Lake, Niger

10 reasons why you should travel to Niger right now

Anar Mammadov Anar Mammadov 19 February 2021
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The Republic of Niger is one of the few places that has preserved its traditions and culture for many years. It is a mixture of scenic views, diverse fauna, historical treasures and sand dunes. Where is Niger? The country is located in West Africa, surrounded by such neighbours as Chad, Algeria, Mali, Libya, Burkina Faso, and Benin. The capital of Niger is the wondrous city of Niamey. With an area of 1,267,000 km2, it is the sixth-largest country in Africa. The third-largest river in Africa, the Niger, makes its way through its surroundings. It is not the richest country on the mainland, but this did not break the zeal of its citizens to attract the attention of travelers. And their activities are quite successful, as every year about 70 thousand tourists travel to the country. So what is so attractive conceals this piece of the planet, let's take it in order.

1. Ancient cities of Niger

niger river

The country of Niger has gone through a really impressive series of historical events, starting with the Kiffian culture, continuing with the Arab sultanates and the French colonization. The ancient city of Agadez, built in the 11th century, can be considered one of the main assets that have survived to this day. Surrounded by the desert area of the city, it fascinates with its mysterious atmosphere of seclusion from the rest of the world. Once hailed as the epicenter of Islamic culture, the city was also a transit point for trade caravans. Nowadays, tourists can afford to visit the still inhabited city and see its unusual buildings. Also, the status of a shopping area is preserved here, you will certainly find a lot of interesting things in the local souvenir shops. Another noteworthy city founded during the Arab Middle Ages, Zinder is the cultural capital of Niger. It also carried the purpose of connecting trade routes and some of the markets you will be able to visit in our time. Among the attractions today, there are many beautiful buildings made of clay, the attractive Birnin quarter, which is a network of labyrinths and the "Grand Mosque". Has also been popular at the time in all of Africa the slave market. These and other cities of Niger will undoubtedly be informative for all lovers of historical travel.

2. National parks and nature reserves

bird in national park

Despite its weak economic condition, the Republic of Niger can boast of merits in the protection of the biosphere. In the territory where is Niger located, there are quite a few national parks and nature reserves, two of which are included in the International Biological Program of UNESCO-M. A. B. (eng. The Man and the Biosphere Programme). Among them, the most famous are: The Kure Giraffe Sanctuary is a great opportunity to get to know the tallest animals in the world up close. West African giraffes, although not in large numbers, still roam the reserve in groups, looking for food and places to rest. Tourists can take part in excursions around the huge nature reserve and even feed the majestic giraffes. The reserve is a two-hour drive from the capital of Niger, Niamey. National Park W (Double-Ve) is a huge reserve that has spread to the territories of Niger, Burkina Faso and Benin. It bears this characteristic name because of its curves in the shape of the letter W. Since 1996, the Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site and covers a significant part of the unspoilt Sudano-Sahelian savanna. This reserve is a refuge for wildlife that has disappeared in other parts of West Africa or is under great threat. Among them: elephants, lions, cheetahs and African manatees.

The Aire and Tenere National Reserve is one of the largest protected areas in Africa. It is divided into two main zones: the Calamus mountain range and the Tenere Desert Plain. This region of Niger on the map is famous for its marble mountains, which are of exceptional aesthetic interest. The territory is home to the endangered species of antelope: Dorcus gazelle, Leptocera gazelle and Addax antelope. Also within the reserve, you can find some varieties of ungulates and more than 160 species of birds.

3. Country of festival

festival

Undoubtedly, Niger can be marked on the world map as a country where the cultural aspects of the ancestors are highly honored. From generation to generation, solemn rites are passed on and observed. The residents themselves are prone to emotional immersion and like to vent all the negativity through dancing and rituals. Festival Gerewol a good example. This is an annual event of the Wodaabe Fulani tribe, whose men are famous for their attractiveness and the desire to prove yourself. The main goal is to find a wife for a young and lonely member of the tribe. To do this, men dress lavishly and apply makeup to impress "potential wives". Make-up highlights their white teeth, bright eyes and sharp nose, which, in their opinion, make up a man. Participants with the help of "yaake" dances demonstrate their slimness, high growth and endurance. Applicants can also declare specific intentions about one woman and submit a so-called application for her husband. But in the end, everything falls on mutual consent and if the girl does not agree, the efforts are lost in vain. Another interesting festival that is held in the north-east of Niger is the festival "Salt Treatment". The festival lasts about a week, but the main ones are two days. The exact date changes every year and is announced about a month in advance, depending on the intensity of the rains. Its whole essence is in the social and cultural relations between Niger people. Old friends can meet, men are looking for wives, people are talking about the latest news. The contingent needs such activities, as people have settled in almost all the fields of West Africa, which are separated by the Niger River. But since the cattle need salt to stay healthy, the nomads gather in the In Gall area during the "salt treatment".

4. National Museum of Niger

painting on the wall

Another cultural concept that can reveal the capital of Niger, it can be considered the national Museum. It was founded in 1959 next to the Franco-Nigerian Cultural Center and the Center for Linguistic and Historical Studies of the Oral Tradition. The museum is located on the territory of the park, where you can also find a cultural and scientific department and a zoo, from time to time exhibitions are held. As exhibits here you can find traditional art objects, costumes, dinosaur bones, and the last tree of the Sahara. In addition, you can get acquainted with the works of art of the ancient inhabitants of these lands "Fulani". During the excursions, visitors are even invited to purchase some items of historical value as a souvenir.

