The magical 18-day desert caravan journey will include lots of adventure, but very few showers.
Tourists have flocked to African nations like South Africa, Kenya, and Egypt for years, but Chad hasn’t typically been a top vacation destination. That could all change soon: Mountain Travel Sobek has announced an 18-day trip aimed at “intrepid travelers” ready to explore a new corner of the world: Chad’s Ennedi Plateau in the northwest corner of the country. The tour will be the country’s first-ever led by a U.S.-based travel group.
After flying into N’Djamena, visitors will explore the capital city’s spice markets, Grand Mosque, and the Chad National Museum. Then the adventure really begins. Travelers will spend the next two weeks aboard four-wheel drive vehicles following actual camel caravan routes carved out of the desert by nomadic tribes who have used the paths for centuries.
Guests will spend nights in a mobile camp that the website describes as “the only five million star hotel in the world.” Explorers will travel from oasis to oasis through the Archeï gorges, studying the dunes and savannahs that dot the Saharan landscape as they trek along the southern borders of the Ennedi Plateau.
Before embarking on a magical 18-day desert caravan journey, be forewarned: there are no showers in the desert. Bathing will have to wait until the trip stops at Lac Bokou—eight days later.
Intrepid travelers will undoubtedly agree, however, that a chance to explore the lakes of Ounianga, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, watch Tubu nomads watering their camels, visit the market city of Abeché, see Gorane shepherds leading their flocks through the desert, and maybe even spot a Saharan crocodile, is well worth a little dust in your hair and dirt under your fingernails.
The inaugural run of Mountain Travel Sobek’s Ancient Caravans of Chad departs Nov. 3. 18-day tour (from $6,175). www.mtsobek.com.