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Chad: Chad Geography Profile 2012






Chad Geography Profile 2012

Chad, (French: Tchad), or Republic of Chad, a country in north-central Africa. It is bounded by Libya, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Niger. Its area is about 496,000 square miles (1,284,000 km 2 ).

Northern Chad lies within the Sahara and is primarily a region of sandy plains and scattered dunes, with some mountains and uplands. In the Tibesti, a mountainous area in the north, is 11,204-foot (3,415-m) Emi Koussi, the country's highest peak. South of the Sahara, in a region called the Sahel, the desert gradually gives way to steppes and dry grasslands dotted by thorny trees. Wooded savannas cover most of southern Chad. All of Chad's permanent rivers are in the south, including the Chari and Logone, which flow northward into Lake Chad, a large freshwater lake.

Chad's climate varies from extremely hot and arid in the Sahara to hot and seasonally humid in the south. Average temperatures at N'Djamena range from 75° F. (24° C.) in January to 91° F. (33° C.) in April and May. Rainfall comes mainly between June and October. The desert receives rare showers while the extreme south receives as much as 50 inches (1,270 mm) annually.

In the north the people of Chad are mostly Arabs and people of mixed Arab and Negroid ancestry. In the south they are mainly Negroid. N'Djamena is the capital and largest city. French is the official language, but Arabic and indigenous languages are also used. Islam and animism are the principal religions. Primary and secondary education is provided; however, facilities are limited and attendance is low. There is a university in N'Djamena. Facts in brief about Chad


Central Africa, south of Libya

Geographic coordinates: 

15 00 N, 19 00 E

Map references: 


Area comparative: 

slightly more than three times the size of California

Land boundaries Total: 

5,968 km

Land boundaries Note: 


tropical in south, desert in north


broad, arid plains in center, desert in north, mountains in northwest, lowlands in south

Natural resources: 

petroleum, uranium, natron, kaolin, fish (Lake Chad), gold, limestone, sand and gravel, salt

Natural hazards: 

hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds occur in north; periodic droughts; locust plagues

Environment - current issues: 

inadequate supplies of potable water; improper waste disposal in rural areas contributes to soil and water pollution; desertification

Geography note: 

landlocked; Lake Chad is the most significant water body in the Sahel