Chad is an incredible destination, full of amazing landscapes and genuine people, totally worth of visiting. How many days should I spend in Chad? Chad is one of the lesser-known and less visited destinations. This is not due to a lack of attractions. It is because the country has been torn by violence, inequality, and corruption for many years. Despite this, there are a few intrepid travelers who dare to discover the wonders this country has to offer.
So Chad, for how long? The best advice I can give is: Spend as much time as you can afford! There’s no right or wrong answer. It all depends on who you are and what you enjoy doing. There are travelers who spend three days in Chad and feel that’s more than enough time. On the other hand, plenty of people spend more than ten days in the country and want more.
Chad Itinerary – How Many Days Should I Spend In Chad?
Here are some Chad itineraries for one to twelve days and more if you need practical examples to help you decide how many days to stay in Chad.
One Day In Chad
Believe it or not, there are some people who are so afraid of the country that they decide to spend as little time as possible in it. That’s why I’ve decided to put together this itinerary. But I want to be clear about this. A day in Chad is simply NOT ENOUGH! You can only get a glimpse of what the capital has to offer with one day in Chad. And believe me: You will regret it! N’Djamena is definitely not memorable. But there are other areas of the country that are simply astonishing! But for them you will need more time.
If it’s impossible to add an extra day or two to your trip, we suggest you spend the day in the capital, N’Djamena. Try to visit some of the city’s best sights (be aware that the traffic can be a nightmare). Here are some of the must-see places in the city:
- The N’Djamena National Museum is the best place to discover Chad’s exciting and colorful history. You can also appreciate a variety of masks and ceremonial ornaments, and garments.
- The Grand Marchè, or central market, is definitely one of the more interesting sights. The market consists of a series of tents where Chadian vendors sell a little bit of everything. And if you are looking for something original, this is the place to be. Be aware that you should visit the place with a local to avoid unwanted attention.
- The Our Lady of Peace Cathedral is the catholic cathedral of the city.
Two Days In Chad
Two days in Chad is not really enough, so prepare for long days and hectic travel schedules.
Take the first day to explore N’Djamena and the second to visit the nearby village of Gaoui. Gaoui was the historic seat of the Sao people, who straddled southern Chad and northern Cameroon. It remains the home of their descendants, the Kotoko. The town is famous for its handmade pottery and its painted mud brick houses. There is a repainting of the mud-brick houses in December, in case this is the focus of your visit.
Six Days In Chad
This itinerary involves booking a charter flight to Ennedi, so it can be pretty expensive. The upside is that it saves you the week it would take to travel by road.
You start the first day by visiting Ndjamena, and if you have time, you can go to the village of Gaoui. On the second day, you take a charter flight to the Ennedi plateau, the most spectacular tourist destination in Chad.
It is recommended that you stay four days in Ennedi to visit places such as the Great Alouba-Toukou Arch, the Elephant Arch, the Mandingueli cave paintings, and the Oyo Labyrinth. You can also take a trip to the Guelta d’Archei in search of crocodiles.
On a trip like this, you’ll be staying at campsites organized by your guide, so be prepared for the lack of facilities such as showers and toilets.
Twelve Days In Chad
In my opinion, this is the best itinerary. Not only do you get to see Chad’s main attractions, but you also get a more authentic experience, such as interacting with several herding families and seeing groups of nomads on camelback on their journeys. Note that this itinerary requires that you travel with a tour, as it is impossible to do this independently.
You should start this trip with the two-day itinerary I showed you earlier. On the third day, you should head for Ennedi. Expect to ride for 6-8 hours daily, plus several hours for photography and lunch. Your accommodation will be in campsites (classic bush camping with no toilet facilities).
Once on the Ennedi, you can start visiting the various arches and sights. Highlights include Elephant Rock, Five Arch Rock, Aloba Arch, Djoulia Arch, Mask Arch, various mushroom rocks, Ouimina and various other pinnacles. There were also short walks to various canyons and gorges. Perhaps the most fascinating aspects of the Ennedi geology were the gueltas – palm-fringed waterholes at the bottom of the canyons.
You will see many examples of rock art in addition to the fascinating geological formations. Ennedi’s preponderance of rock art and unique scenery make it one of only about 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites listed on both cultural and natural grounds.
To really enjoy all the main attractions, you need to spend three days in the Ennedi Massif.
After visiting Ennedi, the next destination is the regional capital, Fada. This is the best place to get supplies and complete formalities.
Then drive to the Ounianga Lakes, passing through the Mourdi Depression with its almost Martian red rocky surface, the salt-mining community of Dimi, and the palm-lined Tegedei Salt Lake. Later on, you can also visit Ounianga Serir, the site of the smaller Lake Ounianga.
