Description of Chad
Chad is located in Sahel and shares borders with Nigeria, Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Niger, and Libya.
For over 2000 years, the area of Chad has been lived in by an agricultural and sedentary people. The area became a sort of crossroads for different civilizations. The Sao were the earliest of these peoples. They are known from the oral histories and artifacts that have been found in the area. The Sao was taken over by the Kanem Empire, which were the first and the longest lasting of all the empires that were developed in the country. The power of the Kanem empire as well as the subsequent empires was based on controlling the trade routes through the Sahara.
Colonial expansion from France led to the Territoire Militaire in the year 1900. By the year of 1920, France had control of the colony and had made it a part of Equatorial Africa. France viewed the area as unimportant and simply a source of raw cotton and untrained labor.
During WWII, 15,000 soldiers from Chad fought to free the country from France. When the war was over they were granted overseas territory status and the people who lived there were provided the right to elect representatives to both a Chad assembly and the French National Assembly. The country was given its independence in August of 1960. Francois Tombalbaye was elected as the 1st president. He then banned other parties from running. In the year 1965 a civil war was started by Muslims. Tombalbaye was killed in 1975 and the insurgency continued. France’s position within the country was lost by the disintegration throughout the country. There was also a civil war where Libya unsuccessfully became involved.
In 1990, a semblance of peace was restored and a democratic constitution was drafted. There were flawed elections held in both 1996 and again in 2001. There have been several rebel groups that have made attacks throughout the country. There was a coup in 2008 that rocked the capital. The government is still somewhat unstable.
There are several places to see in Chad. The Zakouma National Park offers 44 large animal species as well as many types of birds. The Ennedi desert or Ennedi plateau is located in the north eastern part of the country and is one of the most inaccessible regions of the Sahara. It is difficult to travel to this area and dangerous because of the poverty in the country as well as a lack of tourist facilities, highway banditry, as well as the political unrest of the area. At one point the only people who could cross the area were nomadic caravans. It is now accessible using 4 by 4 vehicles. There are no roads in the area.
There are many interesting sandstone formations in the area. Rock and natural arches are found throughout the country. The Aloba arch is quite spectacular as it reaches 120 meters. There are also many examples of rock paintings or petroglyphs found throughout the area. Many of the rock paintings represent animals that were some of the first inhabitants of the desert lands.
There are gueltas or desert ponds located in the southern part of the Ennedi. One of the more popular desert ponds is called the Guelta d’Archei and it is located near Fada. This lake is one of the major sources of water for the desert and it is often visited by people from the area. There are numerous camel trails leading to the pond. There are endemic Sahara crocodiles found near the lake that feed on the fish from the pond as well as the poop that is left by the camels that visit.
Eat, Drink, and Stay
Meat dishes are quite popular in the country and many people who travel to Chad compliment the dishes. Most food is eaten without using utensils. It is important to remember that Muslims will be offended if you eat with your left hand. Make sure that you only eat using your right hand if you are served by a Muslim. It is recommended that you drink bottled water or make sure that the water is boiled and clean before you drink it.
There are several affordable places to stay in N’Djamena. Be prepared to pay quite a bit to fly into the country though.
There have been several issues of political and jihadist turmoil over the past several years. Since the year 2010, security has been improved. However, both the government of the United Kingdom and the United States advise against travelling to Chad. Travelling anywhere outside of N’Djamena is considered to be very dangerous, especially travel to the northern and the eastern parts of the country. To travel to these areas you will need special movement permits. There is a high level of violent crimes in the country and you should only travel to the country if it is extremely essential.
Some facts about Chad
Gallery of Chad
Chad video guide
More information about Chad
Climate of Chad:
Top cities of Chad
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