Getting there & away
The crossing between Arlit and Tamanrasset at Assamakka/In Guezzam is open, though you must travel with licensed travel agencies on both sides (even with private 4WDs).
Bush taxis don’t cross the Gaya/Malanville border, so use a moto (CFA500) or walk between the towns. Once across, local transport abounds.
The main crossing is Foetchango, southwest of Niamey. Minibuses (CFA8100, 11 hours) leaving Niamey’s gare routière, 1km west of Kennedy Bridge, and SNTV buses connect Niamey and Ouagadougou (CFA10, 000, nine to 11 hours, Tuesday to Sunday).
Those with vehicles can also cross via Téra, northwest of Niamey.
Some landcruisers make weekly journeys from Nguigmi to Mao (CFA15, 000). From Mao, daily landcruisers serve N’Djaména.
Get your passport stamped in Nguigmi and Mao (expect an unofficial US$6 ‘fee’).
This border is only open to traffic entering Niger, though you must be in the company of a licensed Nigerien travel agency.
A slow boat connects Ayorou to Gao (CFA14, 000, two days) on Monday. A hat and plentiful water are crucial. Minibuses to Ayorou from Niamey (CFA3000, four hours) leave from Katako Marché (Blvd de l’Indépendance).
From Niamey the Gaya/Kamba crossing is quickest. Minibuses/Peugeots run from Niamey to Gaya (CFA4100/4500, 4½/5½ hours), where motos and taxis access the border (CFA100). From there take a moto to Kamba (200N).
Motos (CFA100) connect Birni N’Konni to the border, where minibuses/Peugeots run to Sokoto (300N/350N, 1½ hours).
Afriqiyah Airways (8U; www.afriqiyah.aero) Hub: Tripoli.
Air Burkina (2J; 73 70 67; www.air-burkina.com ; Rue du Commerce) Hub: Ougadougou.
Toumaï Air Tchad (73 04 05; Rue du Gaweye) Hub: N’Djaména.