In recent years, Chad has become one of the most unlikely good news stories in the history of African conservation and tourism. In 2015, Camp Nomade in Zakouma National Park was opened to a small group of safari guides who for the most part, had never even heard about Zakouma. 5 years later, Chad, Zakouma National Park and Camp Nomade feature across many international media outlets (like this article in the NYTimes, featuring my images) as the next best and ‘must-see’ destination to travel in Africa.
Why? An experience in Zakouma is an eye opener and a deep insight into what real conservation-tourism looks like. The extraordinary work implemented by African Parks since they took over management in 2010 has formed the foundation of one of the most significant Elephant and conservation success stories in Africa. The result has made Zakouma one of the most impressive wildlife experiences across the Savannah biome in Africa as the abundance of wildlife that congregates around dry season water sources outcompetes those of East and Southern Africa in many ways. The short 14 week season and extremely limited access has truly made the Zakouma experience like that of no other.
To the north of Zakouma and beyond the Sahelian savannas lies another wonder of Chad, the incredibly rich Ennedi region of the Sahara. The sandstone massifs create a bold refugium for rare Saharan mammals and the resilient Toubou tribe that survive and thrive there. Ancient rupestrian art covers the walls of almost every suitable overhang, showcasing in detail the complex ages of man. In a specific spring lying at the floor of a massive meandering valley, is 3 of the last suchus sp. of crocodiles, once abundant throughout the wetter Saharan history. The magnitude of Ennedi and her open air museum creates a sense of discovery and adventure you won’t find anywhere else in Africa.