Chad - Soul of the Sahara


Chad - Soul of the Sahara

Style: PioneerGroundbreaking tours to unique destinations
Duration: 17 days
Type: GroupSmall group tours with a maximum of 12 travellers

Notes

Important Information

Foreign Government Travel Warnings

Before booking your tour please familiarise yourself with the country specific information provided by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. This includes important information such as latest immigration requirements, and details of any travel advisories.

At present the FCO advises against travel to all parts of the country except N’Djamena. It is likely travel warnings will remain in place for some time to come, and we are only able to accept a booking on the basis that you are aware this is the case and confirm that you are still happy to travel irrespective of the current FCO advice.

We work very closely with experienced local contacts and are fully confident that it is safe to operate tours in Chad. Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific concerns or would like to know in detail what measures are being taken to ensure visits remain trouble free and without incident.

Furthermore, it is the clients’ responsibility to ensure that they hold full travel insurance which includes medical repatriation.

You should check the validity of your insurance with your provider, given the travel warnings in place. We can however, help you organise insurance which will continue to be valid.

It should be noted that this information applies to British citizens. Other nationals are asked to check the current position of their respective government.

Non UK nationals should check with their own government, as the information and advice may differ to that provided by British authorities.

Accommodation and Meals

Hotel Check-in Times

As a general rule most hotels will allow guests to check-in from 2pm. Please note that the price of your tour does not include guaranteed early check-in. Therefore please advise us if you would like to ensure that your room is available for an earlier arrival. This is particularly relevant on the first day of the tour and for early morning arrivals. One option is to pre-book and pay for an extra night at the beginning of your tour which will guarantee your accommodation is available irrespective of what time you arrive. Please contact us for information and costs.

It should also be noted that on many of our tours we have set-aside Day 1 of the itinerary as an ‘arrival day’. For this reason and because tour participants are likely to be arriving at different times, and often from different countries, guided sightseeing or other activities are not included. If you are arriving early or before the start date of the tour and would like to organise some extra arrangements on a private basis please contact us.

 

Accommodation Rating

Outside of N’Djamena you will be staying in wild camps where there are no facilities. You will be provided with a small amount of water each night to wash with (although on one or two occasions this may not be possible due to distance from wells). On our ‘Soul of the Sahara’ trip, you may be able to do some hand washing of clothes later on in the trip when we reach the Ounianga Lakes, but do not count on this.

We do not recommend Chad to anyone looking for a conventional holiday – comforts are few and far between and conditions are often challenging. It is not comparable to other countries in Africa that you may have travelled to, but the crew travelling with you will do their utmost to make this trip as comfortable as possible. However for those seeking a true adventure to one of the most remote parts of our world, Chad is hard to beat.

Food & Drink

While on tour in Chad you will generally be served a mixture of European and African cuisine. Local conditions and availability dictate that food is fairly simple, so do not expect gourmet cooking. Breakfast typically consists of bread, jam, biscuits and coffee, while lunch is normally some type of salad. For the evening meal you can expect pasta, couscous, meat and vegetable stews, soup, rice and other such food, depending on what is available at the markets along the way.

You may also like to take some snacks with you to vary your diet – energy bars, dried fruit or sweets are generally appreciated.

All meals are included while on our tour in Chad, apart from the first day, and the evening of the final day. Allow around €20 for an evening meal.

Water will be taken from wells along the way – it is not possible to take a supply of bottled water from N’Djamena. This is treated with a sterilising agent such as Micropur to render it safe to drink.

You might also like to take a bottle of alcohol for the evening – after leaving N’Djamena it is unlikely that you will be able to buy any.

Dietary Requirements

If you have any special dietary requirements you must notify us at the time of booking. While we will make every effort to cater for you, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible.

Budgeting for your Tour

You will need some extra money to cover meals and drinks not included in the tour price, any optional sightseeing, souvenirs and items of a personal nature such as laundry.

Tipping – Guide and Drivers

Tipping is commonly recognised as a way of rewarding guides and drivers for good service. If you are happy with your guide and driver, please consider leaving a tip for them. We recommend that each member of the tour give a tip of around €50 minimum which will then be divided amongst the tour staff.

