Chad
Peaks of the Tibesti

Chad Tour – Peaks of the Tibesti – a 22 day Small Group Tour from £6395 per person.


For years the only Europeans to visit Chad were employed by the French military. Its bullet-ridden and fire-scorched towns and cities were a testament to petty regional disputes stoked into proxy conflicts by big time geopolitical players.

However, times have changed.

Chad is still very much an emerging destination in terms of tourism, but if sand is in your blood, to travel the raw and beautiful landscapes of the Tibesti is an experience that will transcend most others. Yalla!

This is the Sahara’s final frontier. Travel to the remote Tibesti Mountains in the north of Chad, to explore dramatic peaks, including the Sahara’s highest mountain, and meet the Tubu people living here.

Out of bounds for a long time, with a little care and a lot of planning it’s now possible to visit this stunning region. Expect a tough journey as we will be crossing vast empty spaces on our journey from the capital to the north.This is a true expedition.

We head into breath-taking landscapes of the Tibesti, home to volcanic peaks and some of the most isolated settlements on earth. We meet the Tubu people, a fiercely independent group and true adepts at living in such harsh conditions – exploring their settlements we see how they have managed to carve a life for themselves here.

This tour of Chad alsos delves into prehistory, seeing ancient rock carvings and paintings among the stones. Crossing rocky plateaux, tackling vast fields of sand dunes and following the courses of long dried up riverbeds, the landscape here is diverse and constantly changing.

With virtually no facilities outside of the capital we spend our nights camping, immersing ourselves completely in the desert experience. A ground-breaking trip for true Sahara enthusiasts.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour Pace

Busy

Tour style

Pioneer

Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.

Itinerary.

Arrive in N’Djamena and after clearing Customs and Immigration you will drive out of the city. The expedition travels firstly on an asphalt road via Bahr el Ghazal. Upon reaching the large village of Massaguet, you take an easterly route through an area of authentic Sahelian Africa with numerous villages and markets. After 2-2.5 hours of travelling you will stop and make camp for the night.

Continue towards Abeche  passing the settlements of Ab Toyour, Bitkine, Mongo and Oum Hadjer through the beautiful and lively region of Guera, punctuated by its granite peaks. The village of Ab Toyour is dominated by the granite peak known as Vultures Mountain. You will spend some time admiring the beautiful landscapes, until arriving Abeche, the ancient capital of Chad and nowadays the capital of the Ouaddai region and one of the most important centres of the whole country. Overnights camping (BLD) 

Leaving Abeche, it’s the end of the road or at least the end of the tarmac. Joining a dusty track, we travel north towards the villages of Biltine and Arada. En route we may encounter nomadic herders eking out a living among sand dunes and low-lying vegetation as the Sahel becomes increasingly desertified. At Kalait, on the southern borders of the Ennedi Massif, we arrive in a true desert region. Inhabited by Gaeda, Tama and Zagawa nomadic tribes, for centuries this region has been a crossroads for Saharan trade. We continue northwards along the jagged western edge of massif to the remarkable region of Bichigara and witness the Ennedi’s eroded sandstone formations known as tassilli – an area of unrivalled beauty. Hidden among the other-worldly sandstone pillars, if you know where to look, are 3,000-year-old examples of rock art from the Bovidian period, depicting herdsmen and their cattle. We continue north to reach the oasis of Ouei, an important site where the Toubou clans water their herds. Overnights camping. (BLD)

The Borkou region sees dunes and palm groves alternate seamlessly. A sandy track leads us to the plateau of Yarda and a small oasis surrounded by tassilli, and complete with a scattering of Toubou  banco (mud) huts. Continuing through a landscape of canyons and dunes, surrounded by rock formations shaped by the Saharan winds, we arrive at the oasis of Orori. Here, there’s time to observe the lifestyle of the Toubou nomads who have inhabited the area for centuries, and see some ancient rock art. Later, we reach the village of Kouroudi, surrounded by remarkable tassilli formations, and a memorable site to pitch camp. Overnights camping.  (BLD)

We continue to immense volcanic plateau of Emi Koussi, driving around the western edge of the volcano, the highest mountain in the Sahara at 3415m, and spend time exploring the area. Following the course of the Enneri Miski wadi, we are surrounded by tassilli rock formations. Here too, rock paintings and engravings reveal prehistoric habitation. To the west, the peaks of the majestic Tarso Tieroko are a constant backdrop. Where appropriate, we leave our vehicles and explore on foot. At Birni Erde we visit a small village built by Teda people near an important water source. Pressing on through the mountains, our route traverses gorges and stony hills. We drive towards Yebbi Bou, a typical Toubou village where a nearby a deep canyon is home to one of the region’s most picturesque palm groves. Overnights camping. (BLD)

