One of Chad's most prominent mammals is the Red River Hog, or Bush Pig, along with the African Bush Elephant, the Cape Hydrax, and a type of old-world monkey called the MantledGuereza. While Chad is primarily composed of deserts in the north, to the South there are fertile grasslands which provide a suitable habitat for grazing animals such as buffalo, rhinoceroses, giraffes, and antelopes to dwell in. Due to the abundance of these creatures, lions, leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas are also attracted to the area and compose a large portion of Chad mammals as well. There are also many species of rodents and bats like old-world fruit bats,capybaras, squirrels, and rats.
Lake Chad, located in the far west of Chad, is the largest wetland in the country and within it holds 85 species of fish. Only 25 of these, however, are exclusive to Chad. The floating islands in the lake are also the home tohippopotamus and crocodile'though both of these are declining in numbers'and many different types of waterfowl and migratory birds
The birds that live in Chad range from the flightless ostriches to the wetland dwelling herons. Predatory hawks, falcons and eagles roam the sky. Cuckoos and owls are also quite abundant. Pelicans, cormorants, egrets, and cranes are some of the other birds that live near the water. For the terrestrial types, there are pheasants, partridges, quail, and guinea fowl.
As far as reptiles go, there are many snakes and lizards, such as the endemic Mocquard's Writhing Skink. These animals tend to stay in the deserts of the north.
Physical Description: Chad is mostly made up of a dry, dusty, shallow basin. Lake Chad, the fourth largest lake in Africa., is situated to the west along the border with Cameroon. The lake is surrounded by mountains, including the volcanic Tibesti Massif, and high plateaus. The country has two rivers -- Chari and Logone -- with tributaries, all of which flow into Lake Chad. Chad is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, Central African Republic and Cameroon to the south, and Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger to the west.
Climate: Tropical in south, desert in north
Irrigated Land: 54 sq miles (1993 est.)
Land Use: Arable Land: 3%
Permanent Crops: 0%
Permanent Pastures: 36%
Forests and Woodland: 26%
Other: 35% (1993 est.)
Natural Resources: Petroleum (explored, but unexploited), uranium, natron, kaolin, Lake Chad fish
Natural Hazards: Hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds in north; periodic droughts; locust plagues
Eco-alerts: Chad is plagued by the standard worries of Saharan countries: lack of potable water and desertification.
(Statistics Sources: CIA World Factbook 2000, Encyclopedia Britannica,
However, there are flights that ferry passengers among the cities of N'Djamena, Sarh, Mao and Maundou. Buses and bush taxis are operational between the Chad cities and these are the cheapest means of transport in Chad. The taxi drivers in Chad are usually given a 10 percent tip on the fare. Traveling between the cities by private transportation is allowed but is restricted due to certain genuine problems such as high price of petrol. All private vehicle drivers are advised to drive safely and have more than enough reserves of fuel because there is an acute deficiency of medical aid and petrol pumps in Chad.
Railways are not available in Chad, though negotiation is on to construct railways connecting Cameroon with Chad. Waterway transportation in Chad is restricted to the Logone River, which flows into the Lake Chad.
Though the internal roadways might not be well paved, there are roadways that connect Chad to Central African Republic, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon. The transportation in Chad though inadequate is available with a little patience.
From the ancient times they have been dwelling in this country. Other cultural groups migrated from nearby regions of Chad and settled in this part of the African continent. In the recent times the Muslim population is highest in Chad because people from Arabic countries migrated at a huge rate in the early 19th century. The maximum number of cultural groups who co-habit in the land of Chad include Christian, French, Sara and from other origins. The different kinds of religion that are followed by the people of the Chad society are Christianity, Islam and various African religions.
Further information: Traditional African religion
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Ancestors play an important role in Chadian classical religions. They are thought to span the gap between the supernatural and natural worlds. They connect these two worlds specifically by linking living lineage members with their earliest forebears. Because of their proximity, and because they once walked among the living, ancestors are prone to intervene in daily affairs. This intervention is particularly likely in the case of the recently deceased, who are thought to spend weeks or months in limbo between the living and the dead. Many religious observances include special rituals to propitiate these spirits, encourage them to take their leave with serenity, and restore the social order their deaths have disrupted.
Spirits are also numerous. These invisible beings inhabit a parallel world and sometimes reside in particular places or are associated with particular natural phenomena. Among the Mbaye, a Sara subgroup, water and lightning spirits are thought to bring violent death and influence other spirits to intervene in daily life. The sun spirit, capable of rendering service or causing harm, also must be propitiated. Spirits may live in family groups with spouses and children. They are also capable of taking human, animal, or plant forms when they appear among the living. The supernatural powers that control natural events are also of major concern. Among farming peoples, rituals to propitiate such powers are associated with the beginning and end of the agricultural cycle. Among the Sara, the new year begins with the appearance of the first new moon following the harvest. The next day, people hunt with nets and fire, offering the catch to ancestors. Libations are offered to ancestors, and the first meal from the new harvest is consumed.
