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Chad

N'Djamena, Capital City of Chad

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 19, 2010 at 07:49:47 :: Chad

Chad (French: Tchad, Arabic: تشاد‎ Tshād), officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west. Due to its distance from the sea and its largely desert climate, the country is sometimes referred to as the "Dead Heart of Africa".

Chad


N'Djaména, Chad's capital is slowly regaining its pre-war reputation as one of Central Africa's liveliest cities. Bullet holes in buildings serve as a reminder of troubled times, but the atmosphere here is increasingly upbeat. The historic quarter, with its colourful daily market, is fascinating and a good place to pick up colourful Chadian rugs and jewellery. Zakouma National Park: This is located on an immense plain across which the Bahr Salamat and its tributaries flow from north to south. Here visitors may view what is left of the wildlife (the area has suffered greatly at the hands of poachers). Lively dancing and music is to be found in the capital, where there are several nightclubs. Outside N'Djaména, nightlife is limited, although bars and open-air dancing can generally be found.

Chad, part of France's African holdings until 1960, endured three decades of civil warfare as well as invasions by Libya before a semblance of peace was finally restored in 1990. The government eventually suppressed or came to terms with most political-military groups, settled a territorial dispute with Libya on terms favorable to Chad, drafted a democratic constitution, and held multiparty presidential elections in 1996 and 1997. In 1998, a new rebellion broke out in northern Chad, which sporadically flares up despite two peace agreements signed in 2002 and 2003 between the government and the rebels. Despite movement toward democratic reform, power remains in the hands of an ethnic minority.

Chad


Chad's primarily agricultural economy will continue to be boosted by major oilfield and pipeline projects that began in 2000. Over 80% of Chad's population relies on subsistence farming and livestock raising for its livelihood. Cotton, cattle, and gum arabic provide the bulk of Chad's export earnings; Chad began to export oil in 2004. Chad's economy has long been handicapped by its landlocked position, high energy costs, and a history of instability. Chad relies on foreign assistance and foreign capital for most public and private sector investment projects. A consortium led by two US companies has been investing $3.7 billion to develop oil reserves estimated at 1 billion barrels in southern Chad. Oil production came on stream in late 2003.

Political problems have prevented Chad from developing its considerable tourist potential. Travel outside N'Djaména remains risky, especially in the north of the country which has yet to recover completely from conflict with Libya. Permits may be required to travel outside the capital.

N'Djamena great mosque, N'Djamena city in Chad


RESORTS AND EXCURSIONS
(source: travel-island.com)

N'Djaména

N'Djamena (pronounced /ɨndʒəˈmeɪnə/, Arabic نجامينا Nijāmīnā), population 993,492 (2009), is the capital city of Chad. It is also the largest city in the country. A port on the Chari River, near the confluence with the Logone River, it directly faces the Cameroonian town of Kousséri, to which the city is connected by a bridge. It is also a special statute region, divided in 10 arrondissements. It is a regional market for livestock, salt, dates, and grains. Meat, fish and cotton processing are the chief industries, and the city continues to serve as the centre of economic activity in Chad, despite the violent civil conflicts.
The historic quarter, with its colourful daily market, is fascinating and a good place to pick up colourful Chadian rugs and jewellery. The National Museum has collections of the Sarh culture dating back to the 9th century. There is a distinctive difference between the Arab section of town (very quiet at night) and the area where the southerners live (lively and full of bars).

Zakouma National Park
This is located on an immense plain across which the Bahr Salamat and its tributaries flow from north to south. Here visitors may view what is left of the wildlife (the area has suffered greatly at the hands of poachers).

Lake Chad
This was once the centre of Africa's lucrative salt trade, but is now shrinking (literally) and sparsely populated. The lake is best seen during the August to December period, when the water level is highest and the occasional hippo or crocodile can be seen drifting by.

Tibesti Mountains
Home of the fierce Toubou tribe, this astonishing region of chasms and crags has seldom been seen by non-Muslims and remains closed to travellers. The range is said to be home to the best racing camels in the world. The inhabitants are distantly related to the Tuareg of the Western Sahara, and were made famous by Herodotus as the Troglodytes, stocky but immensely agile cave-dwellers.

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