If its possible to make Chad more expansive than it is, then fly across it in a Cessna 182. With a doum palm oasis, the sandy desert base of Fada is like something from an Indiana Jones set. There’s a vast emptiness down there until we touch down at Abeche, our refuelling post. Its a welcome leg stretch if nothing else.
Destination green Zakouma.
There is no guiding qualification structure in Chad so my mission is to create one. Its another privilege to be asked to design course and assessment content by African Parks at Zakouma, on behalf of the Tinga Camp, Camp Nomade and the community guides. I don't believe it’s been formally done before.
There is a group of 14 guys from Islamic communities on board, and only two speak any English. Another boundary to navigate. So, relying on my good friend Steve Gao from Camp Nomade as a translator and advisor. What have I discovered so far? That the warmth, humility, passion and enthusiasm of these people makes them all super-qualified. Guiding standards in the industry is a huge topic, but I believe you just can’t top good old fashioned human being-ness as a foundation.
To think that this country was once considered as the “dark heart of Africa.”
It’s been me who’s been doing all the learning.