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CHAD EXPEDITION

Chad Birding Tours: our Chad bird watching tour explores a rarely-visited region of West Africa with some exciting specialities. Our Chad birding expedition covers the south, east and northeast of this huge country in search of our major targets: Nubian (and Arabian) Bustards, Niam-niam Parrot, Black-breasted Barbet, Rusty Bush Lark, African Dunn's Lark, Heuglin's Wheatear and Kordofan Sparrow.

Saturday 15th February — Monday 9th March 2020
(24 days)


Leader: Mark Beaman

Group Size Limit: 6

Tour Category: Easy walking for the most part and a mix of hotels and simple camping

Chad is a very little known birding destination (indeed this will be only the second birding tour to the country), but offers some great birds as well as good scenery. Travel around this often beautiful but remote and little-visited country is still a real adventure, but very rewarding.

Our prime targets will be a suite of special birds. These include the superb Nubian Bustard, the poorly-known Niam-niam Parrot, the lovely Black-breasted Barbet, Rusty Bush Lark, African Dunn's Lark, Heuglin's Wheatear and Kordofan (Rufous) Sparrow. All these mega-birds were seen on our pioneering 2017 tour.

We will also apply for permission to visit areas where Kordofan Lark and Chad Firefinch have been recorded, but we will not know far in advance whether we will be successful.

A superb supporting cast includes Scissor-tailed Kite (or African Swallow-tailed Kite), Beaudouin's Snake Eagle, Fox Kestrel, Clapperton's Francolin, Stone Partridge, Arabian Bustard, the splendid Black Crowned Crane, the marvellous Egyptian Plover (a monotypic bird family), Cream-coloured Courser, Four-banded Sandgrouse, African Collared Dove, Golden Nightjar, Blue-naped Mousebird, Abyssinian Roller, Yellow-breasted Barbet, Little Grey Woodpecker, Greater Hoopoe Lark, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Black Scrub Robin, River Prinia, Cricket Warbler, Fulvous Babbler, Sennar Penduline Tit, Pygmy Sunbird, Brown-necked Raven, Fan-tailed Raven, Chestnut-bellied Starling, Sudan Golden Sparrow, Bush Petronia, Sahel Paradise Whydah and White-rumped Seedeater. A good number of these specialities are restricted to the northern Sahel and all but Golden Nightjar were observed during our 2017 tour.

We will be visiting a variety of areas in Chad, including the far south of the country, the remarkable Zakouma National Park in the south-east, the Abéché region and the huge Ouadi Rimé & Ouadi Achim Faunal Reserve.

Zakouma National Park in southeastern Chad is an undiscovered gem, being the last great wildlife wilderness area in Western Africa. Here, over 500 African (Savanna or Bush) Elephants still roam (and at some seasons gather into a 'super herd'), as do large herds of African Buffalo. The rich mammalian mega-fauna also includes Lions, Leopards, Servals and other predators, Roan Antelope, Korrigum (the form found in eastern Chad is sometimes split further as Tiang), Western or Buffon's Kob, Western Hartebeest and Western Giraffe (the form found in Chad is sometimes split further as Kordofan Giraffe). Special birds here include Black-breasted Barbet and flocks of Black Crowned Cranes.

The arid region to the west of Abéché should turn up Rusty Bush Lark and Kordofan (Rufous) Sparrow, as well as Fox Kestrel and Brown-tailed Rock Chat.

The huge Ouadi Rimé & Ouadi Achim Faunal Reserve in north-eastern Chad is the site of a major reintroduction programme for the Scimitar-horned Oryx. This beautiful animal was rendered extinct in the wild by hunting by the 1980s. Ouadi Rimé & Ouadi Achim is a marvellous area, but is as yet barely under any protection. It holds some notable birds, including Nubian Bustard, Arabian Bustard, Clapperton's Francolin, Golden Nightjar, African Dunn's Lark, Cricket Warbler and Sudan Golden Sparrow.

In the south of Chad we will be looking for the restricted-range Niam-Niam Parrot (only ever once seen on a birding tour, during our first Chad tour in 2017), while the region northeast of N'Djamena holds Heuglin's Wheatear.

We will mostly be staying in hotels and lodges (these range from quite good to basic) but we will have to spend a number of nights camping in simple style, with arrangements made by our experienced local outfitters who have taken overseas visitors to every corner of this amazing country.

We do not consider that there are real security concerns in the specific areas we will be visiting. A steady flow of foreign visitors are nowadays exploring Chad without problems.

Itinerary

Day 1 The expedition will start this morning at N'Djamena, from where we head off in our 4x4 vehicles for our great adventure.

Days 2-23 Exploring Chad.

Day 24 The expedition ends this evening at N'Djamena.

Accommodations & Road Transport: The hotels and lodges range from quite good to basic. There is minimal choice in Chad. There will be some nights of simple camping, with our local outfitters in charge. Road transport will be by 4x4 vehicles (SUVs) and roads range from good to bad (decent paved roads are the minority here).

Walking: The walking effort is mostly easy.

Climate: Typically it will range from warm to hot, dry and sunny during the day, but it will be fairly cool or even (further north) distinctly cool from the evening to the early morning. Rain is very unlikely.

Bird & Mammal Photography: Opportunities are good.

CHAD BIRDING TOUR: PRICE INFORMATION

Birdquest Inclusions: our tour prices include all tipping, including tips for local guides and drivers. Some bird tour operators do not do this, yet for participants these costs are an unavoidable part of the tour. The value of these inclusions on this Birdquest tour amounts to approximately: £210, €240, $290.

2020 provisional prices

£6350, €7240, $8830 N'Djamena/N'Djamena. Deposit: 10%.

Includes surface transportation, accommodations, meals, entrance fees and tips/gratuities.

Single Room/Tent Supplement: £552, €629, $767.

This tour is priced in Euros. Amounts shown in Pounds Sterling and US Dollars are based on £1 = €1.140 and €1 = $1.220.

Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency will be pleased to arrange your air travel on request, or you may arrange this yourself if you prefer.

Many of the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOL Certificate

Birdquest Ltd is Registered in England, Company No. 01568270. The address of our registered office is Two Jays, Kemple End, Stonyhurst, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 9QY

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