24 Overwhelming Things To Do In N’djamena (2024)

Get ready for a wild ride through N’djamena, the captivating capital city of Chad!

This hidden gem is located right in the heart of North Africa and is surrounded by a vast desert landscape.

24 Overwhelming Things To Do In N’djamena (1)

But don’t let the arid terrain fool you because there’s a surprise waiting within its borders – a huge lake known as Lake Chad!

This is not your typical lake, folks.

It teems with an abundance of fish and changes in size seasonally as it dries out or fills up with rain.

If you’re a fan of fishing, you’ll want to add Lake Chad to your bucket list.

But that’s not all, folks. The southern part of N’Djamena is lush and fertile, with tropical forests and cotton plantations.

This is the only area of the nation that can support crops, so get ready to taste some of the freshest produce you’ve ever had.

As you travel north, a belt of dusty savanna stretches across the center, providing sparse pasture for roaming cattle.

And get this, the official language is a combination of Arabic and French, so you can brush up on your language skills while you explore this stunning city.

Now, let’s dive into the fascinating history of N’djamena.

During its early years, the most powerful empire was Kanem-Bornu, established to the northeast of Lake Chad in the 1500s.

The Kanem-Bornu regularly raided the southern part of the city, seizing the Sara people who lived there and exporting them as slaves.

The descendants of the Kanem-Bornu are today’s Muslims of the north.

Chad was a French colony from 1920 to 1960, which led to a clash between the north, which is Islamic, and the south, which mostly follows Christian or traditional beliefs.

This has fueled almost continuous civil war, making N’djamena a city with a rich, complex history.

But don’t let the past discourage you from visiting this vibrant city.

N’djamena is an up-and-coming destination with a unique mix of cultures, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine.

24 Overwhelming Things To Do In N’djamena (2)

Table of Contents

Best time to Visit N’djamena

The perfect time to tour the city of N’Djamena is during the winter season on the grounds that it is cold and drier.

The temperatures range from 120° F or 49° Celsius from November to May and there is barely any precipitation.

The temperature has a tendency to climb up to 55° centigrade sometimes amid summer making travel uncomfortable.

June to September likewise implies substantial downpours making the streets just about closed and not the best time to travel and see it.

In fact weather is so worse during this summer season that people are usually driven from their homes and gather at a temporary settlement because dust storm rages during this time.

Since the 1960s, a series of droughts has left much land unproductive and many families starving and homeless.

24 Overwhelming Things To Do In N’djamena (3)

Best things to do in Chad – N’Djamena

These are the popular things to do in the city of N’Djamena…

Lake Chad

Chad is a vital resource on this poor country. Here, camels that have traveled across the searing desert quench their thirst drinking up to 26 gallons (100 liters) in ten minutes.

In deeper waters, fishermen work with their nets thrown from canoes made of woven papyrus stalks.

This is the crossing of Lake Chad, which is also the main source of water for all the countries encompassed by its presence.

24 Overwhelming Things To Do In N’djamena (4)

If you go by November, you can see the edges of the lake filled with sellers of sugar cane sold at very cheap price.

The lake has a crocodile area, and if you are daring enough you can go there by boat to the center of the lake.

My Favorite N’djamena tourist attractions

Musee National N’Djamena (National Museum)

It is here inside the halls of the Musee National N’Djamena (National Museum)

Also Read: Train Ticket from Abuja to Kaduna

that you will learn so much about the interesting and colorful history of Chad and N’djamena. Visiting the museum is a mandatory part of the excursion program.

There are many interesting exhibits related to the history of Chad. You can also a wide variety of masks and ceremonial ornaments and garments.

This museum is a place of wonderful art, artifacts, handicraft selection and history of the country towards independence. Be sure to visit this place while in N’djamena.

The National Museum in Chad is also an excursion into Chad’s culture in the event that you have an evening free and are nearby the city of N’djamena.

The gallery has recently moved its collection to a recently constructed building that stands on the edge of town that will very soon serve as the national library.

The cost of entry is 3500 Francs for outsiders and 300 Francs for the Chadians. A tour guide can be availed (French and English talking).

If you still have time you must go to the second floor and see the preserved skull of the Toumai man that is proudly displayed there, it is said to be one of the oldest skeletons in the world.

24 Overwhelming Things To Do In N’djamena (5)

In the event that you don’t have anything to do in N’Djamena and need to take a few pictures in a city where outdoor photography is not allowed, this exhibition hall is the best spot to go if you want good pictures and know the story of the city’s creation.

