1. It is a landlocked country in north-central Africa.
2. It is the 5th largest African country and the 20th largest country in the world.
3. Its capital and largest city is N’Djamena, located about 660 miles from the nearest seaport in Douala, Cameroon. Because of this distance from the sea and the country’s largely desert climate, Chad is sometimes called the “Dead Heart of Africa”.
4. Chad has more than 200 ethnic groups. The three largest are: Sara (27%), Arab (13%), Kanembu/Buduma (8.5%)
5. Chad has more than 120 traditional languages and two official languages, Arabic and French. Chadian Arabic, a dialect of Arabic, is spoken by 80% of the population.
6. Major religions: Islam (55%), Christianity (41%), Animism and other traditional religions (2%), None (2%)
7. Chad was colonized by France in 1920 as part of French Equitorial Africa.
8. Chad gained independence from France in 1960. Its post-independence history has been characterized by civil unrest, largely due to ethnic and religious conflicts.
9. Chad’s major exports are oil, cattle and cotton, but it is one of the poorer countries on the continent.
10. All photography in Chad requires a government permit.
11. Lowest point: Djourab Depression (525 ft). Highest point: Emi Koussi (11,204 ft).
12. Tourism in Chad is a minor but growing industry. Tourist attractions in the capital include markets, N’Djamena Central Mosque, and Avenue Charles de Gaulle, lined with embassies, high-end restaurants, and colonial Victorian homes.
13. Notable landmarks include Zakouma National Park (with 44 wildlife species), the Great Aloba Arch, Lake Chad, Tibesti Mountains, and the Sahara Desert, as well as sandstone formations and ancient rock paintings.
14. Chadian people are very friendly and hospitable, but they expect foreigners to respect their customs and beliefs.