The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all travel to much of Chad, and against all but essential travel to the remainder of the country. Click here for more information.
Chad has always been some place where travellers wave goodbye to their comfort zone and say hello to adventure. Even when it is safe to visit, which sadly it is currently not, the art of travel here is demanding in every sense of the word. This, though, is part of the country's allure, an opportunity to break emphatically away from all that you know, and come to a place that promises experiences, good and bad, that happen nowhere else. But if Chad is such a demanding place to travel, why ever bother? Picture sublime oases hiding in the northern deserts, stampeding herds of wildlife running through national parks and deep blues awaiting boats on Lake Chad – put simply, when Chad is accessible it's a country and an experience that can never be forgotten.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Chad.
This national park is a major Chadian success story. After poaching and civil war ravaged the area's wildlife, the animal population has been steadily increasing. Much of this has to do with two things: the EU funding €20 million to manage the park since 1989, and a joint decision by the EU and Chadian government to allow African Parks (a non-profit organisation who operate almost a dozen parks across the continent) to start running operations in Zakouma in 2010.
Lake Chad was once one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. Its dry season area of under 10,000 sq km can rise to 25,000 sq km at the height of the rains; however, it is slowly drying up and even vanished during the worst of the Sahel drought in 1984. Its slow disappearance is creating problems for, and conflicts between, fishermen and farmers.
The Tibesti Mountains remain off-limits but Ennedi desert is just as weird and wonderful. Attractions include prehistoric cave paintings, slot canyons, desert lakes and some unbelievably bizarre rock formations. There are even ancient sea arches, now swimming in sand dunes, formed when Lake Chad stretched out here.