Chad is a state in Central Africa. As of June 2021, the country's
population is estimated at 17,414,108. The area of the country is
1,284,000 km², the population density is about 13.56 people per
The capital is the city of N'Djamena. The official languages are French and Arabic.
Unitary state, presidential republic under the control of a military junta. The post of head of state and chairman of the Transitional Military Council is Mahamat Debi.
The state is located in a desert and semi-desert area in Central Africa. The largest landlocked state on the continent. It borders in the west with Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, in the south with the Central African Republic, in the east with Sudan and Libya in the north.
It is distinguished by significant ethno-cultural and religious diversity. About half of the country's population professes Islam (mainly the Sunni persuasion of the Maliki madhhab), slightly less than half is Christianity (mainly Catholicism), there is also a small number of non-believers and pagans in the country. The main peoples are Sara (Negroid Christians in the south of the country) and Arabs (Semitic Muslims in the north), but together they make up less than half of the population.
An agrarian country with a very low human development index, one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world. The volume of GDP at purchasing power parity is 26.574 billion ($1,618 per capita, 164th place). The monetary unit is the CFA franc.
Chad can be divided, from north to south, into three regions that have the same climatic conditions: Sahara, Sahel and Sudan. The area in the east is semi-arid, the terrain is rocky and hilly, with the valleys partly (sparsely) forested. In Dar Tar the heights reach 1200m.
The area around Kouri Bougoudi, 35km from the Libyan border, is a
boomtown after gold was discovered in 2013. At the same time, thanks to
the resulting increase in traffic, the main refugee route from East
Africans to the Mediterranean has moved here, also because the route
through the Kufra Oasis to the north has become unsafe as a result of
the overthrow of Colonel Gadaffi organized by the Americans. In 2018,
liberation fighters were active against the government in the northwest.
Air strikes have been carried out in the Tibesti Mountains region and in
the border area with Libya since autumn 2017.
Although the situation in the eastern border area with Darfur has been more relaxed since 2017, the supply of the approximately 350,000 Sudanese in the twelve refugee camps in Chad has been reduced by the UN to such an extent that the monthly rations only last for two weeks at most, which is particularly a problem for the younger, male inmates There is an incentive to take the risk of traveling across the Mediterranean.
1 Abéché (أبشي) . Chad's second largest city was once a major
trading center and is also known for its traditional markets and
2 Monundou (موندو) . Chad's third largest city is known for its sugar cane plantations and sugar factories. The annual "Kankélé Dance Festival" also takes place here.
3 N'Djamena (انجمينا) . Chad's capital is the country's most important economic, political and cultural hub. There are some attractions here such as the Grand Market, the National Museum, Avenue Charles de Gaulle and the State Palace.
4 Sarh (سار) . This city in the south of the country is surrounded by fertile plains and rivers. There are some interesting natural attractions near Sarh such as Lake Léré and Maro Goula National Park.
5 Faya-Largeau (فايا لارجو) . Located in the northern Sahara, this desert city is known for its sandy landscapes and proximity to the Ennedi massif, which features fascinating rock formations and prehistoric rock paintings.
1 Lake Chad (بحيرة تشاد) . Lake Chad is a large, shallow lake in
central Africa, surrounded by several countries including Nigeria,
Niger, Cameroon and Chad. It is one of Africa's largest inland lakes,
although it has shrunk significantly over the years due to environmental
2 Ennedi Massif (هضبة إنيدي) . French: Plateau de l'Ennedi): "The erosion of sedimentary rocks of varying hardness created huge sandstone formations with pillars, bridges and arches, the dimensions of which are unique for the Sahara." Some breathtaking rock formations on 40,000 km², since 2016 due to up to 7,000 year old petroglyphs are part of the world heritage. Individual travel is hardly possible at the moment. In 2016, specialized providers from Europe are offering group tours for €3,000, plus flights and visas.
