IntroductionCompared with the better-known animal preserves in Africa, Zakouma gets very few visitors, and for many years, there was little reason for anyone to go there. The park's animals had been all but wiped out by poachers from the Sudan, who reduced the number of elephants in the park from 3,500 to just 500. Fortunately, the poaching has been brought under control and elephant numbers have stabilized. Today, the park is one of Chad's few success stories. Zakouma has been restocked, and the park's elephants, lions, giraffes, wildebeests, gazelles and hippos are making a dramatic comeback. (On our last visit, we had to stop the car to let hundreds of wildebeests go by.) Zakouma is best visited December-February (avoid the July-November rainy season). Independent travelers can reach the park by rented truck from Sarh or from Am-Timman. Accommodations and guides are available at the park. 300 mi/485 km southeast of N'Djamena.
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