Transportation - Get In
Two international airports: in Niamey and Agadez.
- Niamey has regularly scheduled flights from Europe and West Africa.
- Air France is the only major carrier with direct flights from outside of Africa, but a regional airline, Point Air Niger flies weekly between France and Niamey.
- Royal Air Maroc has good connections via Casablanca.
- Charter flights from Paris and Marseille to Niamey and Agadez (Point Afriqueairlines, see vols charters)
- Air Algerie offers flights to Niamey from Algiers.
- Afriqiyah used to fly from Tripoli.
There are a few private companies and one mission aviation group (SIMAir) that do charter flights from Niamey in small planes.
|Libya "temporarily" closed its land border with Niger on 16 December 2012. It is unclear when the border will reopen.|
Travellers can get to Niger overland by roads from Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin and Nigeria. Some adventurous souls still cross the Sahara from the north (Algeria), but that area is not secure.
Transportation - Get Around
There are no railways in Niger.
Of the 10,000km of highways over 2000 km is paved and efforts are being made to improve some of the sections that have previously been endlessly under repair. You can travel from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso all the way to Diffa, near Lake Chad on roads that are in decent to tolerable condition. The road from Niamey to "Park W" in the south is paved. The Zinder-Agadez route is being repaved after being in severe disrepair for years. The Birni Nkonni-Agadez-Arlit road is in poor shape.
The country has 27 airports/landing strips, 9 of which have paved runways.
From mid-December to March the Niger River is navigable for about 300km, from Niamey to Gaya on the Benin border.
Taxis in Niamey charge about XOF200 if the distance isn't too long, or XOF400 for going almost across the city. At the airport in Niamey there is a taxi monopoly and the lowest you'll get a taxi for is XOF3,000 - and that's if you haggle a lot! However, if you walk south from the airport you'll hit a main road and for XOF100-150 you can get a ride from a beat up van to the Grand Marché (Main Market), luggage included.
The Nigerien government has recently set up a bus service along the major routes of the country. While taking cars is exciting and interesting, they are dangerous, extremely hot, and more expensive. Plus, they are forced to pull over after midnight due to banditry. Because these cars often only leave in the evening, it can take several days to travel a relatively short distance. The large buses are brand new Mercedes buses and they carry a soldier at night so they may drive all night long. In addition, due to their large size, they can skim over potholes that would destroy the smaller vans.
Rent a car
There is almost no possibility to rent a car in the usual sense, although in 2005 a Hertz franchise came to Niamey and rents Toyota RAV4s. Also, you can rent a full-size "cat-cat" (4x4 from the French quatre-quatre) with a driver/guide, but in most cases you will have to arrange with companies that organise expeditions.
- Tidene Expeditions, BP 270 Agadez, +227 440568, fax: +227 440 578