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Niger Country Guide

  1. Country Facts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Africa
Full Name: Republic of Niger
Capital City: Niamey
Language Spoken: French (official), Hausa, Djerma

Niger Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

16 00 N, 8 00 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Niger River 200 m highest point: Mont Bagzane 2,022 m

Land boundaries

total: 5,697 km border countries: Algeria 956 km, Benin 266 km, Burkina Faso 628 km, Chad 1,175 km, Libya 354 km, Mali 821 km, Nigeria 1,497 km

Natural hazards

recurring droughts

Natural resources

uranium, coal, iron ore, tin, phosphates, gold, molybdenum, gypsum, salt, petroleum

Land use

arable land: 11.43% permanent crops: 0.01% other: 88.56% (2005)

Environmental current issues

overgrazing; soil erosion; deforestation; desertification; wildlife populations (such as elephant, hippopotamus, giraffe, and lion) threatened because of poaching and habitat destruction

Climate

Summers are extremely hot. The dry season is from October to May. Heavy rains with high temperatures are common in July and August. Required clothing Lightweight cottons and linens are required most of the year. Warmer clothes during the cool evenings, especially in the north, are essential. Rainwear is advisable.

Time difference

time difference: UTC+1

Population

12,525,094 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 46.9% (male 2,994,022/female 2,882,273) 15-64 years: 50.7% (male 3,262,114/female 3,083,522) 65 years and over: 2.4% (male 150,982/female 152,181) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 16.5 years male: 16.5 years female: 16.4 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

2.92% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

50.73 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

20.91 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.61 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.99 male(s)/female total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 43.76 years male: 43.8 years female: 43.73 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

7.46 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

A lightweight suit and tie are generally acceptable. Knowledge of French is essential, as interpreters are not readily available and executives seldom speak English. Nigerien culture is largely traditional and Muslim, and most potential business partners are practicing Muslims. Getting to know individuals is very important, and taking time for visits and meals together is recommended. Rushing matters is unseemly and may only serve to destroy confidence in a foreigner's good intentions. Under the 1990 investment code (and amendments) industrial investments enjoy tax and customs exoneration and even, in some cases, exemptions from the value added tax (vat). All investors benefit from periods of special tax treatment and tariff protection, which vary with the level and type of investment. The investment code contains no provisions for screening and guarantees equal treatment to any foreign investor, regardless of nationality. Total foreign ownership is permitted in all sectors except those few restricted for national security purposes like arms and munitions dealing and private security forces. Office hours are 0730-1230 and 1500-1800 Monday to Friday, 0730-1230 Saturday (winter); 0730-1230 and 1530-1830 Monday to Friday, 0730-1230 Saturday (summer).

Crime

Crime has become a significant problem in Niamey as well as in certain remote areas. Visitors should not walk alone around the Gaweye Hotel, National Museum, and 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 still active in northern and eastern Niger, especially on roads between major cities. Caution and common sense must be used at all times in order to avoid thieves and pick-pockets.

Hotels

Niamey has one modern four star hotel (Sofitel Gaweye) and several lesser accommodations. Regional cities have modest accommodations, but these are below the standards that most western business people are accustomed to.

Communications

Telephone IDD service is available in the country. The country code is 227 and there are no area codes. The outgoing international code is 00. Telegram services are available from the Chief Telegraph Office, Niamey, some hotels and other telegraph offices. There are three rates of charge. Airmail to Western Europe takes up to two weeks. Post offices are generally open 0730-1230 and 1530-1800.

Electricity

is 220/380 volts AC, 50Hz. Electricity 220 volts AC, 50Hz.

Plug Types

A,B,C,D,E,F

Food And Dining

Although Niger has concentrated on improving its agriculture, shortages of locally produced foodstuffs are common, owing to drought. Traditional dishes tend to be less varied than in countries further south and are usually based around millet, rice or nieb?, a type of bean that has become an important crop. Beef and mutton are common in the Hausa country and the nomadic regions of the north. In both areas, brochettes are sold in the streets. Foura, which consists of small balls of ground and slightly fermented millet crushed with milk, sugar and spices, is a specialty. African, Asian and European dishes are also served, particularly in Niamey, using local fish, meat and vegetables. Niger's most popular drink is tea, which is available everywhere from street stalls. There is also a good selection of imported beverages. Alcohol is available, but there are restrictions because of Muslim beliefs and traditions. Tipping : Expected for most services, usually 10 per cent. Most hotels add a 10 to 15 per cent service charge.