The ground floor highlights the things about Chadian history and humanities. The subtitles are all in French however one could think about what they speak to.

A portion of the things are non specific and not unique (e.g., photographs of verifiable occasions) however there are a couple of ancient devices and veils which are fascinating.

Little of the shows convey extravagant subtitles or foundation stories that would help one look into Chad. One may be totally lost if one does not have some essential learning of Chadian history or society.

The second level has some characteristic history displays and the best displays at the gallery. It is along the path of the Old City, and one of the major attractions that is worth seeing when in N’djamena.

While it may seem a long way from a customary museum, it holds some fascinating curios and discusses more about the Chad society in general.

What to see in Chad?

Avenue Charles de Gaulle

The Avenue Charles de Gaulle is where you can find the Café Armandine or the French food restaurant that is just two doors down and probably the only decent localities with this prominent avenue.

In N’Djamena, it is worth going there to descend quickly – to enjoy in Armandine a croissant and a coffee, and observe the basic routine of Chadians that are there.

You will notice that this not so rich city is making an effort to show what their city can offer. Right now it has not much to see and do and attractions to explore but to see the row of good restaurants here in the Avenue of Charles de Gaulle.

However, there is a sandwich called in French cuisine called “jambon beurre”, “ jambon fromage” or just to have a croissant necessarily – in the midst of an African city, to enjoy the French charm in its original style that is exceptional and makes you savor the simple environment for a while.

24 Overwhelming Things To Do In N’djamena (6)

The Charles de Gaulle avenue is a must see place when you’re in N’Djamena It has several restaurants where you can eat in a healthy way.

If you look around it is where most of the important government offices can be found as well as local and commercial establishments that focus on food, drinks, relaxation, shopping, flight offices, tourism center, post office, museums, parks, and medical facilities.

Most of the restaurants here offer the best French cuisine food plus the service is professional and dedicated.

The Charles de Gaulle avenue is the only place for a night out in town in an almost safe atmosphere. There are restaurants run by locals where you can eat for 30-40 Euros per meal.

Also Read: Abidjan’s Best-Kept Secrets: 9 Popular Things To Do

Though it is safe to walk around the area, for security purposes tourists are often advised to avoid walking in the street with obvious signs of wealth (watch, chain, bracelet, camera, and mobile) to avoid getting mugged.

Cool places to visit in N’djamena

Grand Marche (Central Market)

The Grand Marchè (Central Market) is certainly an interesting attraction, but to visit with care, and normally recommended by the embassy information for a visit is that you be accompanied by a Chadian carefully and to avoid being in a group, which inevitably ends up attracting too much attention.

Since there is not much attraction or major tourist site in the capital city of Chad, it is pretty much the only thing to see in N’Djamena.

There are also organized tours that you must be accompanied by the locals, because they run on its own and it is not recommended though apparently it’s all pretty safe.

The Market is made up of a series of tents huddled where the Chadian traders are selling a bit ‘of everything (local stuff of course) and if you want something handmade original is the place.

24 Overwhelming Things To Do In N’djamena (7)

The only downside is if you don’t know how to haggle you will end up paying five times more for a certain item, it is why a local Chadian must accompany you on a visit to the Grand Marche of N’djamena because some sellers take advantage of the traveler’s ignorance of the actual value.

Nevertheless, It is an interesting experience when looking for a change of scenery. But this market is the same as other markets in Africa, where you can see all the merchants who push all their products in the hope that you will buy.

Just the same, always go with a native in order not to make mistakes. It is a common sight to see women selling cornmeal on this market.

Farmers have to sell their crops locally since it is so difficult to transport materials and produce across the city. There are no railroads or huge highways here, only unpaved stretches of long, arid, and dusty roads.

Fun things to do in Chad

Zakouma National Park

The Zakouma National Park is a fabulous complex nestled around the Salamat River. It is located within the borders of Chad, the Central African Republic and Sudan.

It stands close to Am Timan and the reserve is home to a unique flora and fauna of the nation. Unfortunately, the elephants have been decimated by poachers but it remains to observe a variety of wildlife in a protected site.

The travel here is worth all the time and money, plus you get to meet the amazing people behind this conservation project. Be sure to visit this park when in Chad.

Today and all over Africa, conservation and protection of animals in the wild against local poachers is an endless battle and the devotion and courage of the individuals who battle for what is left of Africa’s wild can’t be downplayed.