If you drive north for two hours, you reach the settlement of Ounianga Kebir. Visit the colorful salt lakes, including the striking red and green lakes.
Time to return to the capital! It will take five days to get back to N’Djamena by a different route. This will involve a two-day crossing of the desolate desert region that saw some of the worst fighting of the Libyan-Chadian war in the 1980s. Tanks and other military equipment are gradually being reclaimed by the desert.
For the last three days, you will be traveling through more populated areas, through the Ouaddai and Geura regions, where nomadic palm leaf huts have given way to settled agricultural villages with mud-walled houses. The transition from dry desert landscapes to green grasslands is impressive. Free-roaming camels change to herds of cattle, and population and traffic increase rapidly.
NOTE: A tour like this can cost about $2500 USD
Best Destinations In Chad
Chad is just one fantastic destination, especially if you want to travel to off-the-beaten-path places. I wanted to tell you which places I consider the best destinations in the country, and that way you can decide on an itinerary and how many days you need to visit the country.
Northeastern Chad’s Ennedi is undoubtedly among the top travel locations in the world. Sandstone towers, wide gorges, and stunning rock formations make up this UNESCO World Heritage Site, a captivating wilderness. This natural wonder gains a fascinating historical dimension from the ancient rock art that is spread throughout the area. To get to Ennedi, it is advised to travel into N’Djamena, the Chadian capital, and then take a charter aircraft or rent a 4×4 to Fada, the entry point to Ennedi. Ennedi exploration takes at least four to five days to completely appreciate its natural beauty and cultural importance.
Lakes of Ouinanga
For those who love the outdoors, the Lakes of Ouinanga in Chad are a hidden gem and a must-see location. This amazing network of interconnected lakes creates a stunning oasis with clean waters, thick flora, and an abundance of species in the middle of the Sahara Desert. Due to the presence of microorganisms in the water, the lakes are renowned for their vivid pink colors. It is advised to travel into N’Djamena and then take a domestic aircraft or rent a 4×4 car to the village of Moundou to go to the Lakes of Ouinanga. From Moundou, you may arrange for a local tour and transportation to the lakes. Spending at least two to three days visiting the lakes and nearby surroundings is advised if you want to fully understand the beauty and tranquility of this unique environment.
Adventurers should not pass up the spectacular and breathtaking Tibesti Mountains, which are found in northern Chad. These rough mountains provide a genuinely exceptional and surreal experience with their majestic peaks, deep gorges, and extensive areas of volcanic terrain.
To reach the Tibesti Mountains, it’s recommended to fly into N’Djamena and then take a domestic flight or hire a 4×4 vehicle to Faya-Largeau, the gateway to the mountains. From there, a combination of off-road vehicles and experienced guides is necessary to navigate the challenging terrain and reach the mountainous region. Due to the remoteness and vastness of the Tibesti Mountains, it’s recommended to allocate at least a week for the visit, allowing ample time for exploration and acclimatization to the high altitude.
Zakouma National Park
Unquestionably one of the best places in the nation for wildlife lovers to visit is Zakouma National Park, which is situated in southeast Chad. Elephants, giraffes, lions, and other bird species are among the impressive variety of creatures that call this large park, which spans more than 3,000 square kilometers, home.
Zakouma provides a completely authentic safari experience with its different habitats, from wide savannahs to lush wetlands. It is advised to take a domestic aircraft to the adjacent town of Sarh after arriving in N’Djamena in order to go to the park. You may plan ground transportation or a charter flight to Zakouma from Sarh. To properly experience the park and increase wildlife encounters, it is advised to schedule at least two to four days.
How many days in Chad are enough for a successful trip? If you’ve made it this far, you should have at least a little better idea of how many days you should spend in Chad. I am sure you will discover a unique destination, whether you decide to spend two days or two weeks.
Remember, Chad is a fantastic country to discover, so plan your trip carefully and hopefully visit Ennedi. You will not regret it!
How many days should I stay in Chad? How long should I stay in Chad to see everything it has to offer? If you agree with my suggestions or need help planning your trip, please let me know.
I’m a total Africa enthusiast! I’ve been exploring this amazing continent for years and I can’t get enough of its diverse cultures, stunning landscapes, and incredible wildlife. From hiking through the savannahs to sampling local cuisine, I’m all about immersing myself in everything Africa has to offer. I’m constantly on the lookout for new and exciting experiences, and I love sharing my passion and knowledge with fellow travel lovers. If you’re looking for an adventure like no other, Africa is the place to be, and I’m here to help you make the most of it!