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The Lake Chad District

"As usual, our arising at Gao was before dawn," for a thousand mile flight to Fort Lamy. "On this day's flying to Lamy and the next, we crossed stretches of country barren beyond words, a no-man's land of eternal want, where the natives cling tenaciously to an existence almost incomprehensible to westerners."

For the first 170 the Electra followed the Niger River where it where crossed the military post at Niamey. It was later learned that French authorities had been waiting at the field to receive the Electra "but at the time, with the weather treating us well, it seemed wise to press on." Amelia compared much of the terrain in Central African to that of of the southwestern part of the U.S.

After crossing Zinder, Niger, the flight crossed into the valley of the Yobe River. "Long arms and bayous of brown water backed up across the land." Lake Chad, spreading roughly 30,000 square miles, sat directly half way across the continent. From the air the lake had no real distinguishable features; a few islands of different shapes and sizes were outlined against the water. "Looking down on these islands, I glimpsed pictures of strange creatures and outlandish Things, with lumpy paws, flat heads and ghoulish abnormalities." At 12:55 GMT the Electra touched down in Fort Lamy where it was refueled later that evening due to the extreme heat!

The Times News, Friday, June 11, 1937

AE leaning against the tail of her Electra

Factsheet for the airfield at Fort Lamy


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