Safari to Zakouma 2019
We are headed back to Zakouma in 2019! Zakouma National Park is the latest must-see safari destination for travellers looking for a unique and authentic African experience, far from mainstream tourist routes. Poaching has been virtually eradicated in this 3000-square-kilometre park and, as a result, Zakouma has become a safe haven for many species that are threatened elsewhere in Chad. The sheer volume of wildlife is breathtaking - with 44 species of large mammals including lions, giraffe, leopard and cheetah as well as numerous smaller mammals and 388 species of bird - but Zakouma’s main attraction is undoubtedly its huge herds of elephant.
Scheduled group tour from
March 24 - April 1, 2019
per person sharing
9 days / 8 nights
The Master Guides Collection
Designed by Doug Macdonald
Following the success of our Chad safari tours in 2018, we are headed back to Zakouma in 2019!
Chalo Africa has the great privilege of bringing you Zakouma National Park with Doug Macdonald, one of the preeminent guides of Africa. Zakouma National Park is becoming one of the new must-see destinations of Africa. It’s a beautiful park that I think is best described as a mix between the Okavango Delta and South Luangwa National Park.
There is a wonderful array of animals here that include all the big cats and the big mammals – like Giraffe, Buffalo, Hartebeest, Tiang, Roan and Greater Kudu. Mixed in are some interesting smaller animals and a big menu for the birders to look through as well.
Combine all this with the interesting cultures that live outside the park and being able to see the work that happens behind the scenes in keeping a park like this safe from highly motivated poaching teams that work across Africa. It’s a top safari experience and will be guided by Doug Macdonald who has much experience guiding in Africa, and is an accredited guide For Zakouma National Park.
Please Note that at this time of year it is very hot in Zakouma with temperatures reaching over 40 degrees celsius in the heat of the day. This is good for game viewing in the cooler parts of the day and night but can be uncomfortable if you are not able to deal with this type of heat.
March 10 – 18, 2019 (full)
March 17 – 25, 2019 (full)
March 24 – April 1, 2019 – Please enquire to check if any seats remaining.
Price: US$5830.00 Per person sharing.
Reviews of our Zakouma Safari 2018:
“I had such a great experience using Chalo Africa for this trip to Ethiopia and Chad! It was my 15th trip to Africa but my first using Chalo. The Chalo team was able to accommodate our group’s wide variety of interests and desires and coordinate a very complex schedule as we broke out into smaller groups around Ethiopia and reconvened for the safari in Chad. Previously, I had never had a safari guide other than who the lodges provide but now I’ve been spoiled having Doug as our guide. There is great value in having a guide that knows the park well and can arrange each day to maximize the group’s experience. I loved our encounters with Zakouma’s elephants, the visit to the nomad market, the fly camping and especially the night drives where I spotted my first serval (actually SIX servals)! Can’t recommend Doug and the Chalo Africa team highly enough!”
— Joel Gunter
“It speaks volumes about Zakouma that on our trip, sightings of leopard, honey badger, serval and civet didn’t come close to being the highlight of the safari! We were treated to a safari that rivals anything accessible on the continent today, guided by the immensely knowledgeable and professional Doug MacDonald. A huge thank you must go to Chalo Africa, who organised such a complex safari for a group from all over the world, producing an enjoyable, well-organised and safe safari for us all.”
— Tom Clode
“We visited Zakouma National Park in Chad in March 2018. Everything was organised perfectly by Chalo Africa. This trip could not have gone any better, and it can´t have been easy to sort everything out behind the scenes. Zakouma is still unknown to most people but it is a wonderful safari destination on par with the famous great areas of East and South Africa like the Mara, Serengeti or the Okavango Delta.
The main difference is we basically had it to ourselves! The abundance of wildlife, especially the concentration of birds, is just mindblowing. At one point we saw more than 60 Kordofan Giraffes together! Hundreds of Pelicans fishing together, thousands, maybe millions of Quelea what a spectacle! We also were lucky enough to watch the great Elephant herds of Zakouma. Once poached almost into extinction the management takeover of African Parks has made sure the gentle giants are flourishing again.
We saw many, many young ones with them, such a privilege to watch. Lots of Lions, interesting new animals like Tiang or Lelwel Hartebeest, slightly different variations of familiar animals like the very blackfaced Roan all seen in good numbers. Night drives were just fantastic, we stopped counting all the Genets, Civets and Wild Cats we saw. Highlight were six(!) Servals and two Porcupines. Our guide was DougMacDonald, a true master of his craft and wellknown all over Africa in safari circles. He tried every day to give us the best possible experience, and always succeeded. We stayed at Camp Tinga and were very happy with it: Clean and comfortable rooms with fans (very welcome in the heat), surprisingly good food and very nice staff. Very good value for money.
