Zakouma National Park, Chad: March 2022
Located in southeastern Chad, is Zakouma National Park, a true wildlife treasure. It takes a flight or two or three to get there and knowing a little French or Arabic might help once you’ve arrived. Patience is always necessary in Africa… no matter the destination. For 6 straight days we will uncover 864, 869 acres of raw, wild Africa. Here, lions roam open plains in search of vast buffalo herds, and red-billed queleas flock in their thousands, literally thousands upon thousands, vegetation that Dr. Seuss himself hadn’t dreamt of, Roan antelope, tiang-a subspecies of tsessebe, Patus monkeys, amazing birding, local villages and nomadic cultures complete this very special picture. This trip is not for sissies. It’s for the curious, the inspired, the intrepid and for the traveler who thinks they’ve seen it all.
Arrive to N'dajamena International Airport, Chad
Arrive in the capital of Chad, N’djaména, and be transfered to Radisson Blu Hotel N’Djamena
The capital and the largest city in Chad, N’djaména is a port city on the Chari River. It is a hub for agricultural production in Chad, including a regional market for many food products. Overnight stay at Radisson in preparation for a charter flight to Zakouma National Park.
Meals: B, Dinner on own account
Zakouma National Park
Transfer from Radisson to the airport for charter flight to Zakouma National Park. From the airstrip in Zakouma National Park, we will be transferred to Tinga Camp (15 minute drive). This camp is idyllically located on the Tinga River. There are six, recently refurbished chalets at Tinga, as well as a fully equipped restaurant and bar. The camp is rustic, but comfortable.
We will have our own private vehicle for enjoying game drives. Walking safaris along the banks of the Tinga River close to camp, are also available.
Meals: B, L, D
Zakouma National Park
For the next 6 days, we explore the many treasures of Zakouma. Each day we will decide where we will venture off to. Some days will have short morning and evening drives with time to relax during the day or we will venture out before dawn for daylong explorations of the far regions to find the legendary herds of elephant, known for having formed the world’s largest herd as a result of centuries of persecution. Typically, elephant herds number as few as 3 to over 30 in most ordinary African regions, the Zakouma herds adapted to move together over the years for protection from poachers, putting the young in the middle of the knotted numbers of screeching adults. We will see that in the last decade the herds have slowly begun to disperse during the day to forage, knowing that Life has changed for the better thanks to the new people in charge. We will visit the African Parks headquarters to learn about the work they are doing to protect the elephants and the boundaries of the park, as well as their work with the local communities to protect their natural resource. And with the luck of timing we may be there to coincide with the nomad market. A market bustling with people from far off regions trading and selling items for surviving the harsh life in the desert.
Nights drives are included and a must. We will see African Civet, Genet, Serval and who knows what else?
Meals: B, L, D
On our last morning, we will reluctantly meander to African Parks airstrip to say our goodbyes and board our charter flight from Zakouma National Park to N’djaména to connect with your international flight back home or on to your next adventure. If time allows, we will visit a local market to purchase souvenirs or stop by a restaurant for lunch before our evening flight to our next destination.
$9,718.00 Per Person Sharing
*Price is based on a minimum of 4 guests
If you would like to confirm your participation, we require a 30% deposit on the full trip amount and a completed and signed Trip Application. 50% of your deposit amount is non-refundable.
- Specialist guide Jody Cole throughout
- Road transfer N’Djamena International Airport to Hotel, one way.
- 1 night at Radisson Blu Hotel N’Djamena – Standard Room – Includes: Accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.
- Road transfer Hotel to N’Djamena International Airport, one way.
- Charter flights to Zakouma National Park. Including taxes.
- 6 nights at Tinga Camp – Superior Room – Includes: Accommodation on a full board basis, tourism tax, Park entry fees, Safari activities.