3 Lake District of Ounianga (بحيرات أونيانجا) . The Ounianga Lakes are a remarkable group of freshwater lakes in the desert region of northeastern Chad. These lakes are known for their unique beauty and ecological importance. The Ounianga Lakes are freshwater lakes, unlike most other desert lakes, due to the salt water. However, some of them contain a high concentration of salt, resulting in interesting shades of color and a unique environment. The colors of the lakes vary from turquoise blue to green to pink and reddish-brown depending on the mineral content and lighting conditions. These lakes are not only aesthetically pleasing but also ecologically important. They serve as a habitat for a variety of waterfowl and other animal species.
4 Erdi-Ma. is a rocky plateau in the Sahara, near the Libyan border. Research trips here only took place in 1923 and 2005.
These were not protected during the long war periods. The national
elephant population has declined from around 30,0000 in 1970 to around
10,000 as of the 2007 census.
5 Zakouma ( زكوما الحديقة الوطنية , Parc National Zakouma). 3000km² park surrounded by 20,000km² of outer protection zone and wetland Plaines d’inondation of Bahr Aouk et Salamat, a floodplain savannah that serves migratory birds in transit. A few years ago, rhinos were released from South Africa again. The local park rangers are well trained. Elephant poaching is under control, and around 500 pachyderms are expected to return here in 2016. There are also numerous giraffes.
During the rainy season from June to October the park is not accessible due to flooding. The temperatures are most pleasant in January and February; the increasingly scarce water then also causes the animals to gather more and be easier to find. March to May daytime temperatures of 40-45 °C are normal.
From the capital you can drive the 860km in 12-14 hours. Specialized
providers charge 200,000CFA per day for a 4WD vehicle with driver.
Foreigners are charged 7500CFA per day, plus 3500CFA per vehicle as park
admission (2018). Camp Nomade and Tinga are the luxurious accommodations
that can be booked through specialist safari providers. Camp Salamat
consists of ten native-style cabins.
There are three entrances to the park. The most important is at Goz Djérat (Goz Djarat). From N'Djamena on the main road towards Abéché, after almost 200km turn right in Ngoura, then continue via Mongo (مونقو) to the turn-off marked by a stone signpost to the park, 12km before Am Timan (أم تيمان). From there you drive another 1½ hours to the park entrance at Goz Djérat.
The Mission Aviation Fellowship's Evangelical Missionary Bush Pilots offer charter flights to the park's landing site.
Sena-Ouara, 735.2 km² on the border with Cameroon, whose Bouba Djida National Park it borders. Reported in 2010. In both, the black rhinoceros and the giant eland are to be saved. There are a total of sixteen endangered animal species, including lions, cheetahs and elephants. Loose and widespread forests dominate, interspersed with dense bushes and underlain by an undergrowth of long-stemmed grasses and broad-leaved herbs.
Manda. Manda National Park is located in southwest Chad, in the Moyen-Chari region. It is one of the newer national parks in the country and was officially founded in 2010. The park covers an area of approximately 14,000 square kilometers and protects a diverse range of ecosystems, including savannahs, wetlands and riverbanks.
Binder-Léré Wildlife Reserve. Fed by the Mayo Kébbi River, which fills Lake Léré and Lake Tréné. A marsh landscape emerged between the two, a bird paradise. The African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis) is virtually extinct. The small town of Léré (ليري) is also here. The protected area is located in the transition zone between the open savannah landscape of the Sahel Acacia savannah in the north and the tree-filled eastern Sudan savannah.
According to the agreements of the Morocco-Congo Treaty 1911-1919, the area belonged to German Cameroon as “Duckbill”.
Apart from citizens of some neighboring countries, all foreigners
require a visa. The introduction of an electronic visa was announced for
2019, but had not yet been implemented by mid-2022. You can only get a
visa-on-arrival at the airport if you have written prior approval.
For the Federal Republic of Germany and Austria Consular Department of the Chadian Embassy, Lepsiusstrasse 114, 12165 Berlin. Tel.: +49 30 3199162-0. Duplicate application form download from the embassy website. Plus proof of accommodation. Processing time at least 2 weeks. Also responsible for Austria. Open: Mon-Thurs 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Fri 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Price: tourist, single entry 100€. last change: Sep. 2022
Section consulaire de l'Ambassade du Chad, Avenue d'Aïre 40, 1203 Geneva. last change: Sep. 2022
The embassy in Brussels is the contact point for numerous other European countries.
