Zakouma Expedition

Have you heard of Zakouma?

Step off the path that’s been walked before, back away from the photo that’s been taken a hundred times, and go somewhere your friends have never even heard of, never mind visited. We’ve chosen Zakouma National Park in Chad to get our expeditions underway in 2018, and we’d love for you to join us.

We’re not sure that Zakouma is a place that’s ever topped a ‘must see’ list, and that’s partly why we love it. Since the fantastic conservation organisation African Parks took over management in 2010, the park has gone from strength to strength. It’s positively brimming with wildlife, yet remains so unknown that the surface hasn’t even been scratched. On this expedition, you’ll be able to marvel at huge herds of elephant that have been brought back from the brink of extinction and enjoy the extraordinary game viewing and birdlife, as well as meet the area’s nomadic communities.

Please note that our departures for 2018 are full, and we currently do not have dates for 2019. Please check back for our 2020 dates, or enquire for details!

 

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Price from:

Please enquire for details

Duration:

8 days/7 nights

Departure Dates:

March 13th – 21st, 2018
March 20th – 28th, 2018

Min / Max Group Size

TBC / Eight guests plus a private guide

Trip Begins / Ends

N’Djamena, Chad / N’Djamena, Chad

Includes Mobile Camping:

No

Details, Details

Highlights

  • The opportunity to spend time in one of the most important protected areas in Africa, and one that few will ever have the chance to visit.
  • Seek out unusual species, such as the tiang antelope and the Kordofan giraffe.
  • See with your own eyes the results of the tireless conservation work by the wonderful organisation, African Parks.
  • Point your binoculars at large herds of elephant, buffalo, roan antelope, and even lion and leopard.
  • Birdwatchers won’t be disappointed, with millions of quelea and great flocks of black crowned crane to be spotted.
  • Relax in the stylish surroundings of Camp Nomade. The interiors of the tents are charming, and will make you feel like a true adventurer.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: Please enquire for details.

Included: Travelling costs as per itinerary; activities (most!); entrance and park fees; accommodation as specified on a sharing basis; all meals and local drinks; road transfers; applicable tourism levies, taxes, and all relevant VAT.

Excluded: Expenses of a personal nature, such as telephone expenses & shopping; premium brand drinks; tips and gratuities; additional activities; scheduled flights and related taxes; Visa fees where relevant; cancellation, baggage, medical, and evacuation insurance.

Child Policy: Please enquire with reservations.

Disabled Access: Sadly, this trip is not equipped for disabled access.

Wifi: There is limited Wifi available at Camp Nomade.

Can this itinerary be customised? No. This itinerary runs on set departure dates.

 

When to Go & What to Pack

Just like most of sub-Saharan Africa, Zakouma has a wet season and a dry season. During the wet season (roughly May/June until October), the park is closed to visitors, so you’ll be visiting any time between January and April, the height of the dry season. Zakouma’s safari season is divided up into weeks, and each of those weeks hosts a new group of only eight guests, led by an experienced guide.

December is the start of the cool dry season. Bodies of water still remain, and the bush is green, lush and very photogenic. During January and February, the water sources begin to dry out and the wildlife congregates around the last remaining droplets, making for spectacular game viewing. But it gets better. From March onwards, the real dry season kicks in, and it’s a truly fantastic month for game viewing… if you can stand the soaring temperatures!

Our Guides

Zakouma’s three-month safari season is divided up into weeks, and each of those weeks hosts a new group of only eight guests, led by an experienced guide. For Natural Selection, it’s likely that our guides will be Colin Bell and Ralph Bousfield, but we will have more information for you nearer the time.

Highlights

  • The opportunity to spend time in one of the most important protected areas in Africa, and one that few will ever have the chance to visit.
  • Seek out unusual species, such as the tiang antelope and the Kordofan giraffe.
  • See with your own eyes the results of the tireless conservation work by the wonderful organisation, African Parks.
  • Point your binoculars at large herds of elephant, buffalo, roan antelope, and even lion and leopard.
  • Birdwatchers won’t be disappointed, with millions of quelea and great flocks of black crowned crane to be spotted.
  • Relax in the stylish surroundings of Camp Nomade. The interiors of the tents are charming, and will make you feel like a true adventurer.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: Please enquire for details.

Included: Travelling costs as per itinerary; activities (most!); entrance and park fees; accommodation as specified on a sharing basis; all meals and local drinks; road transfers; applicable tourism levies, taxes, and all relevant VAT.

