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Where to Go in 2019 - Chad

By Nikki Ekstien - 2nd January 2019

African buffalo on the move in Chads Zakouma National Park..jpg

The destinations that will be especially hot this year—and the data you need to plan your trip. This year, treat your travel bucket list like your office to-do list and tackle the timeliest items first.

That means sailing through Brazil’s jaguar-filled (and newly luxurious) Pantanal while everyone else heads down the Amazon, and skipping overdeveloped Bali in favor of Bodrum, where a five-star-resort renaissance is under way.

Those are just two of twenty-plus destinations to prioritize in 2019, all chosen by our trend-spotting editors and global correspondents for their so-hot-right-now status. Among their draws: skyrocketing cultural cachet, major hotel openings, and new restaurants worth traveling for. To help you get the most bang for your buck, we’ve accompanied each recommendation with exclusive data from Google and tips from our favorite travel specialists. As we’ve learned before, the ideal time to travel isn’t always related to cost.

Start packing: it's going to be an exciting year ahead.

CHAD

Your window for visiting Africa’s next great frontier has only just opened, and already it’s about to close. Chad, whose national parks had been blighted by poachers, is now the model for successful conservation (even if its border regions still generate midlevel warnings about crime from the U.S. Department of State). Nowhere is that more evident than Zakouma National Park. Between 2002 and 2010, all but 5 percent of the area’s elephants had been gunned down for their ivory; now it’s teeming not just with enormous herds of pachyderms, but with all the Big Five species. (Even the elusive black rhino has been reintroduced.)

Credit goes to African Parks, the trailblazing conservation organization presided over by Prince Harry, which has worked with the local population to transform the area. The organization runs the only two lodges in the park, a basic proposition called Tinga Camp and the far more swanky Camp Nomade. Booking the latter’s six canvas-walled, zero-footprint tents makes for total seclusion: guests wake up to the sound of roaring lions, survey the plains with expert guides, never see another safari vehicle, and enjoy elaborate meals by night. Come 2020 African Parks will begin limiting reservations to those travelers making substantial philanthropic commitments, raising the exclusivity of this epic experience while ensuring its protection for years to come.

When to go: You’ll find the densest concentration of Big Five sightings in Zakouma from January to early April—though March may be the single most animal-abundant month of the year.

When not to go: Late April through November. The park is closed due to scorching temps and heavy rains.

Whom to call:  Nicola Shepherd of the Explorations Company  

 


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