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Geography of Chad


A landlocked country situated in northern Central Africa, the Republic of Chad has an area of 1,284,000 km² (495,755 mi²), extending 1,765 km (1,097 mi) north to south, and 1,030 km (640 mi) east to west. Comparatively, the area occupied by Chad is slightly more than three times the size of the state of California or just slightly smaller than Peru. It is bounded on the north by Libya, on the east by the Sudan, on the south by the Central African Republic, on the southwest by Cameroon, and on the west by Nigeria and Niger, with a total boundary length of 5,968 km (3,708 mi).

The Aozou Strip of Chad, an area along the northern border of about 114,000 km² (about 44,000 mi²), was occupied and annexed by Libya in 1973. In February 1994, the International Court of Justice rejected Libya's claim to the territory. Armed clashes broke out in 1983 with Nigeria over several islands in Lake Chad that had emerged as the water level fell.

Chad's capital city, N'Djamena, is located in the southwestern part of the country.

The country's most marked feature is Lake Chad, which is situated at the foot of a gently sloping plain and is surrounded by vast marshes. Fed chiefly by the Chari and Logone rivers. The surface area of the lake varies from about 9,842 to 25,641 km² (3,800 to 9,900 mi²). From this low point of 230 m (750 ft) above sea level, the land rises to a maximum of 3,415 m (11,204 ft) at Emi Koussi, an extinct volcanic peak in the Tibesti Mountains of northern Chad. The centre of the country is primarily a shallow bowl known as the Bodélé Depression.

The three chief climatic zones are the Saharan, with a wide range of temperatures between day and night; the Sahelian, a semi-desert; and the Sudanic, with relatively moderate temperatures. Extreme temperatures range from -12° to 50°C (10°-122°F); at N'Djamena the average daily maximums and minimums are 42°C (108°F) and 28°C (73°F) in April and 33°C (91°F) and 14°C (57°F) in December. The rains last from April (in the south) or July (farther north) through October. Average annual rainfall is about 76 cm (30 in) at N'Djamena. In the far south, it is as much as 122 cm (48 in), but at Faya-Largeau in the north, it averages only 2.5 cm (1 in). A severe drought affected two-thirds of the country from 1967 through 1973 and again in the early 1980s, especially 1984.


Location :
Central Africa, south of Libya

Geographic coordinates :
15 00 N, 19 00 E

Map references :

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