Zakouma National Park


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.

Now you can see large herds of buffalo, roan antelope and Lelwel's hartebeest – almost 50% of Africa's Kordofan giraffe call the park home too. Sadly the elephant population continued its downward spiral until 2009, when increased efforts were made for the animals protection. Notable predators here now include cheetah, leopard and spotted hyena. Some 373 species of birds have been recorded here.

The best time to come is March and April when the animals congregate around watering holes. It is not possible to visit June-October because of the rains. Getting to the park can be laborious with the best option being organising the visit through one of N'Djaména's travel agencies.