The uplifting news is that here in Zakouma National Park at any rate, the war is consistently won. And for a longer time as long as the people and the staff behind this cause work together for their worthy cause.

A visit to the park will leave you impressed with both their concerned efforts to save the elephants from these heartless poachers in the wild.

The park is strategically placed in the southeastern part and outskirt of the city, the travel is long and dreary but the reward is great. It reaches a range of about 3,000 kilometers of journey into the wealth the park can offer.

It is one of the last fortresses for Central African untamed life and a position of astonishing excellence; an immeasurable, level plain confused by wandering occasional watercourses that is mixed with rough slopes.

It is likewise a position of true wealth of nature, and it is maybe for this same reason why this makes it so amazing.

Groups or herds of 8,000+ of dark cranes, groups of more than 11 colored quelea, sparrows excessively various to check and a lot of diversion, much of it surprising on the migratory bird areas.

Expansive groups of red and tan bison (a moderate structure between the North African rare species) prowl the idyllic landscape, running giraffes, roaming gazelle, hippos and a group of other pronghorn species dot the fields.

Also Read: 5+ Top Things to Do on Moucha Island, Djibouti

Lions excessively are various and you can even have this rare chance of having an uncommon and mystical experience with a panther as you go through the swamp with a huge stack of crocodiles heaped around a contracting waterhole.

This full safari adventure can go on and on to discover more of the wild and this can only be seen in N’Djamena, Chad. Make sure you have enough time to see the entire wildlife spectacle from start to finish.

It is one the special adventure and things to do in N’Djamena that is worth all the time, money, and effort.

You can manage to stay outdoors under plastic mosquito nets on its forest grounds where none had wandered in the recent past.

You can also stroll for a considerable length of time with the various elephant groups, now numbering nearly 650 and an indication of both past catastrophe from poachers and a hope for new breeds and species from this batch.

It is the best safari adventure you will ever experience in North African side.

It is not built for everyone though, but only for adventurous people who long for the Africa with a safe and secured environment.

Top Chad tourist attractions

Abeche Crafts Shop

The local people of N’Djamena, Chad make incredible artworks and handicrafts.

For excellent camel hair floor coverings, rugs and carpets, gems, weaved cotton materials, earthenware, designed calabashes and metal frameworks, head to the vivid nearby market in the capital, N’djamena, which is open from 8:00 AM until sunset.

The Abeche Crafts Shop lies close to the fringe with Nigeria and is the best place to purchase calf skin or cowhide merchandise.

The designated shopping days that they are only allowed to open is from Tuesday to Saturday.

It is about 750km northeast the capital city and close to the outskirt with Sudan.

The town itself is not always visited by travelers because there is nothing much to do and see, however, it remains an incredible spot to purchase unique calfskin crafted works, old furniture and decorative household items, and local crafts about jewelry and beads.

Epic Chad outdoor activities

Tibesti Mountains

The Tibesti Mountains have a notoriety for being both lovely and perilous and aren’t not difficult to access because of its proximity to the national road and highways of Chad.

However, flying out to this surprising area of banks and holes is not prescribed right now for mountaineers and even locals because of the innumerable number of landmines planted on purpose by dissident and rebel groups.

Cote Jardin Restaurant

To explore the food of N’Djamena go to Cote Jardin Restaurant, it is a new air-conditioned restaurant that is now open daily for lunch and every evening except Monday.

The greenery is unique in the city center of N’Djamena and with a nice decor. The staff is courteous and the sidebar is loaded with co*cktail drinks.

The new menu offers a wide choice which combines African and European food specialties. Everything is delicious, the service has become much faster than before.

The prices are very good compared to the competition. Definitely, it is the best address for good cuisine in N’Djamena today.

Top free things to do in N’djamena Chad

Chari River

N’djamena extends for a few kilometers along the north bank of the Chari River. The street along the waterway, don’t give decent perspectives at the stream in light of the numerous structures between this street and the waterway.

The spot to be in N’djamena, from where you have an awesome perspective at the Chari River, is the patio of the le Meridien, while you are drinking beer or having co*cktails.

Famous places to see Chad

Grandee Mosque

A standout amongst the most striking structures in the city centre is the Grandee Mosque. From far you can see the high minarets, so this mosque is an essential milestone to discover Islamic history of N’Djamena.

Muslims here celebrate independence from France with an annual procession. Since independence, Chad has suffered from conflict between northerners and south westerners.

Different political groups have also clashed.

