Currency: Franc CFA (BCEAO)
Exchange rate: 655,957 CFA for € 1
Time zone: UTC
Country code (phone): 00227
Climate (for capital): semi-arid
Entry and residence regulations
On March 13, 2020, President Issoufou declared on the corona pandemic that from March 19, 2020, the country’s borders and airports will be closed for at least 2 weeks; Issouffou also informed the population that schools and universities were being closed, all gatherings of more than 50 people were prohibited and that a number of other restrictions had to be observed.
From March 28, 2020, Niamey will be declared a state of emergency for two weeks; This means: the isolation of Niamey for two weeks and curfew between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.
According to thereligionfaqs, Niger has two international airports: Niamey and Agadez. There are some providers that have flights to Niger in their program. Air France is the largest airline, along with Royal Air Maroc, Ethiopian Airways, Turkish Airlines and Air Algérie.
The Federal Foreign Office provides information about the entry requirements. In addition to a valid passport, the traveler needs a visa and proof of a yellow fever vaccination (according to the WHO decision in summer 2013, a single vaccination is sufficient for life). The visa is issued by the Nigerien embassy in Berlin; You can find information on contact options at the Federal Foreign Office. Take care of your visa in good time and consult the website of the Nigerien embassy regarding possible changes such as the transfer of fees; Email contacts alone are not reliable. In the case of outgoing skilled workers, the sending organization usually helps with obtaining the visa or takes over the processing. It can take up to four weeks to issue a tourist visa.
In particular, the eastern parts of the country (Diffa region, but also Maradi and Zinder) of the Niger should not be visited because of the risk of attacks in Boko Haram, warns the Foreign Office repeatedly. There is also a risk of attacks in other parts of the country, but the capital Niamey is considered relatively safe due to the increased police and military presence. The French Embassy in Niger advises early 2017 of much of stays in the so-called. Red zone, and also those corresponding to the orange zone of the issued security card; This now also includes trips to National Park W – there is a risk of attacks.
Money and money transfer
The money transfer works without any problems, especially in the capital. In Niamey there is still a limited possibility to exchange money into FCFA via cashier’s checks. Transfers from Germany to Niger are very expensive and usually take a long time. The money transfer via Western Union is a fast but expensive option (fee approx. 10%). According to the fixed exchange rate, 1 euro is converted into 655.957 CFA francs; the costs for your exchange depend on the respective location (bank, private dealer or similar). In 2020 the change in the West African currency is in ECU to finally replace the colonial currency. There are several ATMs in Niamey: at the Banque Atlantique, the Bank of Africa and the major international hotels. Credit cards are only accepted as a method of payment in larger hotels, airlines and car rental companies.
Travel, transportation and traffic
The main traffic axes in Niger are the south-north axis (Niamey-Agadez-Tenerife desert) and the west-east axis (Niamey-Zinder-Diffa-Lake Chad) and to the west towards Tera Ayorou. There are over 10,000 km of all-weather roads, but only about 2000 km are asphalted. Many side streets are not passable during the rainy season and become mud slopes with deep holes. Petrol stations are rare in the remote areas off the main roads; Sufficient fuel reserves should always be carried with you for long journeys. There are relatively good bus connections from different companies, such as Rimbo or Azawad, between the larger towns. The prices of a trip, for example to Tahoua, are around 10,000 FCFA – some of the buses are also new and air-conditioned, which should be confirmed beforehand. Usually a fare surcharge of 2000 to 3000 FCFA is required for an air-conditioned bus. This makes traveling quite comfortable, but expectations, for example of toilets, should be lowered a lot, if there are any.
The condition of the roads in Niamey has improved tremendously in recent years. The Mali Bero in Niamey, for example, is a ring road that connects the airport region with the Yantala districts and others.
Hotel rooms are hard to come by outside of Niamey and Zinder and usually need to be booked in advance. As part of the preparations for the African Union conference in summer 2019, a number of new hotels of the highest standards were built.
The following hotels are recommended:
- Radisson Blu Hotel (Niamey)
- Noom Hotel (Niamey)
- Soluxe Hotel (Niamey)
- Bravia Hotel (Niamey)
- Riverside Residence (Niamey)
- Hotel Gaweye (Niamey)
- Grand Hotel (Niamey)
- Hotel Terminus (Niamey)
- Les Rôniers (Niamey)
- Hotel Sahel (Niamey)
- Tabakady complex (Niamey)
- Hotel Masaki (Niamey)
- Chez Tatayi (Niamey)
Many small, simple hotels have opened in Niamey over the past few years. In Tahoua there has been the Hotel Tarka on the road to Agadez since about 2008, which has received generally positive reviews. The Auberge d’Azel, the Hotel de la Paix, the Hotel Tidéne and other beautiful accommodations offer good comfort and a very pleasant atmosphere, but their future is more than uncertain because of the collapse of tourism due to the security situation. Zinder, the second largest city in Niger, has a few larger hotels, such as Le Damagaram, Malam Kal Ka Danu, Amadou Kouran Daga and the Hotel Central, but also some smaller accommodations. In Maradi there is a guest house and the Hotel Jan Gorzo.
The security situation (raids, mines, etc.) does not allow trips to the desert from Agadez or Diffa. The tourist traffic in this region hardly exists any more. When traveling in the desert there was once a good selection of agencies. Up to the riots in northern Niger and Mali, around 50 travel agencies were in Agadez. The two agencies Dunes Voyages and Agadez Tourisme at least still exist with their website.
In the vicinity of the capital Niamey there are several possibilities for excursions, such as the national museum with zoo and presentation of traditional handicrafts, a ride on the pirogue on the Niger, the market in Ayerou or Baleyara or a visit to pottery villages in the Liptako region. Excursions to the ‘Giraffe Park ‘ in the east of Niamey (80 km) or to the W National Park are also worthwhile. The old town center of Tahoua has a special charm. Agadez, the hub of traders and the picturesque Tuareg capital, does not only fascinate tourists. The Air Mountains, the oasis of Timia, the Ténére desert and the Erg Bilma are the tourist destinations of the “great north”. In the east, the route leads via Zinder, the city of the Sultan, in front of whose palace the colorfully dressed guards still Keep watch, to Diffa and Lake Chad and then into the desert and to the ruined city of Djado Unfortunately, the unrest in northern Mali and Niger has almost brought tourism to a standstill.