A map of Chad Much of Chad lies in the Lake Chad Basin. Once a vast inland sea, today this lowland region has dried up and all that remains is Lake Chad, in the far west, straddling the borders of Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon. The centre of Chad is covered by hot, dry grasslands—part of the Sahel region of northern Africa. To the north lies the vast Sahara desert. Rising from these sandy plains are the volcanic peaks of the Tibesti Mountains, some of the remotest mountains on Earth. In the south, the landscape is much greener; the Chari and Logone rivers wind through woodlands and savanna. Here, the climate is milder: it is hot and humid all year round, with a rainy season between April and October.
Chad’s is home to over 250 different ethnic groups. The south is home to farming peoples such as the Sara, whose ancestors came from the Nile Valley, settling in Chad during the 16th century. Farther north, in the Sahel, many people live a semi-nomadic lifestyle, travelling long distances to find grazing lands for their animals. The fringes of the Sahara are home to nomadic cattle-herders, such as the Toubou. Chad’s different peoples speak about 120 different languages between them, but many people also speak French or Arabic.
Chad is named after Lake Chad, the huge lake in the west of the country. The name "Chad" simply means "lake" in the local language.
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