Getting there & away
With or without your own 4WD, exploring the Aïr or Ténéré without a licensed travel agency and feuille de route (official itinerary) is illegal.
A 4WD and three days will provide a sniff of the Aïr. To taste the Ténéré takes at least a week. While they cover less distance and involve a lot of walking, a camel caravan (from CFA30, 000 per day) is amazing. 4WD expeditions start at CFA80,000 per day.
Though significantly decreased, banditry still exists.