The dusty capital city of N'Djamena, near the Cameroon border, is seldom visited as a destination by itself, but as the country's largest city, it often figures in a visit to Chad. Take time to browse and people-watch in the market areas (those scattered about town are open only in the morning—the Central Market has longer hours).

Should you find yourself in the city for more than a few hours, you might visit the National Museum, which has collections of Sarh culture dating back to the ninth century. There are some lively nightclubs in town, but ask the personnel at your hotel for tips on which venues are safest for visitors.

N'Djamena is often the jumping off point for visits to Lake Chad, which begins about 50 mi/80 km northwest of the capital.

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