Nightlife
In Niamey, there are several nightclubs with music and dancing. There are also three open-air cinemas in the capital.

Entry departure requirements

* Please see visa section below

Visa immigration information

Passports

Passport valid for six months required by all, except holders of National ID Cards issued to Benin, Burkina Faso, C?te d'Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo, and holders of a UN laissez-passer.

Visas

Required by all except the following:
(a) 1. nationals of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, C?te d'Ivoire, Denmark, Finland, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia & Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Togo and Tunisia;
(b) alien residents holding a valid 'Permis de S?jour' or 'Visa de S?jour';
(c) transit passengers continuing their journey within 24 hours and who do not leave the airport. Some nationals do require a visa for transit. Contact Consular section at Embassy for further information.

Note

Visa exemptions generally apply for periods of up to three months. However, it is advised to contact the nearest Embassy/Consulate for further details as this may vary according to nationality.

Types of visa and cost

Ordinary: US$59 (up to three-month stay).

Validity

Up to three months, depending on purpose of stay.

Application to

Nearest Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy); see General Info section.

Application requirements

(a) Valid passport. (b) Three completed and signed application forms. (c) Three passport-size photos. (d) A return or onward ticket. (e) Proof of sufficient funds (eg bank letter). (f) Yellow fever vaccination certificate (cholera also required if traveling from a neighboring country which has reported an outbreak). (g) Postal applications should be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed, registered envelope. (h) Fee, payable by cash or money order. Tourist: (a)-(h) and, (i) Copy of letter from travel agent certifying round-trip ticket has been purchased. (j) Bank statement or proof of at least US$500 (for road travelers). Transit: (a)-(i) and, (j) Photocopy of round-trip ticket and/or itinerary.

Working days required

Two. A visa can be processed within 24 hours for an extra fee of ?16.

Exit permit

Must be obtained from the Immigration Department in Niamey before departure (except for nationals who do not require an entry visa).

Note

Passports must be presented to the police in each town where an overnight stay is intended. Passports are stamped at each town, so blank pages will be required. It is prohibited to travel by any route other than that stamped in the passport by the police.

HIV entry requirements

Test required for foreigners seeking to marry nationals of Niger

Departure tax

None

Embassies

Embassy of the Republic of Niger in the USA

2204 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 483 4224/5/6/7.
Website: http://www.embassyofniger.org/

Travel Advice

Travelers are advised against all travel to the A?r Massif, T?n?r? and Kaouar regions due to clashes between the Nigerien security forces and armed groups. It is possible, however, to travel north from Agadez as far as the tree of T?n?r? and south as far as the Termit Massif.
Travelers are advised against all travel to the Azawagh area, particularly the area between the Malian and Algerian borders and the Nigerien towns of Tahoua and Ingall, and to the east of the A?r Massif and the area north of Iferouane up to the Algerian border.
Border areas are generally insecure and travelers are advised to avoid a 200km-deep zone along the borders with Mali, Algeria/Libya and Chad.
Travelers are advised against all but essential travel on the Agadez-Arlit road. Certain roads are permanently closed to tourists without special authorization.
Travelers should always use local guides and seek local advice when traveling outside of the main towns and in desert areas, and avoid traveling after dark.
Niger is facing a serious food crisis affecting up to 2.5 million people. A major international relief operation is underway. Visitors considering traveling outside major towns should ensure they take adequate provisions.
Terrorists are active in countries neighboring Niger, including Algeria and Chad. Travelers should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.
Website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/niger

US Department of State

Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Niger.html

Currency

CFA (Communaut? Financiaire Africaine) Franc (XOF) = 100 centimes. Notes are in denominations of XOF10,000, 5000, 2500, 1000 and 500. Coins are in denominations of XOF250, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1. Niger is part of the French Monetary Area. Only currency issued by the Banque des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (Bank of West African States) is valid; currency issued by the Banque des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale (Bank of Central African States) is not. The CFA Franc is tied to the Euro.