Among the more centralized societies of Chad, the ruler frequently is associated with divine power. Poised at the apex of society, he or (more rarely) she is responsible for good relations with the supernatural forces that sanction and maintain the social order. For example, among the Moundang, the gon lere of Léré is responsible for relations with the sky spirits. And among the Sara Madjingay, the mbang (chief) of the village of Bédaya controls religious rituals that preserve and renew the social order. Even after the coming of Islam, the symbols of such authority reinforced the rulers of nominally Islamic states such as Wadai, Kanem-Borno, and Bagirmi.
Finally, most classical African religions involve belief in a supreme being who created the world and its inhabitants but who then retired from active intervention in human affairs. As a result, shrines to a high god are uncommon, and people tend to appeal to the lesser spirits; yet the notion of a supreme being may have helped the spread of Christianity. When missionaries arrived in southern Chad, they often used the local name of this high god to refer to the Christian supreme being. Thus, although a much more interventionist spirit, the Christian god was recognizable to the people. This recognition probably facilitated conversion, but it may also have ironically encouraged syncretism (the mixing of religious traditions), a practice disturbing to many missionaries and to Protestants in particular. Followers of classical African religions would probably not perceive any necessary contradiction between accepting the Christian god and continuing to believe in the spirits just described.
Because order is thought to be the natural, desirable state, disorder is not happenstance. Classical African religions devote considerable energy to the maintenance of order and the determination of who or what is responsible for disorder. In the case of illness, for example, it is of the greatest importance to ascertain which spirit or which person is responsible for undermining the natural order; only then is it possible to prescribe a remedy. In such circumstances, people frequently take their cases to ritual specialists, who divine the threats to harmony and recommend appropriate action. Such specialists share their knowledge only with peers. Indeed, they themselves have probably acquired such knowledge incrementally as they made their way through elaborate apprenticeships.
Although classical African religions provide institutionalized ways of maintaining or restoring community solidarity, they also allow individuals to influence the cosmic order to advance their own interests. Magic and sorcery both serve this end. From society's standpoint, magic is positive or neutral. On the one hand, magicians try to influence life forces to alter the physical world, perhaps to bring good fortune or a return to health. Sorcerers, on the other hand, are antisocial, using sorcery (or "black magic") to control or consume the vital force of others. Unlike magicians, whose identity is generally known, sorcerers hide their supernatural powers, practicing their nefarious rites in secret. When misfortune occurs, people often suspect that sorcery is at the root of their troubles. They seek counsel from diviners or magicians to identify the responsible party and ways to rectify the situation; if the disruption is deemed to threaten everyone, leaders may act on behalf of the community at large. If discovered, sorcerers are punished.
The survival of any society requires that knowledge be passed from one generation to another. In many Chadian societies, this transmission is marked by ritual. Knowledge of the world and its forces is limited to adults; among the predominantly patrilineal societies of Chad, it is further limited to men in particular. Rituals often mark the transition from childhood to adulthood. However, they actively "transform" children into adults, teaching them what adults must know to assume societal responsibilities.
Although such rites differ among societies, the Sara yondo may serve as a model of male initiation ceremonies found in Chad. The yondo takes place at a limited number of sites every six or seven years. Boys from different villages, usually accompanied by an elder, gather for the rites, which, before the advent of Western education with its nine-month academic calendar, lasted several months. In recent decades, the yondo has been limited to several weeks between academic years.
The yondo and its counterparts among other Chadian societies reinforce male bonds and male authority. Women are not allowed to witness the rite. Their initiated sons and brothers no longer eat with them and go to live in separate houses. Although rites also mark the transition to womanhood in many Chadian societies, such ceremonies are much shorter. Rather than encouraging girls to participate in the larger society, they stress household responsibilities and deference to male authority
According to recent estimates by Pew research center, 55.7% of the population of Chad is Muslim. The vast majority of Muslims are Sunni ofMaliki school of Jurisprudence. Minority of Muslims are Shia or Ahmadiyya. Other religions include Roman Catholicism (20.1%),Protestantism (14.2%), animist and others (10.0%). Muslims are largely concentrated in northern and eastern Chad, and animists and Christians live primarily in southern Chad and Guéra. Islam was brought in the course of the Muslim conquest of the Sudan region, in the case of Chad complete in the 11th century with the conversion of the Kanem-Bornu Empire. Christianity arrived in Chad with the French, by the end of the 19th century.
Chad Official languages
Arabic , French
Education & Jobs
At independence in 1960, the government of Chad made education compulsory and free at primary level. This means all children should attend primary school from the age of six and stay in school for 9 years.
But although attendance is compulsory, only around three-quarters of children are enrolled in school. Culturally, it is seen as less important for girls to receive an education, so often girls are kept at home.
A religious education
There are a number of Koranic schools, mostly in the north and east, where children are given a religious-based education.