Reports on obtaining visas in neighboring countries indicate that the requirements depend heavily on the desire and mood of the respective employee, e.g. B. regarding the need for an invitation or proof of accommodation or surcharges for the “express fee.” It may therefore make sense to go to another consulate if necessary.
Proof of yellow fever vaccination must be presented upon entry. Foreigners must register with the police within 72 hours of entry.
The country's only international airport is in N'Djamena (NDJ).
There is no railway in Chad.
Bus connections are rare and are only offered in larger towns. They are not recommended for European tourists. At least in the south, however, the more important cities are reasonably reliably connected to each other.
In 2017, STTL buses run every hour during the day between Sarh ↔ Monundou in 6½ hours on good roads.
The Sarh ↔ N'Djamena road running along the Shari is not paved. Therefore, especially in the rainy season, the better route is taken towards Doba and Guélengdeng.
On the street
Driving is not advisable. Apart from the dangers of numerous thieves, only the streets of the capital are suitable for western drivers. Even well-developed highways usually mean gravel roads. At the beginning of the 2000s, the entire network of asphalted roads covered around 270km, about the same as that of Liechtenstein. Since 2010, additional routes have been paved with Chinese development aid: Monundou - Doba - Koumra (190km), Massaget - Massakory (72km), Bokoro - Arboutchatak (65km) and Abéché - Am Himede - Oul Hadjer - Mongo.
The refinery in N'Djamena is under Chinese control. The nationwide demand for gasoline cannot always be met; in the event of a shortage, the price per liter rises to 1000-1500 CFA.
The only reasonably safe route in 2018 is likely to be through the northern provinces of Cameroon. Cameroon's Kousséri is only 20 kilometers by road from the center of N'Djamena. In all other neighboring areas there are armed forces who prefer to kidnap Europeans. Other border crossings are at:
1 Bongor (بونقور) over the Logone river (no bridge) to Yagoua. This transition is ideal for traveling south to Monundou and Sarh.
2 Mani (ماني)
Without crossing Cameroon, the Nigerian N3 leads from Maiduguri to the border at Gamboru in Nigeria over the border bridge into Fotokol in Chad. This area has been the heartland of Boko Haram fighters since 2015 and can therefore only be traveled to by white people at the risk of their lives.
From/to Darfur in Sudan
From Abéché it is 165km to the border town of Adré (ادرے). The border has officially been reopened to locals since 2015. However, it is still doubtful in 2018 whether it is possible to obtain the necessary permission from Darfur to Khartoum if you are not part of the UN mission or similar.
From/to the Central African Republic
From Sarh you drive 130km to the border at Sido / Moyen Sido.
Mobility is low because the road network is very poor. There are
taxis within the cities, but you should take a plane nationally if there
are just any domestic connections.
In the northern part of the country there are no paved roads through almost 1000km of desert, some of which is still mined.
According to the ethnology report, there were still around 110 living languages in Chad in 2003, mostly Nilosaharan languages. Hausa is the main language spoken around Lake Chad. The official language is Standard Arabic, but Chadian Arabic is spoken by around a million locals. This dialect is also used in parts of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Niger and Nigeria. The second official language is French as the language of education. It is spoken in many authorities.
The national currency is the CFA franc, which is pegged to the euro
at a ratio of 1 to 655 but is highly overvalued for political reasons.
The purchasing options are limited and souvenirs are practically non-existent. Counterfeit and adulterated goods are routinely offered in markets.
Culinary diversity should not be expected due to the great poverty of
large parts of the population. If there is beer, it is imported from
Cameroon. The alcoholic bili-bili is made from millet.
Traditional Chadian cuisine is often based on simple ingredients such as grains, legumes, vegetables, meat and fish. Millets and sorghum: These grains form the basis of many meals in Chad. They are processed into porridge, bread or drinks.
Boule: A thick porridge made from corn or sorghum, often served with sauces or stews.
Sauces: Chadian sauces are often hearty and rich. They are made from ingredients such as tomatoes, okra, spinach, peanuts or other vegetables and combined with meat or fish.
Kessam: A popular dish of millet porridge served with tomato sauce, vegetables and sometimes meat or fish.