Currency restrictions

The import of local currency is unrestricted. Export of local currency is limited to XOF25,000. The import and export of foreign currency is unlimited.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1100 and 1600-1700.

Currency exchange

Currency can be exchanged at the airport as well as at main banks and hotels.

Credit cards

Diners Club and MasterCard are both accepted on a limited basis. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travellers cheques

Accepted by hotels, restaurants, most shops and airline offices. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in Euros.

N/A

  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreaks
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Avoid dental treatment as the standards of care and hygiene cannot be guaranteed.

Medication Availability

There is little medication available in Niger

Blood supplies

Blood supplies should be considered as unsafe in Niger

Medical facilities

Medical facilities are poor in Niger, particularly outside the city of Niamey. Medicines are in short supply.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools; avoid freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured. Respiratory infections and allergies are a continuing problem. Due to the lack of adequate emergency facilities, automobile accidents pose the greatest potential danger. Persons with heart disease, diabetes, or asthma should be aware that facilities are completely inadequate to care for their condition should the need arise.

Immunization

Cholera: Although limited in effectiveness, vaccination may be appropriate for persons living and/or working in less than sanitary conditions for more than 3 months where medical facilities are unavailable. Vaccination may also be appropriate for travelers with impaired gastric defenses who are planning an extended visit or being exposed to unsanitary conditions. Vaccination is not advised for pregnant women, infants younger than 6 months old, or persons with a history of severe reaction to the vaccine. Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Meningitis: Meningococcal vaccine is recommended for travelers, particularly during the December-June dry season when epidemics are most likely to occur. Importance of vaccination increases with length of stay and/or exposure to crowded conditions. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination. Protection may be less effective for infants and children aged 3-23 months than it is for persons aged 2 years and older. Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Rabies: Preexposure vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 30 days who are expected to be at risk to bites from domestic and/or wild animals (particularly dogs), or for persons engaged in high risk activities such as spelunking or animal handling. Need for vaccination is more important if potential exposure is in rural areas and if adequate postexposure care is not readily available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Yellow fever: Vaccination is recommended for travelers over 9 months of age going outside of urban areas. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne diseases: are major causes of illness. Many diseases, including yellow fever, are endemic, with only scattered cases being reported and, from time to time, more extensive outbreaks. Filariasis - prevalent Leishmaniasis - occurs (both cutaneous and visceral types may be found, particularly in the drier areas) Malaria - prevalent Onchocerciasis (river blindness) - prevalent Relapsing fever - occurs Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) - occurs (human type - mainly in small, isolated areas - is reported) Tungiasis - prevalent Typhus - occurs (louse-, flea-, and tick-borne types occur) Food-borne and water-borne illness: highly endemic. The dysenteries and diarrheal diseases, giardiasis, the typhoid fevers and viral hepatitis are widespread. Echinococcosis (hydatid disease) is widespread in animal-breeding areas. Cholera - occurs Dracunculiasis - occurs Helminthic (parasitic worm) infections - prevalent Lassa fever - occurs (exists in some rural areas, and people visiting these areas should take particular care to avoid rat-contaminated food or food containers; but the extent of the disease should not be exaggerated) Schistosomiasis - common Other hazards: Diseases such as measles and diphtheria are commonly reported, and cases of polio still occur regularly. Influenza risk extends throughout the year. Meningococcal meningitis - occurs (risk is highest during the December-June dry season, when epidemics are most likely) Rabies - occurs Trachoma - prevalent

Entry requirements

Cholera: None. (Contrary to published requirements, the U.S. Embassy reports that proof of cholera vaccination is required; however, this policy may not be consistently enforced.) Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age coming from all countries.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

NameAddress
Clinique du PlateauBP 11631 Niamey
Clinique GamkalleyBP 324 Corniche Gamkalley Niamey

Media


Press: All newspapers are published in French; most are weeklies.
Radio: BBC World Service (website: www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice) and Voice of America (website: www.voa.gov) can be received. From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online.

Need help?

UK Customer Services0330 880 3600

Open Mon - Fri 8:30am - 6pm.
Sat 8:30am - 4pm.
(Calls may be monitored or recorded)

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