Eco-friendly travel guide to Niger advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Niger, Africa.
- Air quality: 1.5 / 5
- Bus connections: 3 / 5
- Train connections: 0 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 3 / 5
- National parks: 4 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2.5 / 5
- Safety: 3 / 5
- Accommodation: US$25 - $250
- Budget per day: US$100 - $300
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
Taking a trip to West Africa is not a bad idea. One of the countries you can visit in this region is Niger. It is a predominantly Muslim country with French as the official language.
Tourists usually have a good time in this country due to the friendliness of the locals. Although the poor state of the nation stands out, it should not hinder you from visiting.
While exploring different places and the general idea of tourism is great, it is also harmful for the environment because of the way tourists travel today. It is of utmost importance to be a responsible traveller especially when we are at the verge of a climate disaster.
- Choosing the right transport method: A major part of your travel experience includes discovering every nook and cranny of the city. While you will have transport options like private cars and taxis at your disposal you need to know that not only do they contribute to more congestion and traffic pollution but also emit harmful gases into the environment. So, choose options like walking, cycling, electronic and public transportation in general.
- Trying local food: A huge part of the local culture is the traditional food that is offered at the local traditional restaurants and by street food vendors. Instead of just sticking to international fast food franchises that contribute to so much waste being produced in the world, you should try the local options. Not only will it help the local economy but also will directly help the families whose sole source of earning are these small food businesses.
- Do not throw waste: As an eco-friendly traveler, you need to promote sustainable living as much as possible in the city to motivate not only fellow tourists but local people. When you visit any tourists attractions especially city parks, make sure you do not throw any food wrapper and do not just stop at that but if you see any trash, pick it up and throw it in the dustbin. It might look like a very small thing to do but has a huge impact on people watching especially the children present in the park since they learn and mimic the behaviour of other people around them.
- Choose a green hotel: Plenty of accommodations are available in the city that provide you with a top-notch experience but instead of choosing them, you can pick green hotels for your stay. They use eco-friendly measures to reduce the pollution and waste of the city. This is one of the great ways to contribute towards the city to keep it safe and clean.
- Shop local: In order to support local craftsmen and artisans always shop local. During your trip to the city, you will come across small shops and food stalls in almost every lane of the city. If you want to have an unforgettable experience in the city, then buy goods and handicrafts from these shops. This will not only help you to save a lot of money but you will be supporting a lot of local people who are dependent on their small businesses to earn a livelihood.
Air Quality and Pollution
It is always important to note that Niger is one of the poorest countries in Africa. Thus, many things may seem out of place.
This plays out in terms of air quality. The locals of this country engage in activities that lead to air pollution. There are many reasons for this, including ignorance and illiteracy.
If you are concerned about this country’s air quality, it is helpful to know that the World Health Organization considers it unsafe. Thus, it is best to brace yourself appropriately when visiting this place.
Niger is an excellent place to visit but has certain hitches like its air quality.
Respect the Culture
The people of Niger are one of the sweetest you will meet in the world. Although they are not rich, they have a warm spirit and always ready to welcome foreigners. The idea is for tourists to feel at home in their country.
You must reciprocate their kind gesture by showing respect when you are in Niger. A way of doing this is by accepting the little gifts they offer. It shows that you are appreciative and do not look down on their impoverished state.
Understandably, foreigners love to have a camera that assists in capturing moments. It is best to ask for permission before snapping people in this country.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Although they are not much, here are some of the unique sights that will get your attention in Niger:
- Grande Mosquée d'Agadez (Agadez): Interestingly, it is the tallest mud-brick structure in the world. It is a mosque that is sure to get attention. Everyone is usually in awe of the design as it is made from clay. We can say that its architecture is its selling point.
- Ferme YOUYOU (Niamey): Paying a trip to a safari park when in Niger is not a bad idea. People say that they have a swell time when they visit it as there is positive energy from the locals in charge. Some people also use it as a picnic location due to its relaxing vibes. We can assure you that you will love visiting this place.