Dengué: A dish made from peanut butter, vegetables and meat, often served with rice or cassava.
Meat Dishes: Meat, especially beef, poultry, and goat, is often grilled, fried, or prepared in stews.
Fish: Due to the proximity to Lake Chad, fish is an important part of the diet of many people in Chad. Fish is often grilled or prepared in sauces.
Vegetables: Various vegetables such as okra, eggplant, spinach, tomatoes and onions are used in many Chadian dishes.
Side Dishes: Rice, cassava, plantains and yams are common accompaniments to main dishes.
Ful: A dish of cooked beans, often served as breakfast or a light meal.
Bouna: A sweet drink made from millet flour and water, often served as a refreshment.
Chad must, above all, import machinery, vehicles and food. The
country can export cotton, livestock products, peanuts and, since 2003,
petroleum. Chadians hoped for jobs in the oil industry because 62% are
poor and live on US$1 a day. Unfortunately, the militarization of the
country and mafia-style government methods (Chad is one of the most
corrupt states in the world) caused a World Bank project to fail and the
Chinese took over. The population sees next to nothing from oil
State holidays include May 1st, Independence Day on August 11th, November 28th, Founding Day of the Republic and December 1st, “Freedom and Democracy Day”.
In addition, there are the movable Muslim festivals: April 9, 2024 - last day in the fasting month of Ramadan, beginning of Id al-Fitr, on the 1st of Shawal (April 10, 2024) - two to four day festival of breaking the fast. June 16, 2024 – four-day Islamic Festival of Sacrifice (ʿĪd al-Aḍḥā), which begins on the 10th of Dhū al-Ḥijjah. September 16, 2024 - Birthday festival (Mulid/maulid) for the Prophet Mohammed on the 12th of Rabi' al-auwal.
Security often cannot be guaranteed in Chad. Tourists are not
recommended to visit areas outside N'Djamena, especially the north is
dangerous. Apart from pickpockets, the capital is quite safe. But you
should stay on main roads.
Demands for bribes also occur at the checkpoints, but can be fended off or reduced to a tolerable level by remaining firm.
Worldwide, the highest number of meningococcal meningitis (purulent
meningitis) is observed during dry periods. This also applies to Chad.
Travelers to risk areas, especially the “meningitis belt of Africa”, are
recommended to have a vaccination at least two weeks before travel.
There is an increased risk of cholera in many regions of the country, especially in the districts of N'djamena, Massakory, Bongo and Bol. However, the risk of infection for tourists is rather low. Careful food and drinking water hygiene measures are essential. There is a nationwide risk of various infectious diseases that are transmitted through contaminated food or drinks (e.g. hepatitis A, typhus, bacterial dysentery, amoebic dysentery, lambliasis, worm diseases). The necessary hygiene must be strictly observed when it comes to food and drinking water.
In the south of the country, where the capital N'Djamena with the international airport is located, there is a risk of yellow fever being transmitted. Yellow fever vaccination is required upon entry. There is a risk of malaria all year round in wetlands and national parks.
As in other countries in the Sahel, many residents are reluctant to
be photographed, so you should always ask. It goes without saying that
the general photo ban in third world countries for anything that could
be of military or governmental importance should be observed.
Black Sudanese people live in Chad. The Sara and the Hausa form the largest groups. The peoples living in the south still hold on to their old natural religions and tribal traditions. Only a few of these people were converted to Christians through missionary work. The sparsely populated north is inhabited by Arab and Arabized cattle breeders and nomads, among others. the Tibbu and the Kanuri. They are all orthodox Muslims with the corresponding moral commandments as well as clothing and food regulations that visitors must also respect. For Europeans, the traditional conflicts between nomadic and sedentary peoples are difficult to understand. These repeatedly take on violent and bloody forms, including fratricidal warfare using the most modern automatic weapons.
Landline telephones are hardly common, but there are acceptable
connections in large cities. The operator is the semi-state Sotel Tchad,
which operates its mobile phone service under the Salam brand (still
GSM/EDGE in 2018) and data services as Tawali.
The private mobile network is covered by two operators: Tigo Chad (2017: 3G in Abéché, N'Djamena, Moundou) and Airtel Chad. Prepaid cards are offered for both networks. About 86% of the population is reached with GSM services.
