53 Interesting Facts About Chad

Chad, officially the Republic of Chad, is a country in northern Central Africa. With more than 120 languages and dialects spoken, Chad has a diverse population. With these 53 interesting facts about Chad, let’s explore more about its history, culture, people, economy, civil war, Lake Chad, hardship and hunger.

About Chadian culture, history and people

1. Chad attained its independence from France on August 11th, 1960.

2. Chad is the largest of the 16 landlocked countries in Africa. It is also the 21st largest nation in the world. The other fifteen landlocked countries in Africa are: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Botswana, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Swaziland, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Sudan (newly established).

3. The country (historically, the area surrounding Lake Chad) has been inhabited since at least 500 B.C.

4. The Chadian and Libyan conflict took place between 1978 and 1987.

5. People of Chad use Kakaki, a long metal trumpet in traditional ceremonial music. The instrument signifies power and is always played by men.

6. The Sahara Desert covers much of northern Chad and occupies roughly 1/3rd of the country’s total area.

7. Grains including milletsorghum, and rice are staple foods of Chad.

8. The country has seen long-lasting conflicts between Muslims and Christians.

9. The Tibesti Mountains are home to some of the best camel racing in the world.

Did you know?

10. The country has never been able to make it to the FIFA World Championships. However, they have had some popular soccer players.

11. For every 23,600 people in Chad, there is only one Chadian doctor available.

12. Chad has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. 1,100 mothers die per 100,000 births.

13. Chad is also known as “The Babel Tower of the World.“

14. The country was a part of France’s until 1960.

15. The design of the flag of Chad was based on the flag of France.

16. The goat and lion are the national symbols of Chad.

17. The country has also seen three decades of civil war.

Interesting facts about Lake Chad

18. The country is named after Lake Chad. Surprisingly, the lake is the largest wetland in Chad and the second largest in Africa.

19. It is also the world’s seventeenth largest lake.

20. The lake has drastically reduced in size in recent times. In the 1960s, it covered an area of 25,000 square kilometers, which has reduced to 1,350 kilometers today.

21. The lake is an important source of water for millions of people in the four neighboring countries. The lake was once the center of Africa’s lucrative salt trade.

22. The best time to visit the Lake Chad is between August and December. During this time, the water level in the lake is at its highest and visitors have a chance of sighting a crocodile or hippo.

The Ounianga Lakes in northern Chad
Interesting facts about Chad: The Ounianga Lakes in northern Chad. Image credit – David Stanley

23. The only television station in the country—Tele-Tchad—is state owned. Radio is the main source of media coverage.

24. There were more than 250,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad during 2011, as estimated by the UN.

25. Sadly, Chad is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world.

26. Crude oil has been the primary source of the country’s economy since 2003. Earlier, cotton played a significant role in bringing wealth to the nation.

27. Chad is home to some of the most important African Archaeological sites dating back earlier than 200 BC. These sites are mainly in the Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti Region.

28. America is one of Chad’s largest investors.

29. 1971 – the University of Chad was founded.

30. Bili bili (millet beer) and fruit juices are Chad’s traditional drinks.

31. Chad’s landlocked location results in high transportation costs for imported goods.

32. Majority of Chad’s fuel is supplied by one local refinery.

33.$4 billion pipeline linking Chad’s oilfields to terminals on the Atlantic coast was completed in 2003.

34. Idriss Deby is Chad’s current president. He assumed office for the first time in 1990.

35. It is common in Chad for men to have more than one wife.

36. More than two thirds of young women will have been married in Chad before they turn 18.

Chad on map with neighboring countries
Interesting facts about Chad: Chad on map