- Termit Massif: It is helpful to know that there are mountains in Niger. Visiting a mountainous region doesn’t sound out of place when in this region. It gets more exciting when you go as a group. You get to see the country from different angles.
- Great Mosque of Niamey: The fact that this structure has been in place since 11970 leaves everyone in awe. Thus. Its architectural framework gets a lot of attention from foreigners. It is easy to notice this place.
- Kouré Giraffe Reserve (Kouré): Have you ever seen a giraffe up close before? Visiting this place lets you see giraffes, and we know you would love the sight. It is helpful to know that entrance to this reserve is not free. It comes in handy that there is a tour guide in this place. You may be lucky to get a chance to play with the giraffes.
There is no way a foreigner will visit a new place and not want to explore. It is a culture that you cannot take away from tourists.
However, the ability to explore is dependent on the places available within the country. Niger might be a developing nation, but it has some highlight that makes the trip worth it.
Visiting this country is never a bad idea as you experience new culture, practices and more.
We advise that you do not coop yourself indoors when you are in this country. Explore the sights, and we know that you may get a reason to return to the county.
It is not out of place to think of exploring the city parks when in Niger. It can serve as the first point of call.
However, it is essential to note that there are no city parks in all countries. Thus, you should not always expect to see one.
If you are visiting Niger, you would not see any city park. Thus, we cannot say that foreigners can explore city parks when in this country.
Other possible options are feasible for exploration and we will highlight them. However, city parks are out of the equation.
Having city parks in the country would have added to its aesthetics.
Another place that people can explore when in a new area is the national park. A place can have one or more.
It is also best to note that you might not see national parks everywhere. But you can see when you visit Niger.
A national park you would see in this country is:
- W Bénin-Niger National Park: Interestingly, this national park is owned and managed by three countries; Burkina Faso, Niger, and the Benin Republic. It is safe to say that this place is a haven for many animals. You might not be permitted to see all the animals when you visit, but you will enjoy the ones you see. It is always a top-notch experience.
We see that foreigners also love to hang out at the beach when in a new country or area. This means that beaches are perfect places to explore.
Some people say that you can find your life partner on a beach. This is because you are bound to see many people. We like to play it safe by saying that the beach is a perfect way to make new friends and connections.
Sadly, you should not expect to see a beach in Niger. It should not be on your list of places to explore as there are no beaches in this country. A tourist has to make do with other options.
It is always essential to have landmarks in every country to ensure that people do not get missing as they are trying to navigate from one point to another. It mostly comes in handy for foreigners who are not used to how things operate in the area.
Niger is a small country, so the available landmarks are not many. Typically, most of the tourist attractions quality as a landmark.
One of the outstanding and historical landmarks in this country is the Grande Mosquée d'Agadez. Its design is something that will always appeal to the eyes, and it is a tall structure. Thus, you can always see it, even from afar. It is best to use in the description of places.
We do not think that a country cannot have a museum. It is one of the essential that you will always see when you travel to a new place.
The number of museums a place has does not matter. What matters is that you see at least one museum in the area. After all, how else do they intend to preserve their history?
A museum in Niger is:
- Musée National Boubou Hama (Niamey): It is the national museum of Niger located in its capital city. You get to see all aspects of Niger’s history at this pace. Including animals. You will not regret paying a visit to this place.
Staying in Niger or visiting the country entails eating its traditional local meals. It is something that you cannot escape.
These meals are almost like regular meals that you can get in many places. The difference is the preparation process sometimes. It is helpful to know that many people in this country engage in agriculture. It is why it sometimes feels like there is surplus food in Niger.
The traditional local foods in Niger are from agricultural produce. Thus, it is safe to say that some of the traditional local foods in Niger are rice, millet, beans, maize, and much more.
You will want more once you taste them in their final state.
These meals are usually eaten with either soup or stews. There is no need to crack your head thinking of where you can get the meals in Niger.