For longer stays or for desert tours, a satellite phone is recommended, e.g. B. Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Co. Devices can be rented in almost all European countries.
There are few good restaurants. It's better to stay in the hotel at night anyway. A three-course meal for two costs around 20-30,000 CFA in 2017.
The toponym "Chad" comes from the hydronym of the same name - the name of Lake Chad. The hydronym has been known to the Arabs since the 14th century, its meaning, presumably in the Kanuri language, is “a large expanse of water”, “lake”.
The territory of Chad is mostly flat plain. The
northern part is within the Sahara desert. In the north - the Tibesti
highlands with the highest point of the country - 3415 m. In the
northeast - the Erdi and Ennedi plateau (height up to 1450 m), in the
southeast - the Vadai massif (height up to 1666 m).
The climate of the northern part of the country is tropical desert. The southern part is equatorial-monsoonal.
There are no permanent rivers in the north of the country. In the south, the density of the river network is significant. The main Shari River, which flows into Lake Chad, is navigable. The rivers overflow widely during the rainy season, flooding vast areas and turning them into solid swamps, and become very shallow during the dry season.
The landscape of the northern, Saharan part of the country is rocky deserts, almost devoid of vegetation, alternating with sandy deserts with sparse vegetation (tamarix, undersized acacias, camel thorn). In the oases - date palms, grapes and wheat are grown. To the south, in the Sahel zone, semi-deserts and deserted savannahs with sparse grass cover and thickets of thorny shrubs (mainly acacias), doum palms and baobabs are found. In the extreme south there are typical savannahs with a high grass cover and forests. In the floodplains of the rivers and along the shores of the lakes there are extensive grass swamps.
The desert fauna is poor. There are many large mammals in the savannas - elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, giraffes, antelopes. From predatory - lions, leopards, jackals, hyenas. Some savannah animals are found on the outskirts of the desert zone. Monkeys (baboons and colobuses) are found in the upper reaches of the Shari River. Numerous snakes and lizards, insects.
The territory of modern Chad was settled
as a result of the mass migration of people around 7000 BC. It
occurred in connection with the improvement of natural conditions on
the territory of the future state. The most important archaeological
sites in Chad are located in the former region of
Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti (now 3 different regions). Some of these
monuments are older than 2000 BC. The Chadian basin has been
inhabited by settled people since about the same year. The region
has become a crossroads of civilizations and cultures. The earliest
of these, Sao, is known for its few artifacts and oral history. This
civilization fell under the onslaught of the Kanem Empire, the first
and longest-running empire in the Sahelian strip of Chad, which
arose around 1000 AD.
In the 16th-17th centuries AD, two new states arose on the territory of Chad - the Bagirmi Sultanate and the Vadai Empire. The power of these states was based on control over the trans-Saharan trade routes that ran through the region. These states were Muslim. They never extended their power to the territory of the modern south of Chad, where the Negro tribes lived, who professed the cult of ancestors, but they carried out raids on this territory in order to capture slaves. Slaves made up about a third of the population of these countries.
French colonial expansion led to the creation in 1900 of a colony in
this territory, which was called the Territoire Militaire des Pays
et Protectorats du Tchad. In 1920, the states were completely
conquered by the French and incorporated into French Equatorial
Africa. This government was characterized by the absence of a policy
of unification of the territory and attempts to build
national-religious unity, as well as slower modernization compared
to other colonies of the country. The French government primarily
viewed the colony as a source of an insignificant, poorly trained
labor force to develop raw cotton: France introduced large-scale
production of this raw material in 1929. The colonial administration
was understaffed, and those that were were the "dregs" of the French
state machine, which had nowhere else to send. Only the Sar people
in the south of the country, who converted to Catholicism, were
relatively effectively governed: the presence in the Islamic north
of the country was actually nominal.
After World War II, France granted Chad the status of an overseas territory in its composition. The inhabitants of the country were given the opportunity to elect their own representatives to the national assemblies (parliaments) of France and Chad itself. The largest political force was the Progressive Party of Chad, whose headquarters was located in the southern, Christian part of the colony. It was at the head of this party and its protege Francois Tombalbay, an ethnic Sara and a Christian by faith, that Chad gained independence on August 11, 1960.