5. Sultan's Palace in Zinder

sultans palace

This surprisingly well-preserved building of the eighteenth century is one of the few monuments still preserved in the world. Having survived the French conquest, it became an indisputable proof of the existence of culture in Niger even before colonization. This palace perfectly reflects the culture and essence that also reflects the country of Niger as a whole, it has been home to 22 generations of sultans for many years, and it is completely decorated with African paintings and frescoes on huge adobe walls. A visit to the Sultan's Palace in Zinder will give you an idea of what the Republic of Niger would have been like if it had been built by independent Africans, so this palace is the most visited attraction.

6. The great market Niamey

market

It has long been known that for many centuries the country of Niger supported the economy through trade. The cities of Niger, based on the ways of traders and their markets, have contributed to the progress in all areas, as well as the current tourism. After all, tourists still have the opportunity to visit such markets. The market is Niamey, located in the centre of the city near the Grand March to the South-East from the government area of Plateau. It is built in the colonial zone that separates the "European" and "African" parts of the city. For a close acquaintance with the life of the local Niger population and for buying something to remember, the Great Market is the best option. Every year, about 15 thousand tourists do not deny themselves the pleasure of visiting this commercial attraction, mainly the handicraft area of the market is popular.

7. Ayr Plateau

ayr plateau

From geography lessons, we know that the Niger on the map can not boast of a large number of mountains, but their quality and aesthetics, it is quite capable. The mountain scenery here, stretching as far as the eye can see, is more than 400 kilometers long and 240 kilometers wide. They are among the most unusual places to visit in Niger. Some sources of life are able to survive, for example, you'll see the huts of the Tuareg, and to the North of Agadez village Teguidda-n-Assum. Oasis Iferan is the starting point of the most exciting expeditions to the Air. Along the way, you will meet the most beautiful dunes in the Sahara — Temet and the Timia oasis among the volcanic landscapes. The south-eastern part of Calamus will impress with its uniqueness, its remoteness has allowed the residents to preserve their original way of life. Traveling through this region, you will be redirected to Mont-have Idoukal-n-Tages, at the gates of the Tenere. The area is well-watered and has many gardens. The region is also rich in rock paintings and engravings, which is a bonus for those who like to plunge into history while traveling.

8. The Citadel Dosso

hut

It was the seat of the Dosso Kingdom until the late 19th century, which dominated the entire Zarma region until the colonization of Niger. The stronghold was formed by defensive walls and a palace surrounded by them. The traditional ruler of these lands was called "Jermaka", literally meaning "king of Jermas". The citadel is located in the city of the same name in the south-west of the Republic of Niger. The vital foundation of the ancient Islamic monarchy is still preserved by some descendants of its inhabitants. Today, all these are exhibits of a modern museum erected on the territory. Since 2006, the Dosso Citadel has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, raising the country to a step in cultural progress.

9. Oasis of Timia

river

Oasis Of Timia is one of the best places to visit in Niger. Although the great river Niger flows through the entire country, the water resources of Niger are not rich. But there are some that will surprise you. Timia is a small town in the Agadez region of northern Niger. The magical distinguishing feature of the town is that it is located in an oasis. Visitors come from different countries to see the seasonal waterfall-the "Pearl of the North", the former French fort and the nearby ruined town of Assode. Also, in the right season, guests have the chance to observe the local fauna: many species of birds, giraffes and elephants. In addition to its famous oasis, Timia is home to date, palm and citrus trees. The local Niger population called "Tuareg" will welcome you quite friendly. They are famous for their knowledge of folk medicine and will be happy to share their secrets with you. Tourists can buy soothing herbs, unusual spices and local "cocktails". It is also worth trying the delicious dishes prepared by the Tuareg right in front of you.

10. Source Tapedeck

bird

The vast Sahara Desert and its numerous oases in the northern parts of the republic are in themselves an attractive attraction. However, among the healing springs in the region of West Africa, where Niger is located, the only hot spring in this country, known locally for its healing properties, was found. Located in about 160 km west of Agadez, the Tafadek spring with a capacity of more than 5 l / s and a temperature of about 50°C, rich in fluoride and silica, is special water suitable for use in balneotherapy for the treatment of orthopedic, rheumatological, neurological diseases. The source is also useful for the prevention of the urinary tract and is suitable for the treatment of osteoporosis. Tafadek will turn into a modern resort that promotes the development of health tourism, the need for which the Republic of Niger has long experienced. This can start a new dawn in the health and economic development of the country and the region as a whole. Thus making Niger even more famous on the world map.

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Anar Mammadov

Anar has been promoting himself to tourism for several years now. He believes that the key to success can be obtained by starting to learn something new. And the surest way, in his opinion,  is to travel, because nothing cheers us up as getting to know new people and their cultures. His interests also include cinematography and all its components, being another incentive to visit the places where his favourite films were shot. Working in hotels as a guest relations agent taught him not only the basic requirements of "conquering the horizons" but also the most critical lesson: "New places and experiences are better than old hobbies".

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