- Charter flights from Zakouma National Park. Including taxes
- International flights to/from N’Djamena International Airport
- Visa fees, health requirements, and trip and travel insurance (compulsory)
- Drinks, laundry unless specified as included (varies per accommodation, check day-by-day itinerary above)
- Excursions not listed or shown as optional
- Gratuities and any items of a personal nature
- Any other services not specified above
- This quote is valid for the dates of travel specified. Prices are subject to change and lodge availability is not guaranteed until a signed application and deposit are received, at which time accommodations are booked and a final itinerary prepared. Modifications to the itinerary may result in a change in price.
- Review the location and amenities of the suggested accommodations and ensure you are comfortable.
- Prices are subject to change without prior notification due to circumstances beyond our control, namely fuel surcharges, supplier increases, government taxes, exchange rate fluctuations, etc. The full booking value will be subject to rate of exchange fluctuations until full payment has been made.
- All costs are valid for the itinerary travel dates. Costs may vary with date changes.
- Should any details change, we reserve the right to recalculate the tour price accordingly
- Passports MUST be valid for at least six months from your return home date. We recommend a validity of nine months to prevent any problems in this regard. There must be at least FOUR blank VISA pages in the passport (not endorsement pages).
- WRAS is happy to help with Intra Africa flights to ensure the best arrival/departure times. There is a $35.00 service fee per flight booked by WRAS.
- Trip Cancellation and Travel Insurance should be purchased within 14 days of making your deposit. Please contact Jody at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-407-3691 with any questions and to secure your place on this safari.
THE STORY BEHIND ZAKOUMA NATIONAL PARK
Neglected for extended periods during times of civil conflict, new life and energy is being injected into one of the last remnants of the Sudo-Sahelian ecosystems. Declared a national park in 1963, the park was thriving with wildlife and potential to be one of Africa’s premier wildlife destinations.
As the park thrived, so did poachers in the region. When animal populations rose, this was a temptation for poachers to take advantage. Add to this the regional conflicts, this exacerbated poaching in the park – elephant populations dropped from 4,000 in 2002 to 450 in 2010.
AFRICAN PARKS TAKES OVER
African Parks have subsequently become custodians of the park. Since taking over the park, there have been massive improvements:
- Within two years of taking over management, African parks halted elephant poaching entirely within the extended elephant range.
- Today the elephant population of Zakouma is on the increase, with new-born calves being observed from mid-2013 onwards.
- Other species in the park are also increasing in numbers, including giraffe, roan antelope and Lelwel’s hartebeest.
- By extending the park’s communication network to villages, the flow of information has been improved so that communities can notify park authorities of any suspicious activity or threats.
Plans are in the pipeline to improve education and expand on the four elephant schools that address the challenge of a dispersed population. There are further plans to reintroduce black rhino and the creation of an elephant corridor beyond the park.
As an important source of water, in a harsh environment, for animal species in the region, Zakouma attracts amazing wildlife. The dry season is particularly good for game viewing because this attracts wildlife that migrates out of the park during the wet season.
Some of the wildlife you can encounter:
Predators – Lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena and wild dog. Smaller species include, civet, serval, caracal, jackal.
Herbivores – Elephant, Kordofan giraffe, Central African Savannah buffalo, Western greater kudu, tiang, roan antelope.
Threatened Species – Elephants, black crowned crane, black breasted barbet.
Bird Species – Zakouma is a valuable stop-over and breeding ground for birds. A total of 388 bird species reside in the park.
If you would like to move ahead and confirm this itinerary, we will require a completed and signed Trip Application for each traveler and a 30% deposit on the full trip amount. 50% of this deposit amount is non-refundable. Final payment will be due 120 days before travel.
We strongly recommend purchasing Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance immediately after your deposit is made. Insurance protects you and your investment should there be a reason at any point in the planning process that you would need to cancel your trip.
“Your enthusiasm is contagious. Your patience is saintly. Can’t believe how easy and perfect everything was.”
“This trip exceeded my expectations. I had no idea we’d be seeing so many cats. What a delight.”
“Jody’s enthusiasm is contagious. Your patience is saintly. Everything was easy and perfect.”