Skirting across the gorges of Yebbigué, the track alternates between hard and rocky, and long stretches following green enneri (wadis) of acacias and tamarisks. We skirt Tarso Voon and Tarso Toon, two imposing volcanic structures. In the Enneri Zoumri valley we encounter green oases. Bardai, the main town of the Tibesti region, is situated at 1000m on a striking mountainous escarpment. This oasis town is only now emerging from many years of conflict and once more starting to take its place as an important trading post. Although small, just 1,500 inhabitants, Bardai is the only settlement for hundreds of kilometres.  Overnights are spent camping. (BLD)

Travelling beyond the dramatic Oudinger Gorges, we reach a height of 2200m. Here, the extinct volcanic crater of Trou au Natron appears. A white crust of sodium salts covers the crater floor, an area used as salt pasture for grazing animals by Tubu herders. Carefully, we descend into the the crater on foot, picking our way down precipitous, rocky paths. Overnight camping. (BLD)

The rough track ascending the plateau of Enneri Tao is hard going. However, distant views to the dune sea of the Erg of Bilma, on the edge of the Ténéré desert, and north to the Aiguilles de Sissé chain of rocky pinnacles, make the rough ride more than worth it. Our route continues towards the oasis of Zouar. Overnight camping. (BLD)

Zouar is home of the Derde, the spiritual and traditional leader of the Tibesti’s Toubou Teda people. We have time to explore the village and its busy market, before loading up and traversing surrounding rocky buttresses to enter the region of Marmar. Here, among a sea of desert dunes, occasional rocky inselbergs erupt through the sand – a remarkable landscape. After exploring we return to the Borkou region and the oasis town of Faya-Largeau, whose lush palm groves and fertile fields are hugely important to the local economy. Overnights camping. (BLD)

The journey south starts with a difficult crossing through almost 80km of dunes. Our drivers are very experienced. However, desert pistes are among the most taxing environments for people and vehicles.  Having successfully crossed the dunes, we again enter the Bahr el Ghazal region. On the ground hereabouts, clusters of diatom fossils may be found, evidence for periods when Lake Chad stretched up to the southern reaches of the Tibesti. Continuing, we pass through the village of Kouba Oulanga, known for its acacia-filled wadi, and visit the village of Salal, made up of a few houses constructed from banco (mud) arranged around an abandoned French colonial fort. The track then follows the Bahr el Ghazal wadi – a riverbed that only very rarely sees flowing water. However, groundwater reserves here are close to the surface, resulting in lush stands of acacia and doum palms. We take the road for the regional capital of Massakory, crossing savannah where herds of zebu cattle and sheep graze. At this point we find a silky-smooth asphalt road for the first time in many days. Overnights camping until arrival in N’Djamena. Overnight in Mercure Hotel or similar. (BLD)

After breakfast you can relax until you are transferred to the airport for your flights. (B)

Dates & Price.

  • Tour Code
    Start
    End
    Trip Status
    Pricing
     
  • Tour Code 20-01
    Start Saturday November 7, 2020
    End Saturday November 28, 2020
    Available
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £6,395.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Chad – Peaks of the Tibesti (CPT) Single Supplement
    £ 220.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More

Tour Notes

This group tour operates subject to a minimum group size of 4 travellers.

Please note: this tour operates on the basis of a maximum of 3 passengers per vehicle, plus the driver. Therefore, only 2 passengers will sit on the back seat, which allows for more space and comfort.

Single supplement from £220.

Flights from London to N’Djamena return start from around £550. Please contact us for a quotation.

Airport transfers are included if you are booking pre and/or post tour accommodation at the hotel mentioned in our tour dossier.

Extra night accommodation pre and/or post tour in N’Djamena costs from £105 per person, per night sharing a twin/double room and £190 per person in a solo occupancy room.

Please note that the prices quoted above are for the category of accommodation and hotel used for this particular tour. Depending on the hotel eventually confirmed there may be some difference in the rate advertised by the hotel, and the prices available through Undiscovered Destinations. It should be noted we will not apply a surcharge should more expensive accommodation be used. At the same time in the event that a lower rate is available for the confirmed hotel we are unable to offer a refund.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Chad Tour - Peaks of the Tibesti Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All accommodation on a twin share basis
  • Services of English speaking guide / tour leader
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips (discretionary)

This trip was a spectacular journey. Every day at least one or two amazing nature experiences with fantastic rock formations, sand dunes and surprising finds in the Sahara desert. A thoroughly enjoyable trip which I have strongly recommended to many others.

Cecilia Harlitz, Sweden