World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Africa

Chad Travelling Guide
Chad Travelling Guide

General background: Chad, part of France's African holdings until 1960, endured three decades of ethnic warfare as well as invasions by Libya before a semblance of peace was finally restored in 1990. The government eventually suppressed or came to terms with most political-military groups, settled a territorial dispute with Libya on terms favorable to Chad, drafted a democratic constitution, and held multiparty presidential and National Assembly elections in 1996 and 1997 respectively. In 1998 a new rebellion broke out in northern Chad, which continued to escalate throughout 2000. A peace agreement, signed in January 2002 between the government and the rebels, provides for the demobilization of the rebels and their reintegration into the political system. Despite movement toward democratic reform, power remains in the hands of a northern ethnic oligarchy.

Area comparative: Slightly more than three times the size of California

Climate: Tropical in south, desert in north

Terrain: Broad, arid plains in center, desert in north, mountains in northwest, lowlands in south

Population: 8,997,237 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: 200 distinct groups; in the north and center: Arabs, Gorane (Toubou, Daza, Kreda), Zaghawa, Kanembou, Ouaddai, Baguirmi, Hadjerai, Fulbe, Kotoko, Hausa, Boulala, and Maba, most of whom are Muslim; in the south: Sara (Ngambaye, Mbaye, Goulaye), Moundang, Moussei, Massa, most of whom are Christian or animist; about 1,000 French citizens live in Chad.

Religions: Muslim 51%, Christian 35%, animist 7%, other 7%

Language: French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects

Government type: Republic

Capital: N'Djamena

Legal system: Based on French civil law system and Chadian customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Economic overview: Chad's primarily agricultural economy will be boosted by major oilfield and pipeline projects that began in 2000. Over 80% of Chad's population relies on subsistence farming and stock raising for their livelihood. Cotton, cattle, and gum arabic provide the bulk of Chad's export earnings, but Chad will begin to export oil in 2004. Chad's economy has long been handicapped by its land-locked position, high energy costs, and a history of instability. Chad relies on foreign assistance and foreign capital for most public and private sector investment projects. A consortium led by two US companies is investing $3.7 billion to develop oil reserves estimated at 1 billion barrels in southern Chad.

Communication/Telephone system: Fair system of radiotelephone communication stations. International, satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).

Places of interest: The cities are still interesting and relatively safe places to visit for the careful traveller - nightlife in the capital is thriving with many popular bars - but visitors should always stick to main routes and keep a low profile. Intrepid travellers are currently able to visit the capitals of ancient desert kingdoms and other attractions in the country.

Travel tips: The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office strongly advises against travelling overland at night.