Niger

Niger

Avoid Travel

The Republic of Niger is a landlocked nation in western Africa. Niger shares borders with Algeria, Libya, Chad, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Mali. About two-thirds of this country is desert. The population is about 17.4 million people. The government is a republic with a president as chief of state and a prime minister as head of government.

Niger gained independence from France in 1960, but development has been hindered by political instability. Niger had elections in 2011 that were deemed to be democratic and fair. Niger is a major exporter of uranium, however, the economy has been adversely affected by fluctuations in the price of uranium. Also, the country has suffered economically from the political instability, food shortages and locust infestations. Niger remains one of the poorest nations in the world.

Travellers to Niger can enjoy sites such as Zuma rock, Baro Empire Hill, Kainji Lake Park,the Sahara, Aïr Mountains & Ténéré Desert. Also of interest are Agadez and Zinder, which are ancient trading centres in the Sahara.

Currency XOF: West African CFA franc
Language French
Capital Niamey
Recent Alerts 3
Latest Alert June 08, 2017 - Warning - false meningitis vaccine identified in Niger

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Niger. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Niger through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Niger.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Niger, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever

The yellow fever vaccination is recommended. This country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for all travellers 1 year of age and older and recommends the vaccination for travellers departing Niger. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also state that the yellow fever vaccination is recommended for all travellers aged 9 months or over travelling to areas south of the Sahara Desert, and that the vaccination is not recommended for travellers whose itineraries are limited to areas in the Sahara Desert.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in Niger. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Cholera

Cholera outbreaks occur in Niger. The risk to travellers is low unless living or working in poor sanitary conditions, drinking untreated water or eating poorly cooked or raw seafood in this country.

Meningitis

Meningitis outbreaks may occur in Niger. Travellers who visit during the dry season (December to June) or expect to have prolonged contact with the local population are especially at risk.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in Niger. Travellers to Niger are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Dengue Fever

Outbreaks of dengue fever may occur.

Malaria

All areas of Niger are at high risk for malaria.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever occurs in this country.

Sleeping Sickness (Type 1)

African trypanosomiasis (“sleeping sickness”) occurs in this country. Travellers to urban areas are not at risk.

Zika Fever

Zika fever may occur in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Niger.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

The yellow fever vaccination is recommended. This country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for all travellers 1 year of age and older and recommends the vaccination for travellers departing Niger. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also state that the yellow fever vaccination is recommended for all travellers aged 9 months or over travelling to areas south of the Sahara Desert, and that the vaccination is not recommended for travellers whose itineraries are limited to areas in the Sahara Desert.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Meningitis Vaccine

Because this country is located in the sub-Saharan meningitis belt, vaccination against meningitis is recommended if travelling during the dry season (December to June).

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Niger.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medications include atovaquone-proguanil, mefloquine or doxycycline. Resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxime-pyrimethamine has been reported.

Safety and Security in Niger

Emergency Numbers

17 Call may go unanswered
+227-20-72-25-53 Call may go unanswered.

Personal Safety

The crime level is high, especially theft, and foreigners are often targeted. Keep valuables secure and out of sight. Keep vehicle doors locked and windows up.

Do not walk alone at night. Do not walk alone around the following areas as muggings have been reported: Petit Marché, Gaweye Hotel, Kennedy Bridge, and National Museum areas.

Criminal activity is reported in border areas. Do not cross the border with Nigeria after dark. There are reports of robberies on public transportation between Agadez and Arlit and between Tahoua and Agadez. Some people have been killed in these robberies.

Road travel in this country can be difficult due to poor road conditions and lack of infrastructure. Avoid road travel between towns after dark.

There is no law against same-sex activity, however, there is strong social stigma and possible discrimination against homosexuality in Niger.

Areas To Avoid

Avoid all travel to the following areas due to activities of armed groups, mined areas, or terrorist activities:

  • areas of Tahoua province north of, and including, the city of Tahoua;

  • the province of Agadez and the city of Agadez, and including the road to Assamakato;

  • all areas north of the city of Abalak, including the Aïr Massif region;

  • areas within 40 kilometres of the border with Nigeria in Diffa, Zinder and Maradi provinces;

  • the area of Tillabéri province north of Niamey, which includes the road from Niamey to Gao and the road from Niamey to Menaka.

The Governor of the city of Agadez has banned vehicles without a security forces escort from leaving the city after 4:00 pm. Attacks against tourists have occurred at El Meki between Agadez and Timia. The Aïr and Ténéré regions are particularly high-risk areas.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office reports that the local authorities are extremely sensitive about foreigners travelling out of Tahouato other parts of Niger in the east and the north. Due to the security situation in that area, there is a risk of arrest and deportation for even enquiring about travel to Agadez.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office reports that the roads listed below in northern Niger are permanently closed to tourists, except with special authorisation:

  • Chirfa (Djado)/Djanet (Algeria)

  • Achouloma (north Djado) / Salvador Pass (Libya)

  • Adrar Bous (north Aïr) / Djanet (Algeria)

  • Adrar Bous (north Aïr) / In Azawa (Algeria)

  • Agadez / Arlit /Iferouane

  • Agadez / Tahoua

Extreme Violence

There is a high threat from terrorism. Due to the French intervention in Mali, there is the threat of retaliatory attacks in the region, including in Niger. The threat of kidnapping is particularly high for Westerners in Niger. Kidnappings have occurred and some individuals have been executed, including tourists.

Political Unrest

Demonstrations and protests occur frequently in Niger. Avoid all public gatherings and demonstrations.

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