Niger’s natural landscape is what travelers generally seek out, and we too think it’s simply breathtaking. Despite being one of West Africa’s largest countries, Niger is among the least populated; moving around is easier here compared with doing so in other highly populated or congested countries in Africa. The country’s population is concentrated around the Niger River, where the country’s capital, Niamey, is located.
The main ethnic groups in Niger are the Hausa, who account for roughly half of the population, and the other group, split between such nomadic tribes as the Fulani and Tuareg, as well as the Djerma-Songahi.
Whether you’re traveling to see the many mosques, the sparkling Niger River, or the various animals, you are bound to find something here that you can’t find anywhere else in Africa.
The Top 5: What to Do in Niger
1. Boating on the Niger River:
The Niger River is known for hippo spotting. Plan a boat ride down this body of water for a day (or even a few days) to take in the animal sights.
2. Dinosaurs in Agadez :
This bustling city is known for its numerous dinosaur-tracking expeditions and fossils. The excavation sites are worth exploring, so plan at least one full day to check them out.
3. Grand Mosque:
The Grand Mosque of Agadez is not built in a typical Islamic fashion, with tall minarets and domes. This sand-colored triangular tower, built in the 1500s and rebuilt in the 1800s, is one of the iconic sites of Agadez. The single tower, rising above the flat skyline of the city, is a must-see.
4. Markets in Niamey:
Spend an afternoon and get lost in the Grande Marché and Petit Marché. Snag some great deals on clothes, jewelry, art, and various unique items.
5. The National Museum of Niger:
Given its entrance fee of only $2, you have absolutely no reason not to visit this treasure trove in Niamey. Learn about the ancient culture of Niger; see dinosaur bones that were discovered in Niger and plenty of traditional art.
When to Go
Considering that Niger is one of the hottest countries in Africa, it is best to plan your trip according to what kind of heat you think you can handle. Niger has two seasons: the rainy season lasts from June to September, and the majority of rainfall occurs between June and August. The dry season, between October and May, tends to be dryer and cooler. We recommend traveling between December and February.
Two festivals, the Cure Salee
and the Wodaabe Gerewol
, are among the world’s most colorful and exciting, and we recommend checking their dates before you plan your trip to Niger.