in northern Chad and was the capital of the region of Bourkou-Ennedi-Tibesti. It is now in the Borkou Region, which was formed in 2008 from ...

Sarh

Sarh
Sarh, formerly French colonial Fort Archambault, is the capital of Moyen-Chari Region and of the Department of Barh Köh, in Chad, Central Africa.GeographySarh is located on the ...

Lakes of Ounianga

Lakes of Ounianga
The site includes eighteen interconnected lakes in the hyper arid Ennedi region of the Sahara desert covering an area of 62,808 ha. It constitutes an exceptional natural landscape of great beauty ...

Am Timan

Am Timan
Am Timan is a city in Chad and is the capital of the region of Salamat. In Arabic, Am Timan means "mother of twins," although the reason for the name ...

N'Djamena

N'Djamena
N’Djamena is the capital and largest city of Chad, with a population of 1,605,696 as of 2012. A port on the Chari River, near the confluence with the Logone River, ...

Goz Beïda

Goz Beïda
Goz Beïda is the main town of the Kimita department and the Sila region in southeastern Chad.Prior to 2008, Goz Beïda was part of the Ouaddaï Region's former Sila Department.Goz ...