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.
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
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
- 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
- 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:
National Tourist Board Office
tourism page (in French)