Niger – Mysteries of the Sahara 15 days
One of the most fascinating and at the same time most inaccessible and least tourist-frequented countries of northern Africa. An expedition which is a unique opportunity to see the enticingly beautiful landscapes of the Sahara – the Ténéré Desert and Aïr Massif.
Our expedWe will visit the ruins of the towns of Djado and Djaba that used to be important centres of the lost kingdoms of northern Africa. Our expedition is an extraordinary opportunity to meet Saharan peoples and get a glimpse at their culture and traditions. We will certainly encounter Tuareg caravans and meet inhabitants of oases and towns whose history has started with the beginnings of human settlements in North Africa. During the expedition we will visit Agadez with its extraordinary historic sights and the capital of Niger, Niamey.
Flights to Niamey usually take place in the afternoon and evening. After arrival, visa formalities. Transfer to the hotel and, after a short rest, an organisational meeting and dinner.
In the morning, transfer to the airport and flight to Agadez. After arrival, transfer to the hotel. After a short rest, we will set off to visit this legendary town on the Sahara desert. We will visit a famous market that is the heart of this town, where people from the whole of the West and North Africa meet. The bazaar in Agadez is an extraordinary place – your visit there will remain in your memory for a long time. In the evening dinner in one of local
B. L. D.
After breakfast, we will start our Saharan expedition. At the beginning, we will head towards the Aïr Massif. We will stop in one of the most beautiful oases in this part of the Sahara – Auderas and Timia. Then we will set off for the heart of the Aïr Massif where we will meet the inhabitants of this region – the Tuareg people – and we will see the extraordinary rock formations built of Precambrian rocks and materials from long-extinct volcanoes. In the Timia oasis we will see palm groves, waterfalls and remainders of former glory of this ancient crossing of trade routes. We will sleep in tents
On these days, we plan to visit the ruins of the 18th century capital of the Tuareg country, Assodé, located in the central part of the Aïr Massif. Then we will drive through a region where blue marbles can be found and we will see the enticingly beautiful Issaouane sand dunes. One of the most interesting places that we will visit will be an area close to the Tamgak Mountains with its “sea of sand”. One of the most fascinating places we will see is Arakao that was named “crab claws” by French colonists. It is an area on the border between the Aïr Massif and the Ténéré Desert. We will see an extraordinary landscape shaped by the remains of extinct volcanoes and dunes up to 200 metres. Since 2006, this area is a UNESCO-protected site. The Arakao area is also famous for its unique petroglyphs created in the Neolithic era, when it was covered by a savannah and was home to multiple animal species. We will sleep in tents.
We will leave the area of the Ténéré Desert. We will continue our expedition to the north, stopping at the Acheggour wells and crossing small mountain ranges of Adrar Madet. We will stop in Dirkou and Aney – small but very important stops along the trade routes leading to the north, towards Libya. We will sleep in tents
We will continue our Saharan expedition towards extraordinary ruins in Djado and Djaba. Both towns used to be important fortifications built by the Kanuri people. Since 2006, the ruins of both towns have been under UNESCO protection. We will also visit salt mining sites and we will encounter inhabitants of small oases whose life depends on the austere Saharan nature and caravans crossing the endless desert. We will sleep in tents.
We will start our return journey south, towards Agadez. On our return route, we will visit, to get provisions and some rest, the Fachi oasis which is also called Agram by the Kanuri people. The oasis is situated between the Ténéré Desert and Erg of Bilma. In the oasis, we will see the remains of the Kasr fort built of blocks of saline soil. Having left Fachi, we will set off through the Ténéré Desert for a trip of more than 250 km, through a completely deserted area of one of the most picturesque deserts of the Sahara. We will sleep in tents.
Whole-day journey to Agadez. We will cross the Ufagadod Valley and we will stop in Kel Gress – a crossing of caravan routes. It will be our last stop before the arrival in Agadez. Well-deserved shower, dinner at a restaurant and night rest at the hotel.
W zależności od godziny wylotu do Niamey – ostatnie zwiedzanie i zakupy czas wolny . Przelot do Niamey. Transfer do hotelu. Wieczorem kolacja w jednej z lokalnych restauracji.
Depending on the departure time to Niamey – last visit to the town and shopping. Flight to Niamey. Transfer to the hotel and, after a short rest fere time and dinner.
After breakfast we plan to visit Niamey: the local museum, the market, the grand mosque. We will also have an opportunity to see the Niger River. We will be able to see for ourselves how the Niamey inhabitants can benefit from the riches of this major river in the African continent. We will also see freely living hippopotamuses and local fishers from the Djerma ethnic group. For lunch, we will go to a restaurant. After lunch, the last opportunity to purchase souvenirs and local handicraft products. In the evening we will go to the airport. Flight home from Niger.
- the length of the tour : 15 dni in Africa;
- start of the trip: Niamey;
- end of the trip: Niamey;
- the highlights of this expedition The most important attraction will be the desert expedition to one of the least accessible and least tourist-visited regions of not only Sahara but the whole of Africa. During the expedition, we will visit the exceptional Ténéré Desert and Aïr Massif. Moreover, we will see the ruins of Djado and Djaba with their outstanding architecture remembering the times of ancient kingdoms that once existed in West Africa.
