They have an excellent resident pride of lion and wonderful antelope and birdlife – and if you time it right, you can see the beautiful and vividly marked carmine bee eaters which return to Zakouma in March. A safari here is reminiscent of Africa 100 years ago. One can reach Chad relatively easily from Paris or Addis Ababa and it makes a wonderful combination with Ethiopia.
Within Chad lies a wonderful bush camp, called Camp Nomade. Simple, but with all the comforts that are required, there are just five tents, for eight people and your private guide. Your guide is one of the finest in East Africa, whose knowledge is second to none and who will transform your safari to an extraordinary experience.
The camp is chic, styled along the typical nomadic herders in design, with the tents having opaque, netted sides to allow infinite views across the landscape. In the main tent which is furnished with Persian rugs, one can read leather bound books in total peace and tranquillity.
At night, scores of lanterns are hung from trees which gives an incredibly romantic aura. The chef produces delicious food which rounds off the day beautifully. Visit the cattle market outside the park at Kach-Kacha, where one can also collect all sorts of interesting trinkets. The days are spent game viewing by vehicle as well as on foot.
One can fly by private charter from N’djamena which takes three hours to reach the park headquarters. Three nights are spent at your gorgeous bush camp, Camp Nomade. You then move to a fly camp for your fourth night and then onto a camp further north for the last three nights. These safaris are all for seven nights.
The best time to travel is in February and March which can either be by a private departure for eight guests or one can join a set departure – however, permits must be obtained well in advance therefore as much advance notice as possible is required to avoid disappointment.
A wonderful addition to Chad, is to spend five nights in the desert at Ennedi. It’s a four hour flight where you land at Fada, a characteristic Saharan village formed by houses made of banco, gathered around the old French colonial fort. The inhabited centre is situated in a verdant oasis with numerous date-palms.
You will then visit Mourdi, via a beautiful succession of tassilian sand formations, taking odd shapes of castles and cathedrals grazed by winding tongues of sand. The landscape is incredible. Lakes surrounded by palm-groves that spring up from the sand, rocky formations of multi coloured sandstone from white to red and golden dunes that descend to the water. You then return by private air charter to N’djamena for your international flight.