Excluded: Expenses of a personal nature, such as telephone expenses & shopping; premium brand drinks; tips and gratuities; additional activities; scheduled flights and related taxes; Visa fees where relevant; cancellation, baggage, medical, and evacuation insurance.

Child Policy: Please enquire with reservations.

Disabled Access: Sadly, this trip is not equipped for disabled access.

Wifi: There is limited Wifi available at Camp Nomade.

Can this itinerary be customised? No. This itinerary runs on set departure dates.

 

When to Go & What to Pack

Just like most of sub-Saharan Africa, Zakouma has a wet season and a dry season. During the wet season (roughly May/June until October), the park is closed to visitors, so you’ll be visiting any time between January and April, the height of the dry season. Zakouma’s safari season is divided up into weeks, and each of those weeks hosts a new group of only eight guests, led by an experienced guide.

December is the start of the cool dry season. Bodies of water still remain, and the bush is green, lush and very photogenic. During January and February, the water sources begin to dry out and the wildlife congregates around the last remaining droplets, making for spectacular game viewing. But it gets better. From March onwards, the real dry season kicks in, and it’s a truly fantastic month for game viewing… if you can stand the soaring temperatures!

Our Guides

Zakouma’s three-month safari season is divided up into weeks, and each of those weeks hosts a new group of only eight guests, led by an experienced guide. For Natural Selection, it’s likely that our guides will be Colin Bell and Ralph Bousfield, but we will have more information for you nearer the time.

Itinerary & Map

We’ll have a more detailed itinerary nearer the time, but for now, here’s an idea of how our Zakouma expedition works…

Everyone visiting Chad will fly into N’djamena, the capital city, and spend the first night (and possibly the last night) in the city. There are many good hotels (Hilton, Radisson, Novotel etc) that cater to businessmen and other travellers, and whilst there is no tourism as such, N’djamena is a fascinating destination. In particular, a visit to the local markets and restaurants is a cultural and visual sensation that will be remembered for a long, long time!

After your night in N’djamena, you’ll meet your fellow travellers and fly in a Cessna Caravan the 800 kilometres to the east to Zakouma National Park. Every day on safari in Zakouma is different depending on everyone’s interests and the wildlife sightings of the day; some days will be morning and afternoon game drives, others will be all day extravaganzas with a picnic lunch in the bush.

A week later, after the last night at Camp Nomade in Zakouma, you will fly back to N’djamena for a final night before heading home or onwards. Many people choose to combine a week in Chad, with a week in next door Ethiopia – an excellent idea if ever we saw one!

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Accommodations

The wonderfully named Camp Nomade is the base for this expedition. It’s a small, tented camp that is erected for three months of the year, and stored away for the rainy season. It’s also owned and managed by Africa Parks, and the proceeds from guest’s safari revenues go directly towards the budget of managing the park.

At the camp, the tents are modelled on the traditional camps of the Sehel region and are filled with vibrant, locally-woven carpets, nomadic bells, and burnished brassware. Inside the eight sleeping tents, there’s a black mosquito net ‘box’, allowing for 360-degree game viewing straight from your bed, and stretch canvas over the ceiling keeps things cool (ish!). Each has a private bathroom, shaded by local grass screens, with a bucket shower, plenty of hot water, and efficient, long-drop loos. Lighting throughout the camp comes from hurricane lanterns, and the food is outstanding – especially considering how far away from civilisation you are! This is the perfect camp for the adventurous, but if you’re looking for a luxurious permanent lodge with gold taps and air-conditioning, then this isn’t the place for you…

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Wildlife

You might not have heard of it, but that doesn’t mean there’s no wildlife in Zakouma. First up, there are 66 mammal species inside the park, 16 of which are large mammals like the Kordofan giraffe. In fact, an incredible 50% of the entire African population of Kordofan reside in Zakouma. Predator-wise, you’ll find lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted and striped hyena, wild dog, and the ever-elusive civet, serval and caracal. Herbivores are well-represented, with thousands of Central African Savannah buffalo flocking to the water pans, joined by kudu, hartebeest, roan and plenty of dainty antelope. And the birds? Zakouma is one of Africa’s finest birdwatching destinations, and you’ll be able to point your binos at a stonking 388 species! Fluttering amongst them are 40 raptor species, as well as northern carmine bee-eaters, Abyssinian ground hornbills, black-crowned cranes, and the incredible flocks of red-billed queleas, so dense that won’t believe your eyes.

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