Chad is a landlocked country, roughly the size of Quebec, in the centre of Africa. It spans the divide between two great geographic areas, Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa. To the north lies Libya, to the east Sudan, to the southeast the Central African Republic, to the southwest Cameroon and Nigeria, and to the west Niger.

Chad has three major geographic zones: the Saharan zone in the north, the Sahel region in the central part of the country and the Soudanian zone in the south. The Saharan zone is a desert area, with the Tibesti mountains in the northwest. The Sahel region is a semi-arid region of savannah land to the south of the Sahara desert. In the east the land rises to a plateau and Lake Chad lies to the west. The Soudanian zone is a region of wooded lowlands crossed by rivers. This is the agricultural centre of the country and the region in which most Chadians live.

Each geographical zone has a distinct climate. In the north, it is generally hot and dry, while in the Sahel region, it is mostly dry, with a rainy season from June to early September. The southern zone is tropical, with a rainy season from April to October.

Chad's two major rivers, the Chari and Logone, flow into Lake Chad. At N'Djamena, the capital city, the Logone river empties into the Chari, south of Lake Chad. The fertile floodplains of these rivers are often covered with water during the rainy season.

The National Park of Zakouma is situated in the southeast. It is flooded for four months of the year. Though once devastated by civil war and ivory poachers, the park has been rehabilitated since 1989 with funding from the European Union. It is home to buffalo, elephants, giraffes, antelopes, ostriches and other birds.

   Did you know?
The lungfish, Protopterus annectens, lives in Lake Chad's floodplains. It is able to survive buried in dried-up mud throughout the dry season, because it can breathe air through its lungs.

   Did you know?
At the summit of the Tibesti mountain system stands the dormant volcano Emi Koussi, 3,414 metres above sea level. It is not only the highest point in Chad, but the highest point in the entire Sahara desert.