With the desert boasting some of the Sahara’s most beautiful dunes, the stark splendour of the Aïr Mountains & Ténéré Desert being one of West Africa’s most spectacular sights, and the intriguing, ancient trans-Saharan trade-route towns of Agadez and Zinder playing home to magnificent mazes of mudbrick architecture and fascinating locals, the international appeal of Niger as a destination is undeniable.
Odd then, that friends often ask prospective travellers ‘Why Niger?’. Press regarding Niger’s problems with localised food shortages dominates headlines and paints the entire nation in the same poor light. Some news reports would have you believe that locusts and drought regularly destroy Niger’s entire food supply. Niger is undoubtedly one of the world’s poorest countries, but taking your tourist dollars elsewhere only exacerbates the problem.
The lucky ones who do visit will witness enduring physical beauty and meet a vibrant mix of people, some of the planet’s most stoic and resilient citizens. Whether you squeeze into bush taxis with locals and travel between colourful villages, slide into a 4WD and tackle the Ténéré or lope into the Aïr aboard a camel, you’ll never forget your time in Niger.