Zakouma National Park
Probably our favourite reserve in all of Africa, Zakouma National Park in Chad is the last intact Central African savannah eco system.Find out more
Zakouma National Park, along with the Greater Zakouma Ecosystem, is a seasonal marshland which constitutes one of the last refuges for wildlife in Central Africa. For around half of the year the Park is dry and hot, hence wildlife crowds around swiftly disappearing water sources. In the wet season the ground is marshy and green, and wildlife abounds.
Zakouma provides one of the best safari experiences you will ever have; the ‘Big 5’ are found here, but it is so much more than that! Zakouma is home to half of all Kordofan giraffes in Africa – over 1000. This is the last place where one can witness herds of over 500 elephants, and there are more than 12,000 buffalo. In addition, flocks of quelea roost in their millions and fill the skies overhead, and water birds congregate around the pans alongside thousands of roan antelope, tiang and Lelwel hartebeest.
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Predators are attracted to these as they come down to drink at the pans. Zakouma is a birder’s paradise and over 400 species of birds can be seen here, as well as cheetah, leopard and servals for the feline enthusiasts.
Camp Nomade is a seasonal mobile camp placed in the prime location for fantastic safari viewing. One explores on foot and in 4x4 open-topped safari vehicles with your private safari guide.
You can visit the African Parks’ ranger station and watch elephants come up to drink from their hosepipes. The elephants are wary of humans but have come to trust the rangers over time. There is also the opportunity to spend a night fly camping in with local nomads along the banks of the river Salamat or in the Northern part of the Park. Additionally, one can visit a local market and immerse yourself in the culture, seeing how the people go about their lives. This is an incredibly authentic experience and you are the only visitors here.
Why not extend your safari with a private helicopter safari to Ennedi National Park and the Tibeste Mountains further north into the Sahara Desert? Staying in a simple camp of bell tents in the shade of a huge sandstone cliff, you explore the desert by private helicopter and 4x4 Land Rovers. Each day is flexible, and your stay is tailored to your interests. The Ennedi Massif is a stark and dramatic part of the desert where sandstone formations rise from the desert floor and oases hide between them. This is an experience not many people are ever lucky enough to have in their lifetimes and highly recommended!
What is the accommodation like?
The mobile camp in Chad’s Zakouma National Park is a simple style of safari compared to some mobiles in Eastern and Southern Africa, but it is by no means rough camping! The camp location is located each year to give the best access to wildlife and much of your wildlife watching can be done from the camp.
Designed in the style of the traditional nomadic camps found in the Sahel region of Chad, Camp Nomade is vibrant and comfortably furnished with carpets, cushions and fabrics.
There are eight mesh tents in total as well as a tent for your private guide. Each tent has a canvas stretched above to provide shade, but the beauty of your mosquito-net tent ‘boxes’ are that you have a 360-degree of the area and the wildlife around your camp.
Each tent has an en suite bathrooms screened with grass fencing. There is an open-air bucket shower with hot water on request.
What activities are available?
Are Chad tented camps suitable for family safaris?
Younger children are not permitted at Camp Nomade. It may however be possible to cater to older teenagers – please do talk to us for more information.
When is the best time to take a safari to Chad?
Camp Nomade operates from mid-December to mid-April each year and is set up in the prime wildlife areas. Mid December to February is the cooler part of the dry season and the water is starting to recede into large pans, around which wildlife congregates. Water is still available throughout the park so wildlife sightings can occur almost anywhere. The temperatures are cool in the mornings during this period but can reach up to 30°C during the days.
In the later part of the dry season in March and April, temperatures are much higher and can reach 45°C in the hottest part of the day. The park is dry during this time and wildlife congregates in large numbers around the few remaining pans, leading to some of the best wildlife viewing you will ever have. For this reason, if you can tolerate the high temperatures, March and April are highly recommended for the wildlife experience.
How can I make a difference to conservation on my safari to Chad?
Zakouma is an ecosystem reborn. After nearly a decade of lawlessness and severe poaching that decimated the wildlife and killed thousands of elephants, African Parks assumed management. Since 2010 they have been revitalising and restoring the wildlife and diversity whilst engaging with and supporting local communities and enabling them to become conservation advocates.
Your safari to Chad includes a donation to African Parks. African Parks are very active in supporting local communities as well as protecting wildlife in the Park. In 2019, more than 1,500 children attending 17 African Parks-supported schools received an education.
In addition, the tourism income from Zakouma National Park covered nearly $38,000 in teacher salaries. African Parks also runs environmental education sessions and community outreach programmes which have reached in total 3291 children in the local areas.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is a mobile safari safe?
A mobile safari is very safe. All camp sites have guards which are on watch 24-hours a day, as well as Park Rangers which protect the wider Park. There is also a fire made at night which keeps animals at bay, so you are completely safe. In addition, Park Ra
What about battery charging?
These days, there is no problem with recharging all your batteries for you.
Will the laundry be washed on our mobile safari?
Yes, laundry can be done for you. This helps to reduce your luggage requirements, as luggage limits are quite small on the charter flight in to Zakouma – around 15kgs per person.
What will the food be like?
Given sufficient notice, we can cater to all dietary requirements. Please also let us know if you have any particular brand of drink you favour, and we will do our best to accommodate your requests! All food is prepared freshly by the camp chefs and is delicious and refreshing!
A Fixed Wing Flying Safari is a unique concept of travel in Africa. It introduces another dimension to a typical African safari, that of the beauty of the continent from the air. Accompanied and guided by experienced pilots who are also experienced safari guides a Fixed Wing Flying Safari is a truly memorable and exclusive experience.Find out more
Epic helicopter journeys exploring corners of Africa that few have been to or even ever heard of. We specialise in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, the Congo and Namibia. Our tailor-made safaris cover wild and spectacular mountains, valleys, forests and deserts, with a focus on ‘remote and unknown, unexplored and unforgettable’.Find out more
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore – Dream – Discover - Mark Twain - You can view clips of some of our own favourite discoveries here.
- Utterly designed and tailored around you and your requirements
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- Established over 30 years ago we have been around longer than most
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- Unparalleled knowledge provides you with the best possible experience
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- An amount from each holiday is donated to our selected conservation and humanitarian charities
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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