Tourism & Communications

A few travellers

The tourism industry in Chad is not developed. According to the World Tourism Organisation, Chad received only 30,000 visitors in 2009 and most of these will have come on business.

Demand for ivory

The demand for ivory in the Far East, particularly in China, leads to poaching. Efforts to lower demand for ivory products have begun and adverts in China show the brutal way African elephants are killed. But as long as the demand remains, so does the poaching. In 2011, two Chinese engineers were arrested in N’Djamena in possession of eight pairs of tusks.

Camels in north-east Chad, by Dario Menasce at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdlFor those tourists who do come, the main attraction is often the Zakouma National Park – see Map. The park lost many of its animals during the civil war, but wildlife populations have been reintroduced back into the savannah reserve.

Chad sees nature conservation as critical for tourism. The authority responsible for conservation – the Ministry for Tourism, Water and Forests – is also in charge of the tourist sector.

Changing focus

In the past, Chad was promoted as a destination for hunters. But recently, there has been more emphasis on wildlife protection.

However, the fight against illegal hunting and poaching is proving difficult, since Chad lacks well-trained and resourced park officials. In some areas, the only large animals to be seen are herds of livestock (such as the camels in the photo opposite).

Poor road infrastructure

The lack of good roads in Chad also makes the country a difficult destination for travellers. New asphalt roads have been built in the capital. But elsewhere, links are often dirt roads. In the south, these can become impassable for many months in the rainy season.

Aid workers based in the east of the country say that once supplies have been airlifted to the capital N’Djamena, they can take up to four months to reach eastern regions (though hold-ups along the way aren't always the fault of the roads).