We highlight some of the places filmed in Planet Earth Three’s Deserts and Grasslands episode; view elephants in Zakouma National Park and Arabian camels roaming the Ennedi plateau in Chad, ostriches and chacma baboons in Namibia.
Exploring Zakouma National Park, Chad
Fast becoming the poster-child as the unique and wild African safari destination of the moment, Chad - and more specifically Zakouma National Park - is a magical blend of conservation success story, and rugged wilderness adventure blended into one. Recent political events have started to settle and if you are looking to expand your horizons, it is certainly somewhere to consider getting to in the next couple of years before it starts to become too well-visited, losing its uniqueness.
Planet Earth III chose to film here, to not only showcase this rare wildlife spectacle, but because Zakouma has come from the brink of destruction to be a model of modern wildlife conservation. Through a strong emphasis on security, stability and local communities, the park has become a stronghold for many species that are endangered or extinct in other parts of central and west Africa. Zakouma is a beacon of hope for conservation with nearly 500 elephants now here. The elephants trust humans again, showing the amazing capabilities of these sentient creatures.
Game viewing centres upon the magnificent pans in the eastern part of the park. Their reliable water draws an abundance of wildlife and rare sub-Sahelian species like Kordofan giraffe, Lelwel’s hartebeest and northern greater kudu. Predators are much in evidence including wild dog, leopard, cheetah, lion and both spotted and striped hyena. There are also plenty of smaller cats such as serval.
Following a decade of regeneration this beautiful region of pans and Sahelian forest is thriving. After heavy rains from June to November the landscapes dry out, making February to May the perfect time for a safari. Camp Nomade, set in the heart of Zakouma National Park, is a classic mobile tented camp that moves seasonally to follow the wildlife herds, meaning explorers are always in a prime location for wildlife viewing. Only open for a short period in the dry season this camp is exclusive and very sought after.