And though education is meant to be free, lack of adequate funding often means schools ask for some payments towards teacher salaries. This makes education unaffordable for some families.
Greater investment needed
In 2009, Chad spent just 2.3% of its gross national income on education, compared with an average spending of 3.6% by developing Sub-Saharan African countries (or 5.1% in the UK).
Finding more teachers
Chad suffers from a severe shortage of teachers. (Some left the country during the long years of civil war – see History & Politics.) Classrooms are therefore often crowded, sometimes holding 50 to 100 pupils for lessons.
Schools in rural communities are particularly lacking in staff, teaching materials and facilities. Most do not have services such as running water and electricity.
At secondary level, children can study for a further seven years, either academic subjects or vocational courses. However, a lack of secondary schools means many children finish their education early.
Fewer girls enrol in secondary school, with many marrying early. This means that only 40% of young women (aged 15-24) can read and write (2009 UNESCO data).
Note: ALL pictures below were taken in N'Djamena, Chad.
You've never had pineapple until you've had Chadian pineapple. If you're brave enough, you can also buy a machete in the market to assist in opening the pineapple--and avoid ending up in an eating arrangement like this. (~2,000 CFA - $4.50)
Mangos are incredibly tasteful too. (~1,000 CFA - $2.25)
Juicy, delicious tomatoes never cease to impress.
The tangerines pack a punch and are filled with seeds. It's a real challenge to finish one in a single sitting.
Unshelled peanuts (below and left) can be bought in the market at about 500 CFA ($1.13) for 2 cups. Peanuts can also be bought shelled, and they come in two different types:
"Fool" - Peanuts that lack flavor and are very chalky (below)
"Angangana," or "fool sudanee" (not pictured - they were too good to keep around) - These nuts are similar to common salted peanuts, but much more flavorful.
The small seeds to the right are called "simsim" and have an excellent roasted flavor. You eat them by the handful. Simsim, fool, fool sudanee, and many other types of nuts are purchased from walking vendors (often children) or at the market, for a marginal cost. They are sold in small see-through plastic bags, and are often bundled in a variety pack.
"Aradib booboo" (left) consists of an outer shell that, when broken off, reveals a hard ball covered in a powder. Aradib (shortened name) is eaten by sucking the powder off of the hard inner core, and then discharging the remnants. Aradibhas a wonderful cherry flavor, and it is much like sucking on candy. The Chadian Arabic word "booboo" means monkey, and these delicacies are supposedly a favorite of the Chadian monkey.
Chadian food is a must have. Local restaurants are numerous, especially in the market area. Sometimes small-scale, impromptu restaurants appear on the side of the road--eat at one of these at your own risk. The meal pictured to the left was taken at the residence of a Chadian hotel worker. A good way to try some local food is to make friends and ask to dine with them.
The soft, doughy bread on the rim of the tray is "qissar." The meat dip in the bowl is "mula sharmoot." The dish is eaten by tearing off a piece of the bread and dipping it in the meat sauce. Delicious! Remember--when eating with Muslims, use only your right hand.
Served along with this meal was a side of "fungasoo." Each little ball had a crunchy exterior and a soft, cheese interior.
Water Bodies-Lakes, Rivers, Oceans, Etc.
Things to see and do:
A former capital of the powerful Ouadaï sultanate, and surrounded by desert, this town has retained much of its oriental charm, with interesting mosques, cobbled narrow streets and old markets.
Catch a glimpse of some of the best camel racing in the world in the Tibesti Mountains, home of the fierce Toubou tribe. The inhabitants are distantly related to the Tuareg of the Western Sahara. This astonishing region of chasms and crags has seldom been seen by non-Muslims and remains closed to travellers, so is best watched from afar. It is not be difficult to look out for, since it contains Emi Koussi, a high peak, 3,414m (11,200ft) above sea level.
Lake Chad must be seen, not only because it was once the centre of Africa's lucrative salt trade and one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, but also because you may be running out of time to see it. Lake Chad is shrinking. The lake is at its best during the August to December period, when the water level is highest and the occasional hippo or crocodile can be seen drifting by.
Chad's capital is slowly regaining its pre-war reputation as one of Central Africa's liveliest cities. Bullet holes in buildings serve as a reminder of troubled times, but the atmosphere here is increasingly upbeat.
The museum features collections of the Sarh culture dating back to the ninth century. There is a distinctive difference between the Arab section of town (very quiet at night) and the area where the southerners live (lively and full of bars).
Sip a cold beer:
Take a glug of Moundou's beer from the Gala Brewery - some of the best in the country.
Wander N'Djaména's historic quarter:
The historic quarter, with its colourful daily market, is fascinating and a good place to pick up colourful Chadian rugs and jewellery.
Zakouma National Park:
Zakouma National Park is Located on an immense plain, across which the Bahr Salamat and its tributaries flow from north to south. The government and the EU have restocked and refurbished the park since it was ravaged by civil war and poachers. Visitors can now see huge flocks of elephants, giraffes and lions.