Chad, officially called the Republic of Chad, is landlocked country in the north of Africa. While much of the country is comprised of the northern Sahara desert zone and the arid Sahelian belt region in the centre, there is also the much more fertile Sudanese savannah zone located in the south. The most prominent geographical feature is Lake Chad on the edge of the Sahara Desert, after which the country is named. It is the largest wetland in Chad and even though it has shrunk considerably since 1960, it is slowly recovering its body of water and growing in size since 2000.
Since 2003, crude oil has become the primary source of export earnings for Chad, thus superseding the traditionally important cotton industry. The major direct foreign investment in the oil sector began in 2000 with companies like Exxon Mobile, boosting the country's economic prospects. Thanks to this economic boom, many new and comfortable hotels have sprung up in Chad, catering for the needs of the rising number of business travellers each year.