N'Djamena is the capital of Chad. It is by far the country's largest city, with a population of 721,000 people. It lies directly on the border of Cameroon, and is located on the confluence of the Chari and Logone rivers. The city has been at the centre of many heated rebellions and revolts, and in February 2008 was entered by rebel troops.
The only flight from a non-African city is from Paris (by Air France). Destinations in Africa include Johannesburg, Addis Ababa, Tripoli, Cotonou, Bangui, Lagos, Casablanca via Niamey and Khartoum. Historically, the main entry to the city was by boat up the Chari and Logone rivers, but today this is rarely done. The city has no railway links.
A Muslim city, there are many mosques to see in the city, as well as a cathedral and the presidential palace. And do not forget the views across the river. Sunset can be quite spectacular.
- Chad National Museum (On Voie de Contournement, near the Kempinski Hotel N'Djamena). The national museum of Chad, containing many artifacts from its history. Some pieces are lost due to looting during the last civil war.
Go shopping in the local markets- even if only for an afternoon snack- that are scattered throughout the city. This lets you experience the everyday life and culture of Chad, and also helps contributes to the country's poor economy.
- Avenue Charles de Gaulle, Avenue Charles de Gaulle. With many colonial houses and embassies, this road is a reminder of the French colonials days.
Chad is a predominantly Islamic country, so do not expect alcohol to be as widely accepted as in some other countries.
- Le Meridien Chari, 396 Rue du Colonel Moll, fax: +235 252 2261, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the most luxurious hotels in town. €200-470.
Gaoui is a pretty village lying 10km north east of N'Djamena. It is said to have been the capital of the Sao civilisation and is now known for its traditional architecture and pottery manufacture. It is also home to a museum.
N'Djamena has the only international airport in Chad. Leaving the main city may be dangerous, as high levels of civil unrest are currently being experienced in the country. Travelling to the Tibesti Mountains is not safe, either, as this is a militarily sensitive zone. As in all third world countries, stay safe and have caution in your actions.