Niger is a developing, inland African nation whose northern area includes a part of the Sahara Desert. Tourism facilities are minimal, particularly outside the capital city, Niamey.
A passport and visa are required. Travelers should obtain the latest information on customs and entry requirements from the Embassy of the Republic of Niger, 2204 R Street N.W., Washington D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 483-4224. Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Nigerien embassy or consulate.
Niger returned to a democratically elected government in December 1999 following several years of political instability and military rule. While a sense of political stability has been restored, there continues to be potential for disturbances, particularly by students, as the new government enforces economic reform measures. U.S. citizens should avoid street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times.
Crime in Niamey has reached critical levels. Tourists should not walk alone around the Gaweye Hotel, National Museum, nor on or near the Kennedy Bridge at any time. This area is especially prone to muggings (day and night) and should be avoided. Recent criminal events in Niger have included carjackings, home invasions, and muggings. Armed bandits are particularly active in remote regions in northern and eastern Niger, especially on roads between major cities. Travelers should use caution and common sense at all times to avoid thieves and pickpockets.
Medical facilities are poor in Niger, particularly outside the city of Niamey. Medicines are in short supply.
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Niger is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
U.S. travelers should exercise caution on Niger's paved and unpaved roadways, because traffic accidents are frequent. Travelers should take care, especially at night, to avoid pedestrians, farm animals, slow-moving donkey carts, and broken-down vehicles. Banditry is a continuing problem in northern and eastern Niger. There have been reported carjackings and highway robberies in remote areas of the country.
DRESS RESTRICTIONS: Local culture and Islamic tradition encourage conservative dress for both men and women.
PHOTOGRAPHY RESTRICTIONS: Tourists are free to take pictures anywhere in Niger, except near military installations, radio and television stations, the Presidency Building, the airport, or the Kennedy Bridge. Tourists should not photograph political and student demonstrations.
CURRENCY REGULATIONS: There are no laws restricting foreign exchange transactions in Niger. The CFA franc, the money Niger shares with several other Central and West African Francophone countries, is fully convertible into French francs.
TELEPHONE SERVICE: Due to poor line quality, callers often experience delays in getting a line, and telefaxes are frequently garbled.
U.S. citizens are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Niamey on Rue des Ambassades, and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Niger. The mailing address is B.P. 11201. The telephone numbers are (227) 72-26-61 through 72-26-64. The fax numbers are (227) 73-31-67 or 72-31-46. The Embassy's Internet e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As there is no direct commercial air service at present, nor economic authority to operate such service between the U.S. and Niger, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Niger's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Niger's air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at tel. 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/iasa.pdf. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at tel. (618) 229-4801.