Two years after gaining independence, the President of Chad
introduced a one-party system of government, banning opposition
parties. His authoritarian rule, coupled with absolute
mismanagement, exacerbated inter-ethnic and inter-religious tensions
in the country. In 1965, in the north of the country, the Muslim
rebel group the National Liberation Front of Chad (French: Front de
libération nationale du Tchad, FROLINAT) unleashed a civil war. In
1975, President Tombalbay was overthrown and assassinated in a
military coup. The country was led by General Felix Mallum, who
tried to end the civil war. However, the uprising continued, and
when in 1979 the rebels led by Hissen Habré captured the capital,
the country collapsed. In the north, a large number of groups were
organized that fought among themselves for power. The country de
facto collapsed. This led to the collapse of French power, which
relied on the Christian government. "Vacuum" tried to fill Muammar
Gaddafi, because of which Libya was involved in a civil war in the
country. This adventure of the Libyan government ended in a real
disaster in 1987, when France nevertheless supported Hissein Habré,
who was able to unite under his control many disparate groups,
including Christians, and ousted the Libyans from his territory.
Habré established an even more brutal and totalitarian regime than his predecessor. His system of power rested on a group of military and associates who turned Chad into one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and also maintained their power through mass violence. It is estimated that several tens of thousands of people were killed during the junta's rule. The president has also exacerbated ethnic tensions by favoring his own nationality, the tuba, in cases, and by discriminating against former Zaghawa Muslim allies. He was overthrown by his own general, Idris Deby, in 1990. At the same time, he tried to hold Habré accountable for his actions. The former ruler of Chad was put under house arrest in Senegal in 2005. In 2013, Habré was formally charged with war crimes committed during his reign. In May 2016, he was found guilty of crimes against humanity, in particular rape, sexual slavery and organizing the murder of more than 40 thousand people, for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Once in power, Deby attempted to reconcile the rebel groups among themselves and with his government, for which the multi-party system was reintroduced. A new constitution was approved in a referendum, and in 1996 the first competitive elections since the colonial government were held, in which Déby won. Five years later, he won a second victory and went to the second term, according to the constitution. In 2003, the development of oil fields began in Chad. However, it did not bring prosperity - this factor only intensified internal political and interethnic disagreements, which started a new civil war. At the same time, Deby, without a referendum and agreement with parliament, unilaterally changed the country's constitution, abolishing the limitation of presidential terms. This step caused a wave of indignation both in society and among the opposition.
In 2006 new elections were held in the midst of a civil war, boycotted by the opposition. By that time, the percentage of victims of ethnic violence in relation to the overall death rate in the country had increased; The UN High Commissioner has warned that ethnic cleansing or a Darfur-like genocide could begin in Chad. In the same year, the rebels attempted to capture the capital of the country, but failed. Two years later, a second unsuccessful attempt to seize power took place. Sudan also participated in this war until January 15, 2010, when a ceasefire agreement was signed. Thanks to this, the joint forces of the two countries were deployed to secure the border, and a number of Chadian and Sudanese military returned home. In 2013, a military coup against President Déby, which had been in preparation for several months, was thwarted.
On April 20, 2021, the President of Chad died in a clash with rebels from the Front for Change and Accord. His son, Mahamat Idris Debi Itno, abolished the constitution and headed the Transitional Military Council, taking over both the powers of the president and the commander-in-chief of the army.
Chad includes the eastern part of the Chad Basin with most of Lake Chad. The basin (including the lake) takes up 90% of the country's area. The Ennedi highlands (1450 m) and the Wadai massif (1320 m) rise above the Chad Basin in the east, while in the north rise the volcanic mountains of Tibesti (3415 m Emi Koussi, the highest point in the Sahara) and the Erdi plateau -Ma. In the northern center of the country lies the lowest point in the country, the Bodélé Depression.
Chad extends from the dry deserts of the Sahara in the north through
the climatic and vegetation zones of the Sahel and Sudan (thorn bush and
dry savannahs, along the rivers also floodplain savannas and gallery
forests) to the area of dry forests in the extreme south (because of
their agricultural usability called Tchad utile in colonial times).
