Chad - Discover Zakouma

Chad - Discover Zakouma

Style: PioneerGroundbreaking tours to unique destinations
Duration: 8 days
Type: GroupTravel with a small group of other travellers


In the south of Chad sits Zakouma National Park, one of Africa’s best kept wildlife secrets – a little known park in a little known country that harbours huge numbers of iconic wildlife species. Our Chad holidays take you to a natural paradise in the very heart of Africa, home to elephants, lion, leopards and more. Setting out from N’Djamena we cross the Sahel, travelling through the region of Guera with its impressive inselberg scenery, stopping in villages en route and meeting local communities following traditional lifestyles, almost untouched by the modern world. In Zakouma itself we spend our days on game drives, setting out early in the morning to give ourselves the best chance of spotting animals on the move. We’ll search for the huge herd of elephants that lives here, keep an eye open for predators such as lion and leopard, and enjoy a total wilderness experience far from the crowds often found in better known African parks and reserves. Zakouma offers a true wilderness experience, and game viewing here can give East Africa stiff competition – but with a fraction of the visitors you are likely to have sightings all to yourself. This is no luxury East African safari but offers superb opportunities for authentic wildlife encounters in a hidden corner of the continent, and an unbeatable sensation of true off the beaten track travel.

Tour Rating

Fitness ●●●○○ | Off the Beaten Track ●●●●●| Culture ●●●●○ | History ●●●○○ | Wildlife ●●●●○

Tour Pace


Tour Highlights

  • Explore the unique wildlife of Zakouma National Park

Tour Essentials

Accommodation: Camping, lodge accommodation and hotel stay in N'Djamena
Included Meals: Daily breakfast (B), plus lunches (L) and dinners (D) as shown in the itinerary.
Group Size: Maximum of 12 
Start Point: N’Djamena
End Point: N’Djamena
Transport: 4WD
Countries: Chad

Day 1 – N’Djamena

Arrive in N’Djamena and transfer to the hotel. Depending on when you arrive there may be time to explore, or you can simply relax at the hotel and prepare for your adventure. Overnight Hotel Mercure or similar.


Chad’s capital sits on the Chari River, opposite the Cameroonian town of Kousseri on the western bank. It’s a relatively recent creation, having been founded in 1900 by the French and originally named Fort Lamy after an officer who had recently been killed ‘pacifying’ the region. It’s quite a spread-out city, with wide boulevards which are unfortunately now mainly devoid of the trees that they once sported, these having been chopped down to remove cover for rebel forces during the city’s turbulent past. There are few specific sights in the city, but if you’re arriving early or staying on after the tour you might want to have a wander through the central market, which is quite interesting.

Days 2-3 – Guera – Zakouma National Park

Drive to Zakouma, south east of N’Djamena, crossing the region of Guera with its striking granite inselbergs and different ethnic groups. In the afternoon of Day 3 you arrive at Zakouma National Park and your lodge, situated on the banks of a river in the heart of the park. Day 2 – overnight camping, Day 3 – Tinga Lodge. (BLD)

Days 4-6 – Zakouma National Park

Three days to explore Zakouma National Park in search of its wildlife. Excursions will be made on foot and by vehicle, and we will also visit some of the villages close to the park. Overnight Tinga Lodge. (BLD)

Zakouma National Park

Zakouma is an African success story. Decimated by poaching during Chad’s numerous periods of conflicts, wildlife levels diminished enormously but in recent years an EU funded programme has enabled key species such as elephants to be better protected. Elephant populations are starting to recover, and other species to be found here include cheetah, leopard, lion, buffalo and giraffe, with plans to reintroduce black rhino in coming years.

The landscape here is varied – rocky outcrops, riverine forest and plains make up a variety of habitats for the species that live here. Birdlife is particularly good, due to Zakouma’s position on migration routes from southern Africa to Europe, with ground hornbills, waterfowl and large nesting colonies of bee eaters.

The biggest draw here are the elephants. Once numbering almost 5000, poaching has taken its toll and the herd now stands at around 450 but unusually they all congregate together, meaning that this is one of the largest herds in Africa. The efforts of the park staff and rangers have meant that over recent years the population has started to grow again.

Zakouma offers a true wilderness experience, and game viewing here rivals the better-known parks in East Africa – but with a fraction of the visitors you are likely to have sightings all to yourself.

Days 7-8 – Guera – N’Djamena

Leave Zakouma and head north through savannah to the village of Mongo, situated in a hilly area dominated by the 1500m Mount Guedi. Explore local villages en route back to N’Djamena, where day use rooms are available for you to freshen up before transferring to the airport for your evening flight. Day 7 – overnight camping. (Day 7 – BLD, Day 8 – BL)

Please note that as arrival back in N'Djamena on the last day will be in the late afternoon, it is important to schedule your international flight departure for the evening.

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

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

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