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The view from the top of mount Kilinguen

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about travelling to Chad

I have heard that is in necessary to know the French language if you desire to work in Chad along with Chadian Arabic. Is this true? If so, are there language schools within the country that teach both of these languages?  Traditionally, Anglophones study French for a few years first, then come here to learn the local Arabic dialect.  Opportunities for Anglophones to learn French here are basically nonexistent; if you wish to do it this way, find a self-study course that has a proven track record.  As for learning Arabic, there are schools in the capital city to learn this language, such as CEFOD.  If you come with a Christian mission organisation, they may already provide an opportunity to learn Arabic through a study course.  However, if you want to work in the southern part of the country or with southerners in the capital city, Arabic would usually not be necessary.
An alternative method for Anglophones who wish to go straight into learning Arabic would be to go to Khartoum, Sudan for a few years, and study their dialect of Arabic there.  The Arabic dialect spoken in Sudan is understood by peoples north of the Chari river, and is also highly esteemed by Chadians as a sort of "pure" Arabic.  And since English is widely spoken in Sudan, there is no need to overcome a language barrier before beginning your studies in Arabic.  You would still have to spend a year or two in language learning, but upon your arrival in Chad you would immediately have access to the Arab-speaking community here.  Government offices will have officials who speak Arabic, so you would be understood there also.  Most stores in the major towns of Chad are run by Arab speakers.  If you are interested in pursuing this option further, please let me know, and I will send you a list of schools in Sudan for learning Arabic.

How much would it cost for me to visit Chad? If you are coming from Europe, most people fly out of Paris through Air France.  However, it is also possible to come on Libyan Airways from Paris, and on Ethiopian Airlines from Rome.  
If you are coming from the United States, it currently costs about $2200 round trip through Air France.  But you can save a lot of money if you fly out of Newark, New Jersey with Ethiopian Airlines, to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, then on to N'Djaména.  The trip is long, and
usually very full, but the savings may be worth it to you...  Any travel agent you trust should be able to help you make the arrangements, once you are able to come and visit.  However, if you DO need some suggestions of travel agents, I would be more than willing to help.

What tourist attractions are there to see in Chad? Here are a few ideas:
- Gaoui is a village outside of N'Djaména, where it is believed that giants once lived! Artifacts from their ancient society have been unearthed, and are on display there.
- Zakouma Park: a wild animal park in the middle of the country with lots of animals!
- Ouara: The ancient capital of the Ouaddai, is outside of Abéché.  Very interesting remains of the capital of a powerful empire that was able to defend itself against French authority of a long time.
- There are also museums in Abéché and N'Djaména that are very interesting.
- In northern Chad, the Tibesti mountain engravings of animals and hunters dating back from prehistoric times, and the hot springs there, are especially interesting, although quite inaccessible at this time.
- Dougia resort north of N'Djaména provides boat rides to observe hippos in the Chari River up close. Not far, there is a rock formation called "elephant rock", because it looks like an elephant, complete with a trunk.

For further information on formalities, where to stay and what to do, visit: 

Chad National Tourist Board Office

ialtchad's tourism page (in French)


  Do YOU have a question about travelling to Chad, or would you like to comment on how we are portraying what it's like?  If so, please write us!

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