Chad is the fifth-largest country in Africa. It's in north-central Africa, landlocked by Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Libya, Niger and, on Lac Chad, Nigeria. Located on the edge of the Sahara, the country is mostly arid semi-desert. Lac Chad is the only permanent fresh water source, though in severe drought - such as in 1984 - it is possible to walk across it. In addition, increased demand on the water by humans has reduced the lake to only about 20% of the size it was in 1970. In the north there are mountain ranges, with two peaks rising above 3000m (9840ft), by far the highest points in the Sahara.
Chad contains three climatic regions. At times, it might be 40°C (102°F) in the capital, and as low as -8°C (15°F) in the northern Saharan mountains. The central region of Chad is part of the Sahel and is covered by sand which occasionally gives way to scrub. Rainfall is very light. As you move further south, the dryness gives way to a more tropical climate; it's here that you will find Chad's only two permanent rivers. This is the most fertile region in Chad and it effectively feeds the whole country. It is also the only area with significant fauna, mainly birds and antelope.
8.6 million (UN, 2003)
Arab12.0% Ngambaye9.0%, each of Sara, Goulaye and Massa3.0%, each of Moundang, Moussei, Za
French (official), Arabic (official), Sara and Sango (in south), More than 100 different l
Islam50%, Christianity30%, Animist20%
1 CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc = 100 centimes