Just finished a Niger trip: Info
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Aug 7, 2012 5:47 PM Last Post By: edthesock
Jan 9, 2012 9:12 AM
Just finished a Niger trip: InfoI just finished a Niger trip, and am trying to get to Algerian or libya next, but here was the Niger situation:
1. The road in from Mali is in perfect condition, and is not the 30 hour trip the guide mentions... I came in from Gao and the police were not a problem either.
2. Unfortunately, the info for Niamey is out of date.... the only budget hotel i could find is Moustache, not in the book, near route de islam, if I recall correctly.... and though I am about to stay there again, I cannot recommend it. Still, it might be the only choice for budget. On the plus side, down the street and slightly to the left is a cheap and good street food place.
3. You can get to Agadez no problem, about 15 hours by bus or slightly less, but once you get there, the police take your passport.
4. Nearly everything in the guidebook is closed, including restaurants. I stayed at the hotel L'air for 10300cfa per night.
Jan 9, 2012 9:35 AM
16. you can eat at the tiny local food place across from the closed pillier restaurant, for cheap. The auberge Taguelmoust is open, take a right at the water tower, near the closed airport. It is also a very good fancy hotel, at 25000 cfa per night, breakfast included.... and if you see another tourist in town, they are probably staying here. The owner, mr. Aha, a former rebel commander in the recent tourareg rebbellion, can still arrange trips to the mountains. Most places cannot, or are closed. I worked for a week to get 5 others... an italian ngo group, and we had an excellent trip .... it cost 235 000 each, all included, and this included the two truckloads with twenty soldiers, and a heavy machine gun, plus two toyota 4by4 to drive. I was offered cheaper prices before, 450 000 to take me alone, but went with the cheaper group trip that was more expensive overall.
Jan 9, 2012 9:41 AM
25. Sorry... the computer here is very bad... this has taken me more than an hour to post, with many shutdowns... anyhow the numbers for the auberge that can still arrange trips are: 00227905628 and 0022790685628 and 0022798685628 and email is firstname.lastname@example.org You will have to wait or time it that you can go with a group... there was a phone company group that left one week I was here and the ngo the next :o)
Jan 9, 2012 9:47 AM
3Onward travel is difficult: I am taking the bus back to Niamey. The airport is closed, i think.... it looks like a nuetron bomb has wiped-out the tourist industry: there are not even any tourist industry hawkers on the street. The libya embassy is open but the consul is in Niamey. As of Dec 1, the Algerian embassy does not give tourist visas. I asked around for 4 extra days to try to get around this, but without much success... I even tried for a business visa, but they issue them only to residents. the Niamey embassy is likely the same. I think that unless you are going south, it is necessary to fly from Niamey. There are no longer any flights to tameranset or anywhere else from the airport. Also, the police will not let you go north or east or anywhere but back to Niamey.
Jan 9, 2012 9:52 AM
4A fun country, but better suited now for overlanders going to Burkina or Chad. Happy trails :o)
Jan 9, 2012 6:24 PM
5No real surprises.....except that someone could tolerate spending a week in Agadez under the circumstances. Glad you found a way into the mountains, though.
I'm curious how long your 235k CFA tour lasted, and what it included. There are a lot of places in the Air you can't get to with a 4x4 and 20 armed soldiers......
Jan 12, 2012 7:08 AM
6Hi Mark ,
It was only a three full day tour; but as Mr: Aha was driving one of the toyotas, we could take many shortcuts; and saw Timia and lots more besides... not much of the tenere, sadly. Aha knew all the roads and passable non roads like the back of his hand, and could drive at 90 kmphour in places where you wonder if the car can even make it. The auberge in Timia was top notch. Still, I would have liked to do a week, but it was not in the cards, I think only Timia and suroundings are doable now if you need to find a group to go with. If you can spend a couple thousand euro, then you could do the full experience.
It as tough to spend so much time in dusty no tourist Agadez, especially as I was hustling to the point of exhaustion every day trying to solve these travel problems, They are not yet solved either: I had to backtrack 1000 km to Niamey and go to this awful mustache hotel again... It is on Ave soni Ali Ber near where it meets Ave de Islam and is 7500cfa per night. Anyhow, I tried the Libya embassy and they are not giving visas yet and dont know when they will start: I tried the Algerian embassy and they allowed me to try for a business visa if i could show documents outlining my business in the country, an invitation from an algerian, a air ticket to Algiers; proof of yellow fever shot in photocopy ect. I produced all these from my bulging visa application kit.... the dude was laughing at how many documents I could produce proving this and that and also the opposite if need be. He said he would give me the visa even though he is not supposed to, as I am not a Niger resident. But then he informed me that the wait is 14 days; and there was no way he could speed that up. Of course, I said thank you anyway, but I cant wait that long in Niger on this Niger visa.... actually I just cant wait that long in Niger... and I now have a flight to Tunis. Where i will have to start from scratch on Monday. No Travel plan survives contact with Africa ;o)
Mar 23, 2012 1:12 PM
7Cheers for the detailed trip report, shame about the various restrictions and problems, souns like Niger is best left for a few months time, would be interested to see what the situation is like now.
Aug 7, 2012 5:47 PM
8Cheers for the info Mike. What book are you using? You say the Moustache is 'not in the book' but it is listed in the LP West Africa 2009 edition. The hotel is described as insalubrious 33 rooms that await you inside, where stinky bathrooms and mosquito infested rooms are only slightly more welcoming than the crowd of hookers hanging out in the courtyard.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$57.24 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$116.16 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$201.58 per night