Lake Chad is one of the most vital lakes in the African continent. It is the primary source of water for over 20 million people living in Niger, Chad, Nigeria and Cameroon.
How to Get There
The lake can be found to the west of Chad. It is just to the northeast of Nigeria. To get there, head to the road east in Abeche’s direction. Go by the hamlet Lamadji and to Pont-Belile. About thirty km off the capital, go to the road marked ‘’Douguia’’.
Travel it until you get to Karal.
Go right at the Dandi crossing. When you get to Karal, head right to the road that goes though the mosque. You will see four domes aligned. Get on the rocks. There is a cave grotto close by.
What to See in Lake Chad
There are more than 40 species of algae in the reed beds and swamp portions. Yaere grassland can be found all over the southern lakeshore floodplains. Numerous floating islands can be seen in it. Different kinds of wildlife can be seen.
You will see crocodiles, hippocampus, Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) and shore birds. It is also home to wintering ducks and migrating birds. When the wet season arrives, fish can be seen in the area.
Majority of the areas are wetlands. The area is frequently referred to as a floodplain. But it is somewhat of a misnomer. The fact is that less than 50% of the lake is layered with water for the whole year.
History of the Lake
Based on archaeological studies, the lake used to be an inland sea that shriveled due to weather changes. Scientists believe that this transition happened during the past 12,000 years. It was at its largest during 4000 BC when it covered an area 400,000 sq km. Today it has a surface area of 1,350 sq km. The lake almost dried up in 8500 BC, 2000 BC and 100 BC.
Since that time, the dimensions of Lake Chad has shrunk. The shrinking increased during the 1960s due to greater demand. It was in the year 2000 when the size shrank to less than 1500 sq km.
A trip to Chad will cost anywhere from $2,000 to nearly $3,000. There are many hotels in the area close to the lake. The charges can vary, but most are in the $60 a night range.