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Chad Dates Back to Neolithic Times

Aug 18, 2007
Indications of population around the shores of Lake Chad date back to Neolithic times.

Its capital, NDjamena, is a friendly and laidback city with a wonderful Central Market, where the whole experience of haggling for African produce is exceptionally good fun.

Lake Chad, once one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, is still a serene sight to behold, despite its gradual shrinkage due to climate change and increased demands. It is still of huge economic importance, providing water to millions of people in surrounding countries. Indeed, Chad itself, although one of the poorest of Africas nations, is still geographically staggering, ranging from desert in the north to fertile farmland in the south, all under the canopy of a blue, blisteringly hot sky.

NDjamena, is slowly regaining its pre war reputation as one of Central Africas 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. The National Museum has collections of the culture dating back to the ninth 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 is located on an immense plain, across which the Bahr Salamat and its tributaries flow from north to south. The government and the EU have restocked and refurbished the park since it was ravaged by civil war and poachers. Visitors can now see huge flocks of elephants, giraffes and lions.

Lake Chad must be seen, not only since it was once the centre of Africas lucrative salt trade and one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, but also because you may be running out of time to see it. Lake Chad is shrinking. 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.

Try and catch a glimpse of some of the best camel racing in the world in the Tibesti Mountains, home of the fierce Toubou tribe. The inhabitants are distantly related to the Tuareg of the Western Sahara, and were made famous by Herodotus as the stocky but immensely agile cave dwellers. This astonishing region of chasms and crags has seldom been seen by non Muslims and remains closed to travellers, so is best watched from afar. It is not be difficult to look out for, since it contains Emi Koussi, a high peak, 3414m above sea level.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Chad Rental Site
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