Once you are in the country, getting the local foods is not an issue. When you look around, you will realize that there are many traditional local restaurants. These places are efficient in preparing the local meals and will be your best option.
If you can remember, we said that the locals of this country are warm and welcoming. It plays out in how receiving they are of foreigners in the restaurants.
You are sure to enjoy the local foods in style when you eat at any traditional local restaurant.
Over time, we have seen that some people have different meal preferences for others. Such people are called vegans. Typically, the preparation process of their foods will differ from others.
If you are a vegetarian visiting Niger, there is no need to fear or panic. The country also has vegan restaurants. Eating at such places will give an unforgettable satisfaction.
The effort put into the preparation process ensures that you do not get anything below quality. These meals are enjoyable, and we know that you will not regret eating at a vegan restaurant in this city. Instead, we are sure to find you going there daily due to the meal quality.
You can also get street foods when you visit the Niger republic. These are snacks or light meals that you can get on the roadside. We do not know what you think about Niger. However, allow us to tell you that there are many street foods in this country.
There is an inexhaustive list of available street foods in this country. Our advice is that you enjoy yourself while trying them. We are sure that you would have a favorite before leaving the country.
Since street foods are light meals, it is always easy to lose track of how many you have eaten. It also comes in handy that they are affordable.
We must highlight that there are no restrictions to drinking alcohol in Niger. What matters is the age restriction.
If you are more than 18 years of age, you can enjoy the different drink options in Niger.
There are many drink options in this country, so it is hard to pick the commonest. However, we would play it safe by saying that tea is one of the country’s commonest drinks.
There is almost no one in the country who does not drink tea. We are yet to know if there is a unique process for the tea preparation or something.
The concerns people raise about drinking tap water in Niger are almost like the questions that follow air quality.
People are curious to know if they can drink tap water in Niger as it is easy to trigger your health if it is not portable.
Drinking tap water in Niger is unsafe, and people are advised to stick to other options. Not many people or areas in the country even have access to potable drinking water.
It is one of the biggest concerns that the country is facing. If there is any way to help them, you should offer solutions when in the country.
People say that there should be fun activities to do in a place for it to qualify as an exciting place to visit. We see that people add fishing and kayaking to the list of things a person can do in a new place.
Fishing and kayaking are dependent on the availability of water bodies in the country. This is lacking in Niger.
Thus, we cannot say that tourists can engage in fishing or kayaking when in the country. However, it does not mean that this place is not worth visiting as there are other activities a person can do.
It is always important to remember that water activities are not feasible.
People also ask if it is possible to engage in yoga in Niger. If you are a yogi, nothing stops you from engaging in yoga in your space. However, we know that people are curious to know if there are yoga studios to collaborate with others.
We cannot say that yoga is an everyday activity in Niger. The people in this area are not well-knowledgeable about this activity. Thus, you cannot see yoga studios.
Hopefully, they will get to know more about yoga with time. However, you can introduce it to those around you.
The people of Niger do not engage in yoga because it is not yet widespread in the area.
It is best to know where you would be staying before you visit a new country. No tourist wants a situation where they would be stranded because they do not have a place to stay.
For most people traveling to Niger, it is their first time. Thus, they do not have an idea of the available accommodation option.
We will highlight them so you can familiarize yourself with them. This helps you decide as you can see if it falls within your accommodation budget range.
There is a lot to gain in knowing the available accommodation options before you leave your home city.
By now, it is already established that Niger is a developing country. Thus, it would be best if you do not have high expectations when visiting.
A green hotel is an eco-friendly place. Some people have it as their favorite place to stay. There is only one green hotel in Niger.
If you want to stay in this place, it is best to make bookings before arriving in the country. After all, there may be many others who also want to stay in a green hotel.
The green hotel in Niger is:
- Radisson Blu Hotel & Conference Center (Niamey): The rooms are big and comfortable. Some people say that all your worries about visiting a new place will leave your body when you stay in this hotel. It comes in handy that it is eco-friendly.
