Description of Chad holiday
One of the most remote and least visited countries in the Sahara, Chad offers a wonderful off-the-beaten track encounter with dramatic landscapes and a proud people that rarely see western visitors. Travelling over often rough terrain with wild camping beneath dazzling starry skies, this is a trip for those in search of real and unique adventure.
Chad offers some of Africa's most startling landscapes, and highlights of the trip include the bizarre sandstone formations and prehistoric rock paintings of Ennedi, the never-ending dunes of the Mourdi, and the awe-inspiring Guelta d’Archei. You'll also get a chance to swim in the remarkable multi-hued salt lakes of the Ounianga Serir oasis, in a dune setting considered among the Sahara's most spectacular landscapes.
Diverse people live in this mysterious land – Gaeda, Tama, Tubu, Bideyat and Zagawa. You'll encounter nomads driving huge herds of camels to precious waterholes and isolated trading communities making a living out of the desert's so-called 'red salt'.
You'll also see some amazing contrasting settlements. Compare the modern capital N’Djamena with the ancient capital Abeche, and visit the Saharan crossroads town of Kalait. In Fada, discover a wonderful Saharan village with houses made of banco clustered around an old French colonial fort and busy market.
And amid this arid land, you'll also discover some of the fantastic wildlife that survives here, including gazelles, bustards, hyenas and jackals - plus the rare Saharan crocodile.
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PlanetThis trip spends time visiting some of the most remote communities on our planet and we place a great emphasis on treading sensitively. The local Tubu population are especially wary about having their photographs taken and our groups are carefully briefed on this in order that we do not offend. When visiting villages we first ensure that our presence is welcome rather than simply descending en masse and overwhelming the local people, many of whom may not have seen western travellers before. In exchange for allowing us an insight into their lives we bring gifts of items that are hard to come by for semi-nomadic people, such as soap and tea, which are gratefully received by the women of the families. We feel that it is important not to intrude upon the lives of these people and so will only stop at settlements that we know are happy to receive visitors.
Where possible we buy supplies along the way, and although our groups are small this can make a significant input into the local economy of villages which otherwise have little opportunity to trade.
We believe that tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures - usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.
Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travellers. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasise our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.
This tour travels through some very remote and often pristine environments, and outside of N’Djamena all nights are spent camping. We make a point of ensuring that we do not leave any permanent traces of our stay behind, making sure that we take all litter with us. The desert is a fragile environment and we take great pains to ensure that we do not disturb it.
PeopleThe local Tubu population are especially wary about having their photographs taken and our groups are carefully briefed on this in order that we do not offend.
When visiting villages we at first ensure that our presence is welcome rather than simply descending en masse and overwhelming the local people, as many of whom may not have seen western travellers before. In exchange for allowing us an insight into their lives we bring gifts of items that are hard to come by for semi-nomadic people, such as soap and tea, which are gratefully received by the women of the families. We feel that it is very important not to intrude upon the lives of these people and so will only stop at settlements that we know are happy to receive visitors.
We work with Chadian drivers and guides, and at the end of each tour travellers are able to leave any unwanted clothes that they can then distribute.
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From £5899 22 days excluding flights
Sandstone mountains, multi-hued lakes and the Wodaabe tribe