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Possible, perhaps, but you would have to be really motivated!
"......I just got back from Chad and for photography Chad is a nightmare (actually for almost anything Chad is a nightmare!)......
As for general Chad advice I was there for a company but travelling independently. From what i could tell this is essentially unheard of in Chad nowadays. In fact the one 'tour' company in the country (Tchad evasion) told me that the last independent traveller they had heard about in Chad was three years ago!! Getting travel permits (which are essential for anywhere beyond the immediate vicinity of N'djamena) is a pain and will set you back quite a lot in 'presents' (read: large chunks of euros). You have to visit the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Security to get these permits (known otherwise as the Ministry of Theft and Ministry of deciet).
Due to the fact that the only foreigners are UN, NGO and oil workers Chad is very, very expensive (I was getitng through a couple of hundred euros a day - more when I hired a jeep - and even more when I had to deal with officials out to fatten up Swiss bank accounts with cash stolen from the UN and NGO's....).
Having said all that, if you're prepared then Chad is a truly enlightening experience. It was like nothing I have ever seen in Africa; the country is the most poverty struck place i have ever been and the corruption and theft by the officials was extraordinary. In my opinion it was worse than anything I experienced in the former Zaire during Mobutus last days... And I will never look at Africa in the same way again after Chad!!"
I hear organised trips to the north of Chad are again possible. They can be booked through some travel agencies in Ndjamena, like Tchad Evasion. But traveling in your own car in the north of Chad seems to be forbidden. Anybody with more info?
No info but I'm also reading here and there that the 'Darfur war is over' and somewhere else that the Chad-Sudan border is coming back to normal, so Chad could generally be lightening up. It happens every few years but doesnt seem to last.
Good thing is no AQIM ratbags up in the Tibesti AFAIK - they're too scared of the Tubu. If those two ever team up we can hand in our sand ladders for recycling.
I moved out of Chad 2 years ago, so I am not fully up on what´s happening there anymore. But I know that a group of old friends of mine there recently drove to the Ouinanga lakes and to the Fada region (NE Chad, in the BET region), on a trip put together by Chad Evasion.
My understanding (with the caveat that I am no longer in-country) is that things are still a bit complicated in the region of Bardai in the Tibesti.
On Priffe´s posting, I absolutely most unequivocally second his last paragraph. I lived there for 3 years, and what an incredible experience that was. Almost every day I had one of those "I cannot believe what I am seeing" moments!!!
I am thinking about entering Chad from Bilma (Niger) in my own car towards the end of this year. I know some Tubu's that say it's possible, but they also say people may get angry if they see white people travelling in their own car. I suppose they are exxagerating. I have the feeling things should work out fine if I have a local guide and if I am prepared to pay "local tax", as I had to while travelling in Tibesti in 1999. Or am I totally wrong?
Just north of Zouarke (main road from Faya-Largeau in Chad to Lybia, 50 km past Zouar; you must have driven thru it on your quite famous drive thru this region!!!), there is a 4 way intersection. To the NE you go to Bardai, to SW you head to somewhere in Niger. I do not know if the end point is Bilma, Dirkou or somewhere between there and Seguedine! This whole area of Chad was heavily mined (as you know.) When I was in Zuarke, MAG (a fairly large British firm) was doing some de-mining in this area. I spoke with some people there and left under the impression that, in spite of the mines, the piste to the border was doable, but only with the help of local guides.
The border post itself, was closed (& I think that it is still closed), but you know better than anyone else how things work on this part of the world!
I am also going to contact some of my old friend in N´Djamena to see what they say about what´s happening in this side of the country. But I am on the road now, so it may take me a week or so!
Two bits of (dated) info on access from Bilma/Dirkou to Niger (edit - I meant Chad!). I recall Klaus Daerr came through from Chad north of Dirkou, passing Seguedine before heading off piste to Djanet. Seguedine is a 4 way intersection (NE to Libya, NW to Algeria, south to Dirkou and east to Chad). That was last century though.
In the Bodele in Chad in 2005, I quizzed a guide who was with us about all these routes. He had passed through from Bilma to Chad, but indicated that one has to pass well south of the faliase which Bilma is to the west of. He had been in a Euro registered car.
Neither of these cases answers the question precisely. I'd imagine it would be another pioneering GVDA first.
Recall, though, the Italians who were kidnapped near the Niger/Chad border, probably south of Bilma in summer 2006.
Thanks for all this info. I think gvdaa did not do that many pioneering trips. Libya-Chad in a Mercedes 190 being an exception. But that was in 1999!
By the way: In december I spoke to a truckdriver in Sebha, Libya. They are driving directly from Katrun to Mao nowadays, passing west of Tibesti. So besides Bilma Mao should also be a good departing point for a vist to Tibesti. Even possible in a 2 WD, a Tubu form Zouar told me.
From Mao to the Tibesti, one has to cross the Erg du Djourab (near Koro Toro), which may be a bit of a challenge for a 2WD (as you know probably better than anyone else!) But there may be a new development since your last visit there: I am under the impression that the mines on the main piste thru the Erg have been cleared. (Note the "Under the Impression." PLS CHECK & RECHECK THIS INFO ON YOUR SIDE!)
In Mar/Apr of 2006 I re-surveyed the whole of the Lake Chad piste (from Massaguet to Nguimi in Niger, via Massakory, Ngouri, Isseirom, Bol, Lioua, Kiskawa, & Daboua. I still have all this info but ... at home! I also did the piste from Ngouri to Mondo and Mao and then from there back south directly to Bol. I may still have these tracks. And I may also still have a lot of WPs from this area, a gift to me from a friend at Encana (a Canadian oil co which at the time was prospecting for oil in this region.) I am also going to look for some info that I may still have on the mines in NW Chad.
On Richard Washington's post, the Italians were caught by a Tubu rebellion group while doing the Nguigmi to Bilma piste, on the Niger side of the border. I have never heard from this rebel group again. (Also of interest, the italians entered from Kufra in Libya to the Ouinanga lake region in NE Chad and then Faya Largeau, i.e., E of the Tibesti, a border which is supposed to be closed to all traffic other than relief convoys feeding the Sudanese refuge camps in E Chad!!!)
The piste from Mao north does not cross the Erg Djourab. It goes more or less in a straight line to Katrun in Libya, and is not on any map. I remember Klaus Darr already mentioned this piste in 1999. I think it is the main truck-route between Ndjamena and Libya now.
Thanks a lot Jserpa for your info. Information on mines in the northwest of Chad is very welcome.
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