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Named after the Niger River, the Republic of Niger is the largest country in West Africa. Although you will not find ocean beaches in Niger, it has numerous attractions making it a destination of choice in the region. Over 80% of its surface area is covered by the Sahara desert. It borders seven countries including; Algeria, Libya, Nigeria and Chad. Its capital city is Niamey.
Niger has a rich historical background giving it its cultural and archeological attractions today. It was home to the Hausa, Fulani kingdoms among other empires. You will also find details of pre-colonial Sultanate of Damagaram states. Its colonial French history also provides a crucial heritage in West Africa. You can visit the sites, but you would need a four wheel drive vehicle due to the rough terrain.
This is a subtropical climatic region with massive desert sand dunes. You will notice the nomadic settlements at the Lake Chad basin in the Far East. The nomads of Niger have an interesting life style. Tourists visit to explore the nomadic lifestyle. Among the nomads are the Fulani, Tuareg, Arabs, Kanuri and Toubou. The majority of Niger’s population however is the Hausa ethic group.
These ethnic groups have unique traditional practices and simple lifestyles. One site you must visit is the Sultanate’s Palace in the city of Zinder. Experience the Hausa traditional Ramadan festival at Sultan’s palace. You will also find their mud traditional homes at Zinder. With Islam as the main religion, you have a lot to learn about the Niger Islamic practices and the Arabic dialect. Niamey city has a number of large mosque buildings
Learn about the Animists in Niger and their exceptional practices. These are indigenous groups that adhere to their ancient traditional religion. You will find them in the southern parts of Niger.
Experience the camel rides around the Air Mountains and the Sahara Desert. The Tenere Natural Reserves and the Niger National Park have a variety to offer. These are World Heritage Sites for tourist attractions in the region.
Travelling across this landlocked nation requires a reliable means. You can access its neighboring states via road. If you are a visitor, there are public vehicles and car rental services as well. Whether you plan to visit the small or large cities, you will find highways linking Niger cities. To access the desert region, you need to hire a 4x4 vehicle to be able to navigate through the tough terrain and sand pistes.
Niger’s climate is often hot, dry, and dusty. As you take your trip, carry the ideal clothes for the weather. Protective gear like sunglasses and SPF lotion will protect you from the harsh sun rays. The southern parts of Niger have a tropical climate and you will find numerous resorts, hotels and lodges around the country. You need to research on your location for the best accommodation. There are car rental services with cheap car hire rates for all seasons. Carry a quality camera devise for spectacular photos like the scenic views of the African sunset.
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