The vast and expansive Sahara Desert features prominently in the Central African country of Chad. This land-locked country is fringed by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the south-west and Niger to the west. Even though it is not popular country in Africa to holiday in such as Kenya or Morocco, it is still a compelling destination to visit owing to its rich flora and fauna and tribal culture that are worth learning more about.
Kick-start the visit by touring the capital N'Djammena, the largest city in Chad. Since the nation is predominantly Muslim, there are several mosques to visit. Be sure to visit a cathedral as well as the presidential palace. Don't forget to spend some quality time at the Chad National Museum - comprising of numerous artifacts from its history. Stroll around the capital's impressive historic quarter - home to a colorful and vibrant daily market where folks can procure bright jewellery, accessories and locally-weaved rugs.
Take a trip to Abeche - fourth largest city in Sahelian Chad. It is known to house nomadic folks like Darfurian refugees. Wander around its narrow cobblestone streets, old street markets and mosques of this ancient city that had managed to retain its old-world charm. Don't miss out on the delightfully coloured lakes of Ouninga. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012, the lakes are a series of 18 interconnected lakes that forms a waterscape within the depths of the Sahara Desert. The lake water colours are truly fascinating to view with it ranging from blue and green to red owing to their varying chemical compositions.
Visiting Lake Chad is a must while holidaying in the country. The best time to visit this lake is between August and December, when the water level is the highest and perhaps a hippo or crocodile can be glimpsed. Due to it being perched on the beautiful location of the Chari River, Douguia is now seen as a tourist hotspot. Take a boat ride on traditional pirogue canoes to explore the place, observe the everyday life of the natives and catch a glimpse of large flocks of birds and hippos.
Take a trip to Ennedi Desert for the canyons are an impressive sight. Some of the highlights are slot canyons, pre-historic cave paintings and the remarkable rock formations. It is a fantastic place to try and spot Nile crocodiles as well as gazelles. It is a popular place for trekking and hiking. Those interested in wild-life can head out to Zakouma National Park for it is the most famous tourist haunt in Chad. Housed about 500 miles (800 kms) south-east of N'Djamena , it sprawls as much as 305,000 hectares in size. One can hope to catch glimpses of herds of giraffes, lions, wildebeests, primates and elephants wandering freely.
When it comes to shopping, be on the look-out for souvenirs such as camel-hair carpets, leather-ware, embroidered cotton cloths, decorated calabashes, knives, weapons, pottery and so forth. As for cuisine, gorge into the staple diet of Southern Chad - peanut sauce over rice.
The stay options in Chad are abundant with the best luxury hotels, swanky apartments or cheap accommodations available for the tourist to decide which kind to opt for depending on their budget or taste. The best time to visit this country is during the winter months because it is cool and dry.