The country is generally influenced by the West African monsoon in summer and the Harmattan trade wind in the winter months. In the south of the country there is an almost tropical, variable humid climate with up to over 1100 mm of precipitation, while in the north there is a desert climate with large daily temperature differences and extremely rare precipitation with 20 to 40 mm of precipitation per year.
The country is hydrologically dominated by the Chad Basin. Apart from
smaller areas in the north and northeast and a small area in the extreme
southwest, all of the country's rainfall flows into Lake Chad in the
southwest of the country. Since the northern half has a desert climate,
all regular watercourses are located in the south of the country. They
are essentially influenced by the hydrology of the Central African
Republic and the country's largest rivers, the Shari and the Logone.
Their catchment areas extend in the south of the country to the northern
equatorial threshold and create extensive wetlands within the savannah
Otherwise there are only a few wadis in the north of the country. There are still rivers on the edge of the Benue catchment in the far southwest and interactions with the hydrology of northern Cameroon. The former outflow of the now endorheic Lake Chad is located there; In earlier times, about 1/3 of Chad was flooded by the lake (Mega Chad) and all of the country's watercourses drained into Niger via the Benue.
The flora and fauna of Chad are generally considered to be poorly
researched and poorly documented. Chad is divided into three bioclimatic
and five biogeographic zones. The bioclimatic zones are the Sahara, the
Sahel and the Sudan savannas. The biogeographical zones are the
mountainous region of Tibesti, the dune and rocky deserts of the
southern Sahara, the savannahs around Lake Chad and its tributaries, the
dry savannahs of the Sahel and the wet savannas of Sudan. From this
mixture of the different bioclimatic and biogeographical regions one of
the most species-rich flora and fauna developed within the greater
regions of the Sahel and Sudan. Forests, for example, covered an area of
11,921,000 hectares in 2011, which corresponded to around nine percent
of the country's area; However, forest loss is considerable as a result
of uncontrolled or illegal deforestation. The volume of Chad's standing
and flowing water is estimated at over 500 billion cubic meters; the
volume of Lake Chad in 1992 was approximately 18 billion cubic meters.
By 2007, 4,318 plant species and 722 animal species had been documented in Chad. Of these, 71 plant, 4 mammal, 1 reptile, 1 bird and 16 fish species are endemic and only known from Chad. Three turtle species found in Chad are on the list of endangered species, these are the spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata), the soft-shelled turtles Cyclanorbis senegalensis and Cyclanorbis elegans. 16 animal and plant species are classified as threatened species by the IUCN. Information about fungi, insects, lichens, bacteria and algae is not available or is only available to a very limited extent. Only intensive studies on Lake Chad are known about the algae flora. Over 1,000 species of algae have been documented there, including over 100 species of phytoplankton. These form the food basis for a rich fish fauna, which includes 136 species. In Chad, for example, the Nile perch (Lates niloticus), predatory catfish (Clarias sp.), African bony fish (Heterotis niloticus), tilapia (Tilapia spp.), Oreochromis niloticus and the pufferfish Tetraodon lineatus occur. In addition, approximately 120,000 tons of fish are caught in Chad's waters every year. Of the avifauna, 532 bird species have been documented. This number includes 354 breeding bird and 155 migratory bird species, of which 117 are of Palaearctic origin. The wetlands of Lake Chad and along the Logone, Bahr Aouk and Salamat rivers are among the world's most important resting and wintering grounds for migratory birds in the northern hemisphere. The mammalian fauna of Chad is very rich and almost all tourist flagship animal species are present. Among others, lions (Panthera leo), cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), and giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis). The population of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) in Chad is estimated at around 3,000 individuals. But relatively unknown mammals such as the giant eland (Taurotragus derbianus) or the African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis) also have their home in Chad. The West African subspecies of black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis longipes), once found in Chad, is now considered extinct. 52 species of reptiles have been documented, including steppe monitors (Varanus exanthematicus), representatives of the actual pythons (Python) and the Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus). There are also isolated occurrences of the West African crocodile (Crocodylus suchus) in the Ennedi massif. These are relics of a once closed distribution of this species in the Sahara.