Thank you, Chalo Africa, for a perfect safari which we´ll never forget.”
— Michael O.
Chalo Africa guest Alena Dacko shot the above video in Zakouma during our 2018 safari. Proof of the incredible work done by African Parks to make Zakouma a haven for all wildlife, especially these beautiful elies!
Safari to Zakouma 2019 Itinerary
Day: 1 - N’Djamena
When you arrive in N’Djamena airport there will be a hotel representative outside the airport to meet you and take you on the short drive through the city to the hotel which overlooks the Chari River……..
Contact us for the full itinerary.
Day 2 - 8 : Zakouma National Park
Its an early start from the hotel this morning and the hotel will give you a packed breakfast to take with you. You will go back to the airport and security checks before flying to Zakouma.
We will be able to explore the park with a mixture of game drives and walks. There is also a possibility of doing a flight over the park in one of the park planes………..
Contact us for the full itinerary.
About Zakouma National Park
DESPITE MANY YEARS OF CONFLICT, ZAKOUMA NATIONAL PARK IS WIDELY CONSIDERED TO BE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PROTECTED AREAS NOT ONLY IN CHAD, BUT IN ALL OF AFRICA.
The park has become a safe haven for Central and West African wildlife including the Kordofan giraffe and elephant, the latter of which had experienced a 95% loss from rampant poaching. Today, due to extraordinarily effective law enforcement and community engagement, elephant numbers have stabilized and new calves are being born every year. Security has been restored and Zakouma is now a coveted tourism destination, serving as one of the most inspirational conservation success stories of our time.
In the 1950s, Colonel Michel Anna, Chad’s hunting inspector at the time, proposed the classification of Zakouma as a faunal reserve in order to ensure the protection of the highly poached giraffe population and in response to declines in other species due to excessive hunting.
The reserve was established at that time and anti-poaching patrols commenced using nomad guards. Within a few years of this intervention, the density of game reached numbers never before seen in Chad, and as a consequence, the number of poachers on the reserve’s periphery followed a similar trend. To offer better protection, Zakouma was declared a national park in 1963 by Presidential Decree, giving it the highest form of protection available under the laws of Chad.
However, the elephants of Zakouma experienced an extraordinary onslaught of poaching between 2003 to 2010, resulting in the catastrophic loss of over 4,000 elephants. African Parks took over management of the park in 2010, and due to effective law enforcement measures and community networks, poaching has been practically eliminated with only a few individuals being lost in the past six years. Today, the herd has stabilized, and calves are being reported on every year.
2013 marked the 50th anniversary of this continentally important national park.
- Zakouma National Park is managed in partnership between African Parks and the Chadian government.
- The Chadian government and the European Union approached African Parks in 2010 to take on the management responsibility of Zakouma in order to put an end to the ongoing scourge of elephant poaching. The mandate agreement was signed in June 2010 and African Parks commenced management of the park and periphery in the October of the same year.
Text Credit: African Parks.
African Parks at Zakouma
Situated just south of the Sahara desert and above the fertile rainforest regions, Zakouma is one of the last remaining intact Sudano-Sahelian ecosystems. This extremely important protected area was declared a National Park by the Chadian government in 1963. However, poaching drove a massive decline in the elephant population, from 4,000 in 2002 to just 450 in 2010.
Since African Parks took over management the elephant population stabilised and is now finally on the increase, due to improved management and a more effective anti-poaching strategy. With giraffe, roan antelope, tiang, Lelwel’s hartebeest and buffalo populations all on the rise, Zakouma is once again emerging as a coveted tourist destination to the benefit of adjacent communities whose livelihoods have improved considerably.
- The formation of a specialist Rapid Response Unit as part of a stringent anti-poaching strategy has almost completely halted poaching within the park.
- Satellite collars have been fitted to elephant herds, allowing the park management team to monitor them and deploy field patrols accordingly.
- The park’s Tinga Camp, Camp Nomade and Camp Salamat have seen an influx of local and international tourists, providing local employment and trade opportunities.
- The community outreach visits arranged by the park ensure that about 5,000 Chadian children and villagers visit the park each year.
ON THE HORIZON
We plan to improve the educational curriculum and expand on the four Elephant Schools that address the challenge of a dispersed local population. The reintroduction of black rhino and the creation of an elephant corridor beyond the park are priority conservation projects that are already under planning and investigation.