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Experience the classic Chad safari
Located in the Sahel Zone between Sudan and Nigeria, Chad is a vast country and Africa’s 5th largest country. Much of it sits right in the Sahara Desert and the Southern part of it is much wetter with typical Savannah type environments that you would see in other parts of Africa further South. Chad has been instrumental in spear heading the conservation of its incredible environments in this area of Africa and in doing so trying to push for more tourism to help finance and create employment around these areas. The tourism product is very much in its infancy, but it has created a ripple effect across West Africa with other countries following suit which is such a good news story for an area that generally generates sad news. Chad is the stronghold for several species like the Kordofan Giraffe and Northern Lion.
Get a taste of it all
Chad has a very limited range of tourist lodges, but this is slowly evolving with growing interest. There are reasonable city hotels in N’Djamena, a comfortable safari camp in Zakouma National Park and a couple of tented camp options through the Ennedi Plateau. In Chad you can have an incredible journey with few other tourists and genuine Africa all around as the people here see few outsiders. Zakouma National Park is outstanding and really should be on your bucket list, it offers a density of birdlife that is hard to match anywhere, the finest examples of wetlands on the planet and a volume and variety of mammals, including the Big 5 that will make each day a very special safari experience. The Ennedi Plateau has some of the most spectacular scenery you can see anywhere in the Sahara with fantastic wind and sand blown rock sculptures and amazing desert wildlife. Can you imagine seeing crocodiles in a small oasis of the Sahara!!
What you need
Things that are worth knowing about when traveling to Chad
The Gerawol Festival
A festival rarely seen by tourists and done by the young men of the Wodaabe Tribe – It is typically performed at the end of September or early October to celebrate the harvest and more importantly mate selection. They dress up in all their finery with lots of face paints then open eyed and mouth expressions to fascinate the young ladies. This Semi Nomadic tribe live in the South West of Chad.
The Gaoui Palace
The Sultan of Gaoui lives not far outside of N’Djamena and this was prior to colonial occupation the seat of Government for this area. You can visit this quite easily from N’Djamena and visit the old mud brick palace which has some very basic displays and pictures of a bygone era. You can also watch the clay pots which they are famous for to this day in Chad, being made.
Horseracing in N’Djamena
This is a raw version of horseracing which is a blend between modern horseracing and the more traditional versions, but ultimately, who can get their horse around the track quickest. It is seemingly hectic with few rules but everyone seems to have fun and enjoy the spectacle on a Sunday outside N’Djamena, typically between December and May.
GeneralWhat do I pack for a safari in Zimbabwe? Please remember that there may be luggage weight or size restrictions on your Zimbabwe safari. Before you travel, we shall advise you on what would be suitable for your specific safari as sometimes you may need a wide range of clothing to cater for the different conditions of your safari. If bush walks are a part of your safari, we advise to not wear white or black coloured clothes. What Stone Ruins are in Zimbabwe? The name Zimbabwe translates as “House of stone”. Between the 11th to 15th Century these stone edifices were constructed around the country and were important centres of trade and government. The main ones being Great Zimbabwe, Khami Ruins and Dhlodhlo Ruins, there are many other smaller ones scattered around. Can I walk by myself in the National Parks? No, you cannot, this is only available in designated areas within Mana Pools National Park after paying for a special permit and signing a disclaimer. We do not recommend doing this, you will have a much better experience being accompanied by a trained professional safari guide familiar with the area. Licensed professional guides working for a registered operator are allowed to take you for walks anywhere within the National Parks. What currency is used in Zimbabwe? The currency in Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwean Dollar. In tourist areas most transactions are quoted and done in US Dollars with South African Rand also possible. What time zone is Zimbabwe in? Zimbabwe shares the same time zone as the rest of Southern Africa, which is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time – (GMT) + 2 hours, in the Central Africa Time Zone (CAT) Can I use my credit cards in Zimbabwe? Yes, but only really in the main cities or tourist areas like Victoria Falls with Visa and Mastercard the most widely accepted. To buy curios or paying for camp extras like National Parks Fees it is better to have actual cash. What power sockets are used in Zimbabwe? In the cities and safari camps Zimbabwe uses 220V power points in the camps mostly using Type G plugs. If you have an item that runs on 110V, please bring a converter. It is also advisable to bring additional universal travel adaptors and extra batteries.
VisasDo I need a visa to travel to Zimbabwe? Most nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival at the port of entry or apply for an e-visa before arrival. However, some nationalities may have to apply in advance through an embassy.Please check with your Travel Designer to find out if you require a visa to enter Zimbabwe.
MedicalWhat Vaccinations do I need for travelling to Zimbabwe? At this time there are no vaccination requirements for tourists visiting Zimbabwe – However if you are travelling to Zimbabwe from areas infected with yellow fever, you must have a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. We will advise the latest regulations before travelling. If you are unsure about what is best for you, please consult your medical practitioner for professional advice on what other vaccinations may be suitable for you. Medical Evacuations? Air medical evacuations are available in Zimbabwe, but it is important that you have medical insurance with this type of remote evacuation cover and declare the details to your travel designer prior to travel. Do I need to take malaria medication when visiting Zimbabwe? Zimbabwe is in a malarial zone so please consult with your medical practitioner a few weeks before your departure on what the best prophylactic for you would be. Some courses of medication may need to be started in advance of your visit to Zimbabwe.
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Zakouma National Park
There is a wonderful array of animals here that include all the big cats and the big mammals It's an excellent safari for those looking to be away from the usual safari destinations of Africa. The safari will be guided by Doug Macdonald who has guided many safaris to Zakouma so you will enjoy the benefit of his experience here to get the most from this important National Park.
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