Unique tourism in Niger: what to see, features of entry and local transport
Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, located in West Africa. About 80% of its territory is located in the Sahara desert. The remaining 20% is in the Sahel semi-desert. Given that the country's population is about 23 million people, there is always a problem with technical and drinking water. Despite the climatic difficulties, many tourists from all over the world come here every year.
Climate of Niger
The country has a tropical and subtropical climate. The average air temperature is +35°C, and in summer (from March to July) the heat can reach +50°C. Sometimes there are sandstorms, during which the wind brings sand from the Sahara. This results in sandy fog. At this time, it is better to stay indoors. In the northern part, rains rarely fall, filling the few rivers with water. However, in many parts of the country, precipitation does not fall for many years.
Therefore, when traveling to Niger, you need to be prepared for a hot and arid climate. And it is better to choose a cooler season — from September to February.
How to get to Niger
Getting to the country is often difficult for tourists. Not all countries have direct flights. Therefore, many tourists are forced to use transit flights. For example, through European countries, Nigeria, Laos and others. Nearby African countries can be reached by rail.
Despite the poverty of the population and the country as a whole, the transport infrastructure of Niger is well-developed. It is represented by buses and taxis. Buses ply both in cities and between them. True, their quality leaves much to be desired, but this is compensated by cheap travel. On average, the fare is 3 US cents in local currency. Zemidzhany - taxis on motorcycles ply around the city.
Please note that when driving towards Algiers, the bus may be endangered, because a civil war is going on in this country!
The best hotels are located in the capital city of Niamey. The quality of the hotels in general and the rooms in particular is satisfactory, but not luxurious. Quite suitable for long stays. The approximate price of a double room for a period of 7 days is from 1000 to 1500 US dollars. Rooms can be booked independently or by contacting a travel company.
There is a very cheap option — an overnight stay under the open sky. This approach is practiced in small settlements. Since there are no air conditioners in the rooms of cheap hotels, many tourists spend the night just on the street. No one touches or condemns anyone. This way you can save a lot of money.
Sights of Niger
There are many attractions in the country. The capital itself, the city of Niamey, is a metropolis with modern shopping centers and restaurants. The city is located in the desert, so the sky is always clear at night.
Another attraction is the National Museum. It is dedicated to the history and way of life of the local population. In the museum, you can not only see the exposition but also buy works of local masters.
In the city of Agadez, Vix Quartier is located — an ancient defensive fort that has remained here since the days of colonial life. On its territory, there is a beautiful mosque.
The city of Zinder is a separate attraction of Niger. In the past, it was the capital of the country. The Sultan's Palace and the Grand Mosque are located in the ancient city. It makes sense to go inside on an excursion and enjoy the local beauty.
Before the rains come, the locals organize Que-Sail, a cultural festival. Dances, camel races, cavalry parades,s and other entertainment events are held here. The festival is considered the most massive and beautiful in West Africa.
Documents for traveling to Niger
Since martial law is in effect in Niger, a visa is required for all tourists. You can get it from your nearest embassy. This usually requires the following documents:
- Foreign passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from the moment of crossing the border;
- tickets to and from the country;
- housing rental documents;
- A completed application form;
- photographs of the established sample;
- medical insurance;
- certificate of vaccination against yellow fever.
In some cases, this list may be supplemented by other documents. When applying for a visa through legal advice, the process is simplified, since workers do this work for you. As for ordering medical insurance, this can also be done in the same company.
The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.
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