Hostels and Guest Houses
You can also get some hostels and guesthouses in Niger. Again, we would like to state that they are not much since the country is small.
Niger does not get a high inflow of foreigners, making sense that the number of accommodation facilities is not much.
The hostels and guesthouses in Niger do not have appealing exteriors. However, they come in handy, especially when looking for a cheap accommodation option.
Sometimes, the facilities in these places may be faulty. Still, you get a place to stay, and we are sure that you will be comfortable.
Some of the hostels and guesthouses in Niger are:
- Djoliba Lodge
- O2 lodge
If you are visiting Niger and wish to stay in an apartment, it should be that you are staying in the capital city. This is the only place you can get apartments for rent in the country.
The apartments are usually of a higher standard than other accommodation options. The idea is for the lodgers to have a luxurious experience.
Staying in an apartment is not exclusive to foreigners alone. Locals who want a break from their home can also stay in an apartment.
The services delivered are usually superb, tailored to fit your needs. We are not you will not have any complaints when staying in an apartment.
Suppose you want to travel to Niger on a tight budget. In such a case, you are looking for ways to cut down on costs. We know that you will be happy not to pay for accommodation.
Some people will say it is not possible. However, it is possible with Couchsurfing.
Couchsurfing allows locals and foreigners to connect and form a bond. The idea is for a local to play host to a foreigner. You can meet these locals from the Couchsurfing website.
There is no need to doubt this feasibility as it happens in many places, including Niger. If you want free accommodation, you should start checking the website now!
Niger is a country that lets you explore nature. It might not seem like a big place because of its landmass. However, you get to explore and connect with nature.
It is easy for a foreigner to be confused. This is why it comes in handy to have a local tour guide.
Understandably, camping is the reason why some people visit a new country. If this is your reason for visiting Niger, allow us to tell you that it is not a mistake. Many places in this region will make excellent campsites.
Once you work closely with the locals, you will have no issues, and you will enjoy your camping experience.
- Niamey — Capital & commercial center, possibly the least crowded/hectic capital in West Africa
- Agadez — A mecca of trade along trans-Saharan trade routes for over five centuries, home to a magnificent palace and several mosques and a gateway to the nearby Air Mountains
- Ayorou — Along picturesque section of the River Niger with one of Niger's best markets, and a starting point for river trips to Gaya
- Diffa — Peul town between shifting sand dunes and disappearing swampland which serves as the gateway to SE Niger & Lake Chad
- Dosso — has a small ethnic museum, colorful market and even more colorful chief's palace
- Maradi — Center of agriculture (especially peanuts), home to a colorful chief's palace, and near seasonal rivers/floodplains which have caused interesting land formations to the south
- Tahoua — Stop en route to Agadez
- Zinder — The cultural capital of Niger, this Peul-Hausa city has perhaps the most colorful craft markets (pottery & tanning are local specialties) as well as a noteworthy regional museum and sultan's palace
Getting There and Moving Around
Suppose you have never even been to Africa before. How do you propose getting to Niger in West Africa?
We can see you keeping a confused face. This will not happen if you are knowledgeable on ways to get there.
Not to worry, we will help with this information. We usually tell tourists that knowing how to reach their desired destination is always important.
You might not realize it, but knowing how to get there saves costs. If you do not know, you might go in circles before reaching your destination. We would not want this to happen to anyone as it would leave you frustrated.
Asides from knowing how to get there, you also need to understand how to move around once you get to the country.
There are usually different ways of moving around in a country, and every foreigner needs to know them. We would also help to highlight the means of moving around in Niger.
Once you know them, things will be easier for you during your stay in the country. Since the goal is to have an enjoyable stay, we know that you want things to be simple and stress-free.
After reading through, you should ask the locals for in-depth details if you want more information.
Walking is a way of moving around in Niger. It might not be the safest country out there, so we understand why people might have reservations about walking. Sometimes, violence occurs, and it may be targeted at foreigners. However, it is not always. The best thing to do is leave the scene immediately if you sense that it is about to get violent.