According to research published in 2020, 80 species of snakes are found in Chad.
The hyperarid areas of the central and southern Sahara occupy most of Chad. These areas take up more than 50% of the country's area and are sparsely populated. Larger settlements in this region can only be found in areas with aquifers that are close to the surface or extend to the surface of the earth, the oases. The names of the landscape correspond to the landscape, so sand dune areas are referred to as Erg, rocky and stone deserts as Hammada. Rain only falls in one or two months of the year in this region. The amount of precipitation varies from 25 to 100 mm per year. There are fewer than 400 plant species in this region, but the fauna is far more diverse than assumed in previous decades. South of the 100 mm isohyete, the vegetation in the southern Sahara changes for a few months of the year. It is a transition zone from the Sahara to the Sahel ecoregion; the WWF calls this transition zone the Southern Sahara steppe. It is found in Chad in southern Erg Kanem, in the regions of Ouadi Achim-Rimé, Fada Archei and the Wadai mountain plateau. It extends from the 100 to 200 mm isohyete and is on average only 100-300 km wide. Due to the summer rainfall, a steppe can develop whose dominant grasses belong to the genera Eragrostis, Aristida and Stipagrostis. This grassy steppe is interspersed with herbs and shrubs of the genera Tribulus, Heliotropium and Pulicharia. However, trees in this ecoregion are only found in the wadis and the areas with shallow aquifers, such as the Moilo lakes in Erg Kanem and the Guelta d'Archei.
The Tibesti mountains occupy a biogeographic island location in the Sahara. The flora and fauna of the mountains are generally considered to be relics from the wetter age of Niger-Chadia, with the flora specifically adapted to the altitude and gradient in these mountains. The landscape names in Tibesti come from Arabic, the Tedaga and Dazaga languages. Wadis are referred to as Enneri and mountain peaks as Emi. Favored by the higher rainfall, from 100 to 600 mm per year, 568 plant species can develop in this ecoregion, including representatives from the genera Mallow, Hibiscus, Rhynchosia and Tephrosia. The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) and the doum palms (Hyphaene) are of particular economic importance. However, the endemism is low; only the endemic Ficus teloukat, a representative of the figs, is known. It grows on the dry southern mountain slopes. The mammal fauna of all three ecoregions are similar due to their aridity, with the bary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) occurring in the Tibesti and the dorcas gazelles (Gazella dorcas), damagues (Nanger dama), cape phares (Lepus capensis), several species of gerbils ( Gerbillinae). The area around the Ouadi Achim-Rimé was the last refuge for the sable antelope (Oryx dammah), which is now considered extinct in the wild.
The Sahel savannahs generally range from 200 to 600 mm isohyete. This type of savannah is a dry and thorny savannah that is interspersed with trees, mainly from the Acacia genus. For this reason, the WWF calls it the Sahel acacia savannah. The region around Lake Chad and the Firki Plains form their own biomes in the Sahel region of Chad. On average, 250 mm to 500 mm of rain falls per year. In the Sahel savannahs, the grasses Cenchrus biflorus, Schoenefeldia gracilis and Aristida stipoides form a large part of the plant biomass, while the most widespread tree species are Acacia tortilis, Acacia laeta, Commiphora africana, Balanites aegyptiaca and Boscia senegalensis. Endemism is generally low in the Sahel.
Chad is home to one of the largest nature reserves on the continent, the 77,950 km² Ouadi Rimé–Ouadi Achim nature reserve. Other flora and fauna protection zones include the Fada Archei nature reserve, the Binder-Léré wildlife reserve, Sena-Oura National Park, Manda National Park and the approximately 3,000 km² large Zakouma National Park in the southeast. Chad is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention, through cooperation with the organization, the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the WWF, an area of 12,405,068 hectares was declared protected zones in wetlands of international importance by 2008. These are the protected areas of Lake Fitri, Plaine de Massenya, Partie chadienne du lac Tchad, Plaines d'inondation des Bahr Aouk et Salamat, Plaines d'inondation du Logone et les depressions Toupouri and the Binder-Léré wildlife reserve.