Foreign Exchange

ATM Availability: Credit cards are not widely accepted
Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Cards are not widely accepted
Local Currency: CFA
Recommended Currency for Exchange: Euros
Where to Exchange: Your guide will advise you (for our scheduled group tour, there is very little to spend money on once you leave N’Djamena)

Joining your Tour

Flight Information

Our advertised prices do not include the cost of international flights. Please contact us if you would like a quotation to book a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a free airport transfer, both on arrival and departure. In order that the transfer can be arranged please ensure that you advise us of your flight information once available. Please advise the date, time and flight number for your arrival/departure. If we have not been advised of this information at least 2 weeks before travel, then you will be required to make your own way to the hotel on Day 1 of your tour.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Undiscovered Destinations that you have adequate valid travel insurance, the cost of which is not included in the price of the tour. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip.

Visa Information

Visitors from most countries, including UK, EU and US visitors require a visa for entering Chad. In addition to this, you will require an invitation letter, which we will provide for you. Please note that the embassy requires a copy of a Yellow Fever certificate to issue the visa – you must ensure that this is up to date before applying for the visa. You are also required to send the original copy of your travel insurance certificate. There is no Chadian Embassy in the UK, and applications must be made to the embassy in Paris. There is however an embassy in the US.

Please remember to bring 2 photos’ for the immigration service.

Visa regulations can frequently change. Therefore we recommend that you check with your nearest embassy for the most up to date details.

Passports

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, valid for at least six months after the date of return to the UK.

We strongly advise that your passport contains a minimum of two blank pages, as this may be a requirement of the local immigration authorities. In addition certain countries will stipulate that the two blank pages are opposite each other. If you are unable to meet these requirements you may be refused boarding by your airline or denied entry by the immigration authorities.

For specific information about the requirements for your destination please check with the country’s embassy or consulate. Alternatively UK citizens can visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Vaccinations & Protection

As with travel to most parts of Africa, we strongly recommend that you contact your doctor’s surgery or a specialist travel clinic for up-to-date information, advice and the necessary vaccinations. For a visit of less than one month, almost certainly you will be advised to have immunisations against the following: Diphtheria and Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Meningitis.

Vaccination against yellow fever is a compulsory requirement for entry into Chad, and you must bring your certificate with you. This may or may not be checked when you enter the country, but we strongly advise that you do not risk being denied entry.

Preparing for your tour

Climate

Generally speaking, the best time to visit Chad is between October / November and March, when the temperature will be hot, but not uncomfortably so. Chad’s rainy season is from May to September and travel can be difficult during this time.

Clothing

Chad is quite warm and so light clothes are generally a good idea. You should ensure that you bring warmer clothes for evenings in the north – it can get a lot cooler in the north once the sun goes down. Please remember that Chad has a large Muslim population and conservative attitudes towards dress, and so women should bear this in mind and ensure that clothing is appropriate.  Shorts and a t-shirt/ undershirt are not well accepted by the local people.

Equipment

Suncream/sunblock is a must. Insect repellent, including a bite spray will also be useful to have. As our tour in Chad involves camping, a torch (flashlight) is essential. You should also bring a travel towel, a water bottle and toilet paper. You may also wish to consider bringing anti-bacterial hand lotion. You should also bring a lighter / matches (for burning toilet paper). If you wear contact lenses, you may wish to consider bringing a pair of glasses – it can get very dusty while driving and cause irritation to the eyes. You will also need to bring a sleeping bag. We would recommend a warm sleeping bag, as well as a sleep sheet for any hot nights. You may also like to bring an inflatable pillow, as these are not provided. Sleeping mats however are provided.

Footwear

Footwear is a main priority on this tour. Comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended, as well as a pair of sandals. You may also wish to bring a pair of gaiters – in some areas of the Ennedi you can find a sharp spiky grass which will stick into your legs.

Luggage on tour

Your luggage should not exceed 17kgs, and should have soft sides. One large holdall/rucksack, and one small hand luggage rucksack is acceptable.

Electric Supply & Plugs

Electrical supply is 220V/50 Hz and plugs have two round pins like most European countries.

Tour Itinerary Versions

Please ensure that you have an up-to-date copy of these tour notes immediately before you travel, as from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. You will be informed of any major changes to your tour but small changes may just be added to these tour notes. These tour notes were prepared on 29/07/16


Other tours in Chad

Chad - Peaks of the Tibesti »