Walking around in Niger can be fun as you get to see different parts and angles. It helps in getting a closer bond with the environment.
If you do not mind covering distances by foot, you should never forget this means of movement.
The people of Niger are not strangers to bicycles. Thus, you will realize that they also use bicycles to move around.
There are no clear-cut bike lanes in this country. Thus, it would help if you were more careful as you cycle around. However, this means of transport is popular.
One can rent a bicycle from the rental stores in the country and use it at will for the duration of your stay.
You can sometimes decide to engage in a cycling competition with the locals. It makes them happy, and you will become closer to them. Using a bicycle is a way of moving around in Niger.
If a bicycle is popular in a place, one would expect that they also use scooters. However, the difference is the case in Niger.
Although it is common to see a bicycle, it is not easy to get a scooter. Thus, we cannot say that using a scooter is a way of moving around in this country.
This does not mean that it is impossible to see a scooter at all. However, the rental stores might not have them for rent. If you see a scooter around, it could be individual property.
It is best not to have thoughts of using a scooter to move around in Niger.
Niger might be a small country, but that does not mean it does not have an airport. Since there is an airport in this country, one can use air to get into the country.
Interestingly, there are two international airports in Niger. What matters is getting a flight from your current location to the country. It is always easier getting a flight to Niger if you are within West Africa. Else, the chances are slim.
If you are coming from another continent, we advise that you find your way to West African countries before getting one to Niger. We can assure you that you will get to Niger faster by air.
One can also use air as a means of moving around in the country. Some people feel that you must have a high traveling budget if you want to fly domestically in a new area.
We believe that using air to move around depends on the choice and preference of the tourist. In Niger, you can use air to move from one city to another. However, it does not make sense to think that you can use air from one point to another within the same city.
If you wish to visit places in different cities in the fastest possible time, you should use air to move around.
If there is a road connection between Niger and your present location, you can think of using a bus to the country.
Getting into Niger by bus might take a longer time, but you get to see the environment and learn possible landmarks. For some people, this is their favorite means of movement.
If you are coming from a distant place, you should not think of using a bus to Niger. Those in Nigeria, Mali, and Burkina Faso have high chances of getting a bus to Niger.
If you wish to use a bus to this country, you should be in any of the highlighted countries so you can move with ease.
It is safe to say that using a bus is the typical and commercial way of moving around in Niger. Although it is expensive, you cannot escape using this means of transport.
It operates within and between cities. You are sure of getting to different places within Niger when you use a bus.
It is helpful to know that using a bus in this country gets uncomfortable as it gets hot and you may sometimes encounter traffic. Thus, it is best if you adjust your mindset.
Anyone using a bus to move around in Niger should not expect comfort. Your concern should be getting to your destination.
Before deciding to use a train to get into any country, you should first check if it has a railway.
For those traveling to Niger, allow us to tell you that there is no railway in the country. Thus, the thought of using a train to get into the country is not feasible.
Some people will prefer to use a train when in a new area. However, it is best to stick to other means of getting to the country. Fixing your mind on using a train is disappointing as there is no railway. We are sure that you will enjoy using the other available means of transport.
Since there is no railway in this country, you should also not think of using a train to move around. We mentioned that using a bus is the popular commercial means of moving around in Niger.
Due to the non-existence of a railway within the country, people encounter traffic on the roads. There are hopes of getting a railway soon to eliminate traffic. However, we cannot give assurance about it as we are not Niger’s government.
When traveling to Niger, you should get your mindset comfortable with the idea of using a bus to move around as using a train is not feasible.
The concept of hitchhiking entails getting a free ride. It is a common practice in Niger, but we cannot say that it is always successful.
Since there is a road connection in this country, you are sure always to see a rider. Thus, you can stand on the busy roads and try stopping them. It is not always that a driver will agree to carry you for free. Sometimes, they may ask for a lesser fare. If the negotiation works for you, you should be happy.
