Communication between Algeria and Lake Chad by way of the Sahara was opened, after repeated failures, by the French explorer F.
The southern shores of Lake Chad for a distance of some 40 m.
For the regions west of Lake Chad the standard historical work is the Travels of Dr Heinrich Barth (5 vols., London, 1857-1858).
North of the Congo basin and separated from it by a broad undulation of the surface is the basin of Lake Chad - a flat-shored, shallow lake filled principally by the Shari coming from the south-east.
Besides the Shari, the only important stream entering Lake Chad is the Waube or Yo (otherwise the Komadugu Yobe), which rises near Kano, and flowing eastward enters the lake on its western side 40 m.
The western portion of Lake Chad (q.v.) belongs to the protectorate, which contains no other large lake.
On the route from Duala to Lake Chad is the large commercial town of Ngaundere, inhabited chiefly by Hausas and occupied by the Germans in 1901.
In the north the country drains into Lake Chad through the Logone and Shari (q.v.).
Of these cities the most important is Kano, the great emporium of trade for the central Sudan, where Tuareg and Arab from the north meet merchants from the Niger, Lake Chad and the far southern regions.
Save for the porterage round the Lata Fall the whole journey from the mouth of the Niger to Lake Chad was made by water.