Seated just beneath Libya, the landlocked nation of Chad can be divided into three distinguishable sections: the barren desert region of the north, the lush and tropical Sudanian savanna in the south and the transitional grassland savannas dividing the two regions in the center. Lake Chad, the country’s namesake, lies on the western side and borders Nigeria. The shallow lake is home to over 170 species of fish and provides water to over 68 million people residing on its shores.
The official languages in Chad are Arabic and French. The country is split between Muslims and Christians, with Muslims taking a 14 percent majority—at 55 percent of the total population. There are over 200 ethnic groups in Chad.
- Lake Chad is the size of America’s state Hawaii.
- Though the official languages of Chad are French and Arabic, over one hundred regional tongues are spoken in the country, giving reason to its nickname: “The Babel Capital of the World”.
- Did you know camel racing is a popular attraction? Some of the best camel racing in the world is said to take place in the Tibesti Mountains area of Chad.
- Africa’s once extremely profitable salt trade was centered around Lake Chad.
- Chad’s prime minister, Moussa Faki Mahamit, was recently elected to head the African Union (AU).
- Sixty-percent of Chad’s export revenue is derived from oil and related products. Remaining exports consist of cotton, meat products, and gum Arabic—a sticky substance extracted from trees commonly used in food and art mediums.
- Of Chad’s Muslim population, over half belong to Sufi orders. Sufism is a Islamic mysticism, and is a minority of Muslims worldwide, most of whom are split between Sunni and Shia Islam.