“In spite of being one of world’s most beautiful countries, Niger is, ironically, one of the least visited. But there is also a lot more to Niger than an exotic desert landscape. The tribes are nomadic and rich in cultural heritage offering travelers a chance to experience a truly original adventure. If explored, the country promises beautiful dunes of the Tenere Desert, picturesque Trans-Saharan trade route towns of Zinder and Agadez and the spectacular Aïr Mountains.”
Canoeing - Travelers can opt to travel the Niger River either in motorboats or canoes. The river runs through Mali and the “W” game park enabling you to catch a glimpse of Niger’s multi layered culture from exotic wild life to avid sportsmen. The rivers can also be fished and proves to be a wonderful experience in the months of April to December. However, big game hunting is illegal.
Nature & Wildlife - The National Museum of Niamey consists of large parks, a botanical garden and a zoo along with the Hippodrome and the Franco-Nigerian Cultural Center, an area for artisans and craftsmen. This region hosts both camel and horse races on Sundays. The W National Park, on the outskirts of Niamey, boasts an abundance of wildlife that includes buffaloes, lions, elephants, jackals, baboons and hyenas. The reserve also has a prolific bird life. One of Africa’s most spectacular landscapes is the Aïr Mountains that has a slightly higher rainfall than the semi arid regions surrounding it. Niger is home to several species of animals not ordinarily common at this latitude such as leopards, giraffes and lions. Giraffes are also often encountered around the Tillabéri region in Kouré.
Camel Markets - Agadez has one of the finest camel markets in the world. Enthusiasts can watch the process of auctions, interact with the local people and view the best quality livestock in the market. A trek to the market from the city can also be an interesting journey for any explorer. For any dealmakers that like to bargain it is useful to know that good prices at a camel market range between $3,000 and $6,000.
Expeditions - Many visitors to Niger arrange for a classic expedition through the springs and mountains of Tafadek and Igouloulef. A journey across the Djado Mounta and the Ténéré Desert can also be equally interesting because of the prehistoric ruins to be found there. In Agadez, the mud mosque is truly a sight to behold.
Organized Tours - Though Niger is often described as a desert safari, 2-day tours on motorboats are available from the capital. These tours tend to cover the game viewing regions in the country. Visitors also get to see the Boru Village that is famous for the Gurura Falls. The trip also includes visits to the Shiroro Hydroelectric Dam, Zurgurma Park, the Bida town and the Centotaph in Mungo Park. The National Games Park and the Kainji Lake are major attractions if visitors want to watch animals closely.
Festivals - The festival of the Peulth people of Niger, at the end of the ‘rains,’ is a lively and exciting ritual to witness and the gerewol of the Wodaabé tribe are fascinating people to meet. The nomads gather together around this time to collect new pastures and call it the Cure Salée.
The winter months of December to February are the coolest and driest periods, making them a good time to visit Niger. Temperatures often soar beyond 45C (113F) from March to June, making desert travel uncomfortable.
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