N’Djamena- Where Arabia meets West Africa


The capital of Chad was a weird, but welcomed transition between the conservative Arabian Africa and the more promiscuous West Africa. On the street you would find black ladies in high heels with fake hair and lots of makeup as well as men with dhob and women with hijabs. The background sounds could use mosque prayers in one street and loud hip hop music from a bar just a few hundred meters away.

N’Djamena is a small city, but it has probably the most grand buildings in all of Africa. In the center of town you’ll find “Place de Nation” where a huge arch stands tall over flags and monuments of soldiers. Churches, ministries, museums and other government buildings are bragging about the countries vast oil and mineral resources while most people don’t make more than what they need to feed themselves. N’Djamena is like the Ashgabat of Africa.

The huge National Museum was opened just for me (open whenever there is a tourist) and had some impressive exhibition about the Sao Sultanate and the animist culture that reminded me a lot of the one in Burkina Faso. The museum also had the skull of the World’s oldest humanoids, the Sahelantropus Tschadencis, discovered in 2001. The famous Lucy in Ethiopia is just 3,1 million years old but the less famous tchadensis here in D’jamena is approximately 7,2 million years old. Who would have known?

My plan was to go south to Mondou, the green part of Chad, but on my way there my cell phone got stolen. As if that was not enough, I had my computer charger fried just one hour later.

The next days were spent with no tools to help me navigate, communicate and entertain myself, just like people traveled in the old days.

I ended up spending my last four days with the same routine of going to the corrupt police every morning to see if they had my report ready and then spending the rest of the day in a pink bar drinking beer, talking to locals and setting up my new 50$ crappy itel phone.

I paid 5000cfa/8$ at the end to get my police report and am ready to go to Central African Republic tomorrow.


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