The area that is now Chad used to be one of the most populated areas in the world. But that was a few millenia ago. Now torn apart by political upheaval and civil war, the country is one of the poorest and most violent in the world.

Traveling to Chad is one of those "at your own risk" adventures that shouldn't really be attempted by anyone without knowledge of the local politics or protection from bandits or random violence.

What to do

It's a shame that Chad is such a dangerous place to visit, because the country has some of the oldest remnants of early civilization and archaeological sites abound. Unfortunately, without a personal guide, you'll have a heck of a time getting between these sights as there is a serious lack of infrastructure in Chad and were you to find a bus, most of the roads are unpaved and difficult to navigate.

Getting there

Aside from the rough roads, there are fewer flights to Chad than almost any country in Africa. Flights still arrive from France and there are connections to N'Djamena from elsewhere in Africa, but the pickings are slim.

Where to stay

There are three hotels in N'Djamena, the capital city, and depending on the time of year, the weather, and the temperament of the lodging gods, each one may be the nicest place to stay. Kempinski hotel may have a slight edge, but don't expect a luxury suite, Chad's hotels are working with what they've got and making due.

For more information on Africa and your next trip, check the message boards or read a travel story by someone who's been to Chad and lived to tell about it.