- Gain a privileged insight into African Parks' pioneering conservation
- Search for the park's large herd of 400 elephants, renowned for their unique behaviour
- Explore a landscape that seasonally floods and is alive with migratory birds
- Benefit from the expert knowledge of one of the few guides to have visited Zakouma
Led by Doug Macdonald, explore one of Africa’s most remarkable parks. Spend a week staying at the simple but comfortable Tinga Lodge, setting out on a series of game drives and bush walks through this fascinating landscape.
ZAKOUMA NATIONAL PARK
Flourishing under the stewardship of African Parks, Zakouma is squeezed between the sands of the Sahara and the jungles of the tropics. Famed for its resurgent elephant population – once poached almost to extinction – the park forms a haven for the region’s wildlife, which includes Kordofan giraffes and West African savannah buffalos.
Explore during the dry season, when this impressive landscape can be accessed at will. Wildlife abounds in Zakouma. And whilst it is the elephants that steal the headlines – moving as they do in one vast super herd – the sheer number of other species is just as impressive. Lions, leopards and numerous antelope species all inhabit the park, whilst recent sightings have confirmed the presence of cheetahs.
On the ground and in the air, the birdlife is also spectacular. Huge flocks of black crowned cranes inhabit Zakouma, as well as pelicans, Abyssinian ground hornbills, maribou storks and black-capped gonoleks.
Doug is a professional safari guide who is based in Zimbabwe and has been leading safaris for over 20 years. Knowledgeable and personable, he is extremely experienced in guiding across Africa. Despite the remoteness of Zakouma, he is lucky enough to have visited several times before and is one of the few guides that can claim to really know the park.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Zakouma is a unique safari destination, but it is not for the first-time traveller to Africa. If you are lucky enough to have visited Africa a few times and are looking for something different then Zakouma certainly offers that. It also affords a level of exclusivity rarely found elsewhere, with Tinga Lodge the only conventional safari lodge in the park.
WHAT HAPPENS ON A TYPICAL DAY?
Each day will be slightly different, but the focus will be on wildlife and exploration throughout. Early starts guarantee better sightings, particularly given the hot temperatures that Chad experiences during the middle of the day. Therefore, days are likely to be long, usually with time to rest during the hottest part.
Game drives are led by Doug, in an open vehicle with room for six window seats. The vehicle will, however, have a roof. Early morning drives set out at dawn when the wildlife is most active. You return to camp for breakfast and perhaps a walk. In the afternoon, you will embark on an afternoon tour, with a sundowner stop along the way to appreciate the beautiful light on the landscape. You will return to camp after sunset.
On one of the days, Doug will try to arrange for you to visit a local village on the outskirts of the park. This will take all day and you may have a game drive later if there is time. On another day, if possible, you will have a chance to camp in a temporary camp by the river in comfortable dome tents (this cannot be guaranteed). Doug will do his best to ensure that you see and do as much as possible during your stay, including a visit to the headquarters of African Parks, where vital work is done on wildlife monitoring and protection.
WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE?
Tinga Lodge is simple, but comfortable. The rooms are cool, have mosquito nets over the bed and have en-suite bathrooms. In N’Djamena, the Hilton is of an excellent standard and is easily the best accommodation available.
WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE?
Dry and hot. Rain at this time of year is almost unheard of, but daytime temperatures can reach the mid-thirties. However, the night is much cooler, with temperatures falling to around 15ºC.
DO I NEED TO BE FIT?
A high level of fitness is definitely not required, with relaxed bush walks the most exerting part of the trip. However, it is important that you be able to cope with the heat, which is certainly more challenging than during a South or East African safari.
WHAT WILDLIFE WILL I SEE?
Whilst Zakouma is renowned for its elephants, sighting them can never be completely guaranteed. However, with a week spent in the park, the odds are good. Other commonly encountered animals include lions, leopards, hyenas, antelopes, giraffes, buffalos, servals, jackals and possibly cheetahs.
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.