Niger is a country in Africa according to computergees. Visitors with a sense of adventure will encounter nomads in Niger, spot baboons or elephants in the “W” National Park, canoe down the Niger River or tour the beautiful ancient capital of the Touareg, Agadez. The former French colony is the largest country in West Africa and borders Libya, Algeria, Chad, Nigeria, Benin, Mali and Burkina Faso. Niger has been independent since 1960 but maintains close ties with France. Niger is one of the least developed countries on earth. It is mostly desert with very little fertile land. Famines regularly afflict the land, and combating poverty will continue to pose great difficulties in the future. A catastrophic food crisis that affected 2.5 million people swept Niger in 2005-2006 and required a large-scale international response.
Arriving by plane
There are no non-stop flights to Niger from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Flight connections from Frankfurt/M. Flights to Niamey include Royal Air Maroc (AT) via Casablanca and Ethiopian Airlines (ET) via Addis Ababa. Turkish Airlines (TK) flies from Vienna via Istanbul or with 2 stopovers via Ankara and Istanbul to Niamey. Swiss (LX) flies from Zurich to Niamey in cooperation with Royal Air Maroc (AT) via Casablanca; Turkish Airlines (TK) flies via Istanbul or with 2 stopovers via Istanbul and Bamako (Mali).
Frankfurt/M. – Niamey: 8 hrs 30 mins; Vienna – Niamey: 14 hrs 30 mins; Zurich – Niamey: 8 hours 55 minutes (each with at least 1 stopover. The travel time can vary considerably depending on the length of stay.)
Arrival by car
One of the main connecting roads runs from Kano (Nigeria) to Zinder. There are also trunk roads to Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali. The main Trans-Saharan desert road runs from Algiers to Asamakka and Arlit, with a paved road to Agadez. Driving in the desert can be difficult as road markings are not always visible and gas is scarce. Long-distance buses connect Burkina Faso, Benin and Mali with Niger. Toll: Most paved roads are subject to tolls. Fees are to be paid at tollbooths (poste de péage). Documents: In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license must be carried.
Arrival by train
There is no cross-border rail traffic.
Arrival by ship
The Niger is navigable between Nigeria and Niamey from mid-December to March due to its high water levels.
Travelers must report to the police in each city where they stay. The itinerary will be noted in the passport by the police at the point of departure; it must be strictly observed.
Traveling by plane
Niger Airlines (6N) offers domestic services on the Agadez-Niamey and Agadez-Dirkou routes (each in both directions) and serves the Niamey-Maradi, Maradi-Zinder and Zinder-Agadez routes. Furthermore, Niger Airlines (6N) offers the possibility to charter aircraft.
Traveling by car/bus
The road network has a total length of around 19,000 km; about 4,000 km are paved. The country’s major thoroughfares run from Niamey to Zinder, Tahoua, Arlit and Gaya. Toll: Asphalt roads are often subject to tolls. Fees are payable at toll booths (poste de péage). Gas stations are sufficiently available in the cities; rarely on overland trips.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
About a quarter of the entire road network is paved; most of the paved roads are in the south of the country, such as from the Burkina Faso border via Niamey and Zinder to Lake Chad and on the Niamey-Dosso-Gaya and Birni-Nkonni-Tahoua-Agadez-Arlit routes. Side roads are often slopes of varying quality, which are sometimes difficult to drive on during the rainy season. Off-road vehicles are best suited for these piste roads. Overland travel is easiest to manage from December to March. Driving at night should generally be avoided.
The trunk road network consists of national roads, marked with the letter N and a number.
Rental cars are available in Niamey at the airport, both with and without a driver; outside the capital only with driver. East of Agadez or Arlit, travelers in the desert region absolutely need a guide and adequate equipment. Europcar only rents vehicles with a chauffeur service.
Taxis can be found in the capital. Bush taxis connect the cities, but only start when all seats are occupied. Motorbike taxis are also available for hire in various cities.
There are relatively good bus connections between the larger towns. The state bus company SNTV operates on the routes Niamey-Maradi-Zinder, Niamey-Tahoua-Agadez-Arlit, Zinder-Agadez-Arlit and Zinder-Diffa-N’guigmi, among others. In other parts of the country you usually travel as a passenger on trucks; in the driver’s cabin a surcharge will be charged. Minibuses (bush taxis) operate throughout the country.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the car rental company should be contacted first.
In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required. A Carnet de Passage is not mandatory, but it is recommended.
Traveling in the city
The easiest way to get around in Niamey is by taxi. Shared taxis are common; single use is more expensive. The fare should be agreed in advance.
Locally on the way by train
There is currently no rail service in Niger.
Traveling by ship
From mid-December to March, the Niger is navigable for about 300 kilometers from Niamey to Gaya. Car ferries across the Niger are located at Bac Farié, about 40 km north of Niamey, and at Ayérou.