Asides from the means of transportation we have earlier mentioned, there is no other way of getting into Niger.
You may be wondering if one cannot use a boat or ship to the country. It is essential always to remember that these transport means are dependent on having a large water body in the country that connects other places. You cannot find such in Niger.
Thus, there are no other means of getting into Niger. Instead, it would be best to stick to other available means of transport to avoid disappointments.
As a foreigner in a new place, you will find yourself desiring to buy some items. There is no need to hold back as it is a common thing with foreigners.
However, if you are mindful and patronize the local vendors, you are engaging in sustainable shopping.
Sustainable shopping comes in handy in boosting the vendor’s morale and boosting the economy and their way of living. If you can remember, Niger is a developing nation. Engaging in sustainable shopping will make the country better.
One of your first stops for sustainable shopping should be a food market. You are sure to see a high concentration of vendors at this place.
You also get to see lots of condiments and other food items. If you are willing to learn the local meals’ preparation process, the locals are ready to teach you.
Striking up a conversation with the vendors when buying is not out of place. You get to enjoy yourself, get excellent recommendations from the locals, and much more. Always ensure to engage your vendors!
Nothing should stop you from visiting second-hand stores and buying things when you are in Niger. This is popular in the country, and we know you would want to do the same thing.
You get to see an array of items at a second-hand store, and they go for a lesser amount and stays at a high quality.
It is helpful not to think that shopping at a second-hand store is for people. You get to also negotiate and pick a favorable price with the vendor.
The creative prowess of the Niger locals is top-notch. You get to see it in different aspects, even in the making of clothes.
People now make clothes from recyclable items. Thus, protecting the environment in return. What are your thoughts about it?
These clothes are called eco-fashion. It is safe to say that eco-fashion is gradually becoming a lifestyle worldwide. It may not be prevalent in Niger, but it happens.
It is best if you buy these eco-fashion items from the vendors as they are unique pieces.
A country can indulge in recycling in different ways. One of the ways we see in Niger and earlier mentioned is through eco-fashion.
Recycling happens regularly in Niger. The locals understand that some items can be re-used, birthing the idea of recycling.
Typically, there is a collection of recyclable materials, maybe bottles, and sent to the appropriate recycling channel.
We have to commend the effort they have put into recycling, and also, foreigners need to play their part when in Niger.
Since the locals of this country are proactive towards recycling, the same energy is expected when it concerns waste management.
The people do not slack when it comes to waste management. We cannot say that Niger has the perfect environment, but they try their best to ensure that waste management comes to play.
There is a serious fight against loitering in Niger, and it is best if you do not go against the rules and regulations. The goal is to leave the country cleaner than you met it.
Work and Study Abroad
You might be in Niger for schooling purposes. In that case, you would want to know many things about schooling in the country.
People usually ask if they are allowed to work while studying in Niger. The answer is yes, as there are no laws or rules that prevent anyone from working while schooling in Niger.
Since you have gotten your answer, you should start checking and deciding the school you desire to run your program.
Getting a job while in school assures you of little financial freedom. We hope that everything works out fine for you.
It will be wrong for us to say that Niger is popular for its financial institutions. There are even only a few in the country.
Thus, it makes it hard for some students to do exchange programs with schools in Niger.
We are not saying that it does not happen, but we cannot assure the ease.
If you want to do an exchange program with any school in the country, you should check that your present school allows it.
The number of international students in Niger is not much. It is best to prepare your mindset ahead for this.
The au pair system is an easy way of getting a job while in Niger. Typically, these are domesticated jobs.
You can use the au pair system in Niger. However, the available jobs will not be many.
Since this is a developing country, many people cannot take care of themselves and an extra person, which is what entails when they hire you.
If you see any available option when you do a search on the au pair website, you should not hesitate to jump on it.
A person can decide to be a volunteer in a new place. Since Niger is a developing country, you are sure that they have needs for a volunteer.
You can be a volunteer in different sectors. What matters is that you are effective at what you do.