Zakouma National Park is located in eastern Chad and is one of the largest animal reserves in Central Africa. If you camp there for a safari, you will discover giraffes, lions, gnous, primates, various species of antelopes, huge herds of elephants, and dozens of bird species.
The Tibesti desert occupies a third of the country, in its northern part: it is a mountainous area with gorges and volcanic massifs, craters that make us think of lunar landscapes, and there are cave paintings and engravings from prehistoric times. The two highest peaks of the country, the Emi Koussi and the Toussidé (the latter being a still active volcano) culminate there at more than 3000 meters. In the same region are the Soboroum springs, whose hot and sulphurous waters have therapeutic properties.
The lakes also offer exciting discoveries for the traveller: Lake Léré and its manatees, a species that has almost disappeared, as well as its carps, but also its fishermen who continue to practice ancestral rites, including initiation warrior dances, always spectacular; Lake Chad, to the north-west of the capital, whose extent continues to diminish, which endangers the survival of millions of people who live on its fish-bearing waters and crops irrigated by its water, and where many animals can be found such as hippopotamus, otter or caiman; Fitri Lake in the centre of the country, populated by a large number of fish and birds, which led to its classification as a “biosphere reserve”.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Radisson Blue N’Djamena|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please arrive by 8:30 AM for a prompt departure at 9:30 AM.|
|RETURN TIME||Approximately 6:30 PM.|
|WEAR||Hiking Pants, Breathable T-shirt, Hat or Cap, Fit Socks, Hiking Shoes and Sunscreen|
Day 1: N’Djamena - Radisson Blue N’Djamena
Day 2: N’Djamena – Mongo P.A.M. Guest House
Mongo is located eastward from N’Djamena at a distance of around 450km over a partially paved road dotted with numerous isolated rustic villages. The landscape is dominated by Sahelian, savannah and mountains, and the ride offers a great view of this natural background as we approach Mongo which we likely attain after 7 hours’ drive. If we have more energy in the evening, we might stroll towards the “Queen’s Mountain”, famous among the numerous surrounding peaks, for its silhouette resembling a woman laying on her back. Night in PAM Guest House
Day 3: Mongo – Zakouma Tinga Lodge
Day 4: Zakouma National Park Tinga Lodge
Day 5: Zakouma - Mongo P.A.M. Guest House
Day 6: Mongo – N’Djamena Radisson Blue N’Djamena
Day 7: N’Djamena – Dourbali – N’Djamena Radisson Blue N’Djamena
Day 8: N’Djamena – Gaoui – N’Djamena Radisson Blue N’Djamena
Early in the morning we leave N’Djamena and depart for the locality of Gaoui, located 10km away from the Capital. Gaoui is the village of the Kotoko people, more famous for their skill in pottery that is best displayed in the Gaoui Museum which we visit this morning. We then have a stroll along the village as we pay a visit to cast potter women and experience their creativity and abilities that have been in practice for centuries. From here, we drive back to N’Djamena for lunch in the hotel so that in the afternoon, we go for a N’Djamena city tour.
N’Djamena is the largest city of the country with a total demography of approximately one million inhabitants mainly of Muslim faith and as such, there are plenty of picturesque mosques including the Grand Mosque de N’Djamena which is in full swing on Fridays P.M. when the spectacular procession of believers make their way to the mosque headed by the powerful Imam.
A visit to the Cathedral is interesting on Sundays as you can experience melodious chanting and hymns from colourfully dressed choral groups and a massive horde of Christians also colourfully dressed as they practice their faith under the guardianship of the clergy or the Bishop.
We also visit the National Museum. It displays a wide collection of artworks and objects of historical value, including the skull of Toumaï, a hominid fossil found in Chad and considered a human ancestor. From here, we drive to the handicraft market where we have the opportunity to purchase handicrafts, and if time permits, we end up our visit at the central Market where we soak in the local ambiance. In the late afternoon, we drive back to the hotel passing through a series of colonial buildings alongside Charles De Gaulle Avenue.