The tour is oriented on sightseeing and cultural tourism. Because of the special nature of the visited places and of the expedition features, the travellers are required to be physically and mentally fit. You should be prepared to long car rides through the Saharan wilderness, often at more than +40°C. Sleeping in tents without access to toilets and showers may be very tiresome and cause considerable discomfort. Furthermore, as the expedition will take place to very remote areas, during its course there will be practically no access to medical services, except for the capital – Niamey, and Agadez. No long hikes or activities that require strenuous physical effort are envisaged during the tour. The itinerary was designed to enable best possible viewing of the places away from mass tourism routes, while meeting basic safety standards and ensuring comfort to the travellers. Bear in mind that the area of the planned expedition is mostly inhabited by Muslims, which means the need to respect cultural differences and adhering to the appropriate dress code.
Depending on the political situation, the length of the tour and the order of visited places may change. In a situation of a serious threat to travellers’ safety, the tour may be cancelled. We will keep you updated as to whether the expedition is possible.
- Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the planned end of the tour.
- Before departure, you must obtain the tourist visa at one of your nearest embassies of the Republic of Niger. You may buy the visa at the airport but if you choose this option please contact our office. To obtain a visa, you may use the services of visa agents.
- You should take with you for the tour a photocopy of your passport (the photo page) and an additional ID document.
- Take with you for the trip the yellow vaccination booklet with certified valid yellow fever vaccination – it is impossible to enter the Republic of Niger without this document and vaccination.
- Vaccination against yellow fever, tetanus, diphtheria, viral hepatitis A and B, meningococci, typhus and meningitis is recommended.
- Despite a low risk, it is worth preparing to malaria prevention (Malarone or Lariam).
- There is a risk of dengue and tuberculosis at the places planned to be visited during the trip.
- During our expedition, we will drink only bottled water. You should avoid ice in your beverages and eating raw or undercooked foods. Only private medical care exists in the Republic of Niger, and this only in the capital.
- Because of difficult travelling and accommodation conditions and particularities of the country, good general health and physical fitness are necessary. Furthermore, your patience will definitely be tested and you should prepare for hardships of long journeys, lassitude and discomfort.
- Before departure, we recommend a consultation with a family physician and a tropical medicine specialist.
- Please take with you a first aid kit and a sufficient supply of your regular (prescription) medicines, if any. Some useful contents of the first aid kit:
- insect repellents – absolutely necessary
- high sun protection cream (recommended SPF 50)
- disinfectants, wound dressing materials
- analgesics and antipyretics
- antibiotics, as a precaution
- anti-diarrhoeals, electrolytes and vitamins
- The Republic of Niger is a country characterised by political instability and a major risk of an armed conflict. However, the actual terrorist threat or armed conflict risk is nowadays relatively low in the region where we plan our expedition. We design our itineraries so as to avoid places that are potentially dangerous (northern part of the Republic of Niger).
- Owing to the good relations we have with local contractors, we keep following the news to be aware of any potential threats and safety risks. We also recommend you to read the latest news on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
- During the tour, please take seriously the instructions of our contractors, guides and tour leader.
- It is very important to respect local customs and abide by local laws and regulations. You will receive the necessary information on an on-going-basis from your local guides and the tour leader.
- It is strictly prohibited to take photos and make video recordings at military and police installations and at airports. You are also not allowed to take photos where people in military/police uniforms are present!!!
- Photographing people is possible only when they expressly agree to it. Taking pictures when the subjects have not allowed it often ends up with escalating aggressive behaviours.
The legal tender in the Republic of Niger is the Central African CFA franc. Currency exchange is possible only in the capital – at the airport and in hotels. You cannot change money anywhere else. Using payment cards is impossible outside the capital. The best foreign exchange rate is for euros. US dollars or UK pounds are not generally exchangeable.
For current foreign exchange rates see www.xe.com or install xe.com on your phone.
The official languages in the Republic of Niger are French and Arabic. Several dozen local languages are also spoken. In the case of a group tour, the tour leader will speak English or French. For self-guided tours, you must speak French, while English-speaking travellers must hire a local guide with a command of English.
The Republic of Niger is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country. The southern part is inhabited mainly by Muslims. Women do not have to wear headscarves but this is much appreciated by the locals, especially in larger towns.
It is very important to respect local customs and abide by local laws. You will receive the relevant information from your local guide or the tour leader.
The tour dates are proposed in periods of the best possible weather conditions at the sites included in the itinerary. The best time for expeditions to Niger is the period between November and March. Temperatures exceed +40°C during the day and +25°C at night in the south part of the country. During the Sahara expedition temperatures exceed +35°C during the day and +10°C at night in. High density of dust particles is a major issue. Sandstorms may appear.
For detailed information see https://www.meteoblue.com/en.