24 Overwhelming Things To Do In N’djamena (8)

Although remote as it positively is – getting to N’Djamena is more difficult than numerous sites in Africa, however once you are there you have the benefit of being in the place where not so many travelers have spend time or visited recently.

This is the absolute opposite of common places for tourism.

You can be the only ones taking or being on the safari of Chad and have the freedom and flexibility to investigate in ways that not very many cities can offer in today’s undeniably rebel threatened part of North Africa.

24 Overwhelming Things To Do In N’djamena (2024)


What is a fun fact about N Djamena? ›

N'Djamena was founded as Fort-Lamy by French commander Émile Gentil on 29 May 1900, and named after Amédée-François Lamy, an army officer who had been killed in the Battle of Kousséri about a month earlier. It was a major trading city and became the capital of the region and nation.

What is a fact about N Djamena? ›

N'Djamena is connected by road with Nigeria, Sudan, and the Central African Republic, as well as with major towns in Chad. The city also has an international airport. The city was founded in 1900 as a French military post named Fort-Lamy. It was situated at the site of a small fishing village.

What is the pronunciation of n djamena? ›

N'Djamena - N'Djamena (; French: N'Djaména, pronounced [n(ə)dʒa.me.na]; Arabic: انجمينا‎ Injamīnā) is the capital and largest city of Chad.

Are Chad people friendly? ›

People in Chad are a relaxed and friendly people, but respect for traditional beliefs and customs is expected.

What is Chad's traditional food? ›

Chadians use a medium variety of grains, vegetables, fruits and meats. Commonly consumed grains include millet, sorghum, and rice as staple foods. Commonly eaten vegetables include okra and cassava. A variety of fruits are also eaten.

Is N Djamena safe? ›

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the rest of Chad, including the capital, N'Djamena.

Is it safe to travel to N Djamena? ›

Due to incidences of crime, it is not recommended to walk in N'Djamena, even during the day. Armed robberies occur, often in the vicinity of restaurants in N'Djamena. In some cases, foreigners were targeted and injured. If travel outside N'Djamena is necessary, a permit issued by the Ministry of Interior is required.

Is Chad a rich or Poor country? ›

A land-locked country of 16.8 million, Chad ranks among the poorest countries in the world today. More than 6.1 million Chadians require humanitarian assistance as of 2022, almost one-third of the country's population.

What is the population of N Djamena in 2024? ›

The current metro area population of NDjamena in 2024 is 1,656,000, a 4.02% increase from 2023. The metro area population of NDjamena in 2023 was 1,592,000, a 3.85% increase from 2022. The metro area population of NDjamena in 2022 was 1,533,000, a 3.86% increase from 2021.

Why is Chad called Chad Africa? ›

Lake Chad, after which the country is named (and which in turn takes its name from the Kanuri word for "lake"), is the remains of an immense lake that occupied 330,000 square kilometres (130,000 sq mi) of the Chad Basin 7,000 years ago.

What language is spoken in N Djamena Chad? ›

Standard Arabic is spoken by around 615,000 speakers. French is widely spoken in the main cities such as N'Djamena and by most men in the south of the country. Most schooling is in French.

What do most people do for work in Chad? ›

Agriculture forms a significant part of Chad's economy. Chad's main industries comprise of cotton-ginning, textiles, and sugar refining. These form a significant part of Chad's economy, along with agriculture.

What is the lifestyle of people in Chad? ›

About 75% of Chad's population live in rural areas and belong to a nomadic or pastoral tribe, while others primarily live in and around the capital city of N'Djamena.

What is the lifestyle in Chad? ›

The Northern region of Chad is mostly desert since it lies in the Sahara, the South, however, has the dense, green forest and vegetation. The northern people are nomadic and semi-nomadic while the southern people live lives that are more agrarian and commercial based.

What is the main economic activity in Chad? ›

The economy of Chad suffers from the landlocked country's geographic remoteness, drought, lack of infrastructure, and political turmoil. About 85% of the population depends on agriculture, including livestock herding.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ray Christiansen

Last Updated:

Views: 6567

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ray Christiansen

Birthday: 1998-05-04

Address: Apt. 814 34339 Sauer Islands, Hirtheville, GA 02446-8771

Phone: +337636892828

Job: Lead Hospitality Designer

Hobby: Urban exploration, Tai chi, Lockpicking, Fashion, Gunsmithing, Pottery, Geocaching

Introduction: My name is Ray Christiansen, I am a fair, good, cute, gentle, vast, glamorous, excited person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.