Musée National du Niger

Museum in Niamey

The sprawling Musée National du Niger is one of West Africa's standouts. Numerous themed pavilions, each tipping their hat to Hausa architecture, give visitors a peek into Niger's present and past. The Pablo Toucet pavilion displays the dress of Niger's different ethnic groups - a quick way to train the eye for differentiating these groups as you travel around Niger.

While common sense and science dictate that there are no 2m-tall, 15m-long crocodiles wandering the earth today, one jaw-dropping glimpse of the Boubou Hana pavilion's 100 million-year-old Sarcosuchus imperator, or 'Super Croc', and you'll be second guessing everything - chilling indeed! Oddly, similarly aged dinosaur skeletons (with comparably sized teeth) in the Palaeontology/Prehistory pavilion don't elicit any similar irrational fears, only thoughts of these past creatures' majesty. Nearby, anchored in concrete, is the infamous Arbre de Ténéré.