Mobile network coverage is available in most towns and villages but absent in many areas, especially outside larger towns. Purchase of a local SIM-card is complicated and of little benefit. Before the trip, please enquire with your mobile network operator whether they have a contract signed with operators in Niger and what the prices of call and SMS roaming are. To avoid a nasty surprise, we recommend disabling mobile data usage.
- Wi-Fi is available only in hotels in the largest towns: Niamey and Agadez, and in a handful of restaurants.
- Additionally, we recommend taking a capacious power bank, solar charger or car charger. In the course of car rides, it will be possible to charge electronic equipment only from vehicle power supplies.
- Power sockets of type D, E and F. Voltage 220 V, frequency 50 Hz.
For climatic and cultural reasons, loose garments will be most appropriate: long trousers, long skirts, long-sleeved shirts, which can be easily washed and will quickly dry. The most comfortable footwear for the tour will be lightweight boots. Palladium brand boots are recommended. You may walk in open sandals but in towns as well as in savannas and desert regions this may be uncomfortable because of stones, thorny plants and sharp grasses. Hiking boots are not necessary. The following are worth taking:
- aluminium sleeping pad or light self-inflating mat and thin summer sleeping bag; we provide a mattress during the trip but taking your own pad or mat will improve your sleeping comfort at the Desert expedition.
- sachet for documents and money
- wet wipes for body cleaning and antibacterial gels
- dry shampoo
- polar fleece jacket or warmer blouse, especially useful at evening and night times
- head cover and sunglasses – mandatory, the sun is no joke!
- comfortable summer clothes, useful during practically the whole trip
- light T-shirts/shirts
- useful odds and ends: torch, Swiss Army knife, sewing kit (usually is not needed but is not heavy and does not take much place), chargers, mug (for special occasions); inflatable neck pillow, useful on the plane and during car rides; small wallet for the local currency; books to pass the time on flights and car rides
Price: £ 3390 p/p
During the expedition, we will travel by 4WD vehicles. Expected number of travellers in one vehicle: 3 + the driver. Our cars may not be equipped with air conditioning or the air conditioning system may be switched off because of too much dust particles in the air. Speed depends on the road surface conditions, terrain characteristics and number and length of stops.
Republic of Niger visa cost
We are not able to guarantee a uniform accommodation standard at each of the planned sites during the stay in the Republic of Niger. Our priorities are your comfort, appropriate location, character of the site as well as historical and cultural values. We always place emphasis on the support of local community when selecting the sites for our accommodation. In general, rooms will be assigned on the assumption of two people sharing a twin room (rooms with individual bathrooms). The surcharges for single rooms are quoted in the “Price” section.
In Niamey and Agadez overnight stays in 2- and 3-star hotels (African standard) are planned during the trip.
During expedition to Ténéré Desert and Aïr Massif we will sleep in tents.
Meals are included in the tour price, as specified in the itinerary. B – breakfast, L – lunch, D – dinner. Breakfasts will be provided at the hotel. We will go for lunches and dinners to local restaurants. The cuisine of Somalia is very varied, similarly as the culture and history of this part of Africa.
For information about the local costs of living see https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/.
Services of a tour guide and local guide throughout the tour
Professional armed security
Entrance fees and permit charges.
The price includes the cost of tips and porters’ fees.
Trip preparation, visa mediation, the invitation necessary to obtain a visa
Costs of the main flight to and from Republic of NIger
Costs of flight tickets are not covered by the tour price. BTP Adventure does not directly arrange and buy tickets for international flights. However, we may suggest the best connections and airlines. For this purpose, contact us by e-mail or call us.
Visa costs and visa services.
Visa to the Republic of NIger
Insurance is not covered by the tour price. Having valid insurance is a condition for taking part in the trip. We recommend taking out insurance that will be appropriate for the planned itinerary and for your individual state of health and needs. Please send us the proof of your insurance contract.
You can purchase insurance on your own on the website of Axa or any other insurance company: https://www.axa.co.uk/travel-insurance/.
BTP Adventure may help you obtain adequate insurance cover. If you want our help, please contact us.
Meals other than those listed in the final itinerary.
Personal expenses and souvenirs.
Surcharge for a single room: 250 £
supplementary payment for the additional accommodation In the case of arrival or departure on a different date,
Additional fee for extending the trip in the case of the 17-day option
We are committed to ensure the best possible and safe and, as far as feasible, comfortable travelling through this little-frequented and extremely interesting country.
We can arrange a self-guided tour – if you are interested, please contact the office.
It is possible to extend the stay up to 17 days (Agadez, Sultanate of Dosso ) – please contact the office.
We will keep updating the detailed information on the safety and final itinerary of the tour. Before you decide to submit the booking form, please learn about the current political and sanitary situation in the Republic of Niger.
The planned expedition is an exclusive proposal prepared on the basis of our experience and knowledge of the local peculiarities and major sightseeing attractions of the southern part of the Republic of Niger.
With any questions please contact BTP ADVENTURE.
3390 £ Per Person
It is possible to extend the stay up to 17 days (Agadez, Sultanate of Dosso and Niamey sightseeing with a cruise on the NIger River) – please contact the office.