Very little is known about many countries in Africa, even for enthusiastic travelers. During my research, there have been more than a few instances where I have been baffled by the lack of publicly available information or resources about certain countries.
One of these countries is Niger. Yes, the country next door to Nigeria which has a similar name almost and is bordered by other African giants like Mali, Algeria, Libya and Chad are everywhere. This ancient West African country filled, at first glance, with the beautiful orange sands of the Sahara, is largely undiscovered by the outside world and rarely rings a bell for the layman.
However, in addition to all the very few stories you’ll hear about Niger lies a nation born from the fusion of African and Arab cultures. These two major influences that shaped the country survive to this day, with people still celebrating extravagant Ramadan festivals at some point, and the next Cure Salee or “Bedouin Festival”.
Much to the chagrin of those already eager to know what’s on in Niger, a large part of the country remains off-limits as the country remains largely unstable at the moment.
However, if you are interested in knowing what it takes to get a visa for the country with your British passport, read on.
Quick facts about Niger
international number: +227
Currency: West African Franc (XOF)
Languages you speak: French, Arabic, Bodoma, Volfoldi, Gormanshima, Hausa, Kanuri, Zarma and Shonghai, Tamasheq, Tasawak, Tpu
Emergency numbers: +227 15 for the ambulance, +227 18 for the fire department, +227 17 for the police
Niger Tourist Visa Requirements
- A valid passport
- 2 copies of Visa application formDuly packed
- 2 personal photos
- Two copies of your passport information page
- for you Flight ticket reservations
- Yellow fever vaccination certificate
- Pre-approval letter from the National Police for entry to Niger via Niamey (for those who wish to obtain a visa on arrival)
- A prepaid, stamped return envelope in case you would like the Embassy to mail your passport back
Step-by-step process for obtaining a tourist visa for Niger through the Nigerien Embassy in Paris
1. Complete your requirements by filling in the form, printing it, requesting a pre-approval letter, etc.
2. If you plan to get your visa early, submit your application to the Embassy of Niger in Paris and pay the application fee (all payments must be made in cash because checks, credit cards and money orders are not accepted).
3. Once your payment has been forwarded and all requirements are completed, wait for your visa to be processed and approved.
4. Once approved, it will be returned to you and you can travel to Niger!
Step-by-step process for obtaining a Niger tourist visa on arrival
1. Apply for a pre-approved letter from the Nigerian National Police to be able to enter via Niamey.
** Currently there are no contact details available for the National Police online, so it is best to send an email [email protected].
2. Once you arrive in Niger, submit your pre-approved letter along with your passport and all other supporting documents to the immigration office which will hold it for one working day.
3. Return to the Director General of Immigration the next day to register with them and retrieve your passport.
Where to apply for a Niger tourist visa
Embassy of Niger in Paris
154 rue de Longchamp, 75116 Paris
phone: +00 33 (1) 4504 8060
email: [email protected]
Frequently Asked Questions About Traveling To Niger
1. How long does it take to process a tourist visa to Niger?
It will take about 5 working days to process your application for a tourist visa to Niger.
2. What is the cost of applying for a tourist visa to Niger?
A single entry visa will cost you around £82 while a multiple-entry tourist visa will cost you around £134.
3. What is the validity period of a tourist visa to Niger?
A single entry visa to Niger will allow you to stay for one month in the country. On the other hand, a multiple-entry tourist visa allows you to stay for up to 3 months.
4. Can I get my application fee refunded if a tourist visa to Niger is refused?
Unfortunately no. All consular fees are non-refundable in any way.
5. Can I expedite my order?
The Embassy of Niger in Paris allows visa applications to be explored in some cases and may cost you an additional £45.
6. Is it safe to visit Niger?
Unfortunately, the UK government advises its citizens to avoid traveling to a large part of Niger and to travel to the rest of the country except for essential travel.
Several travel advisory websites also mentioned the same, citing incidents against foreigners as well as the threat of terrorism as the main reason.
However, proceeding with your journey is still entirely at your discretion. If you decide to go ahead with it, make sure you always keep up to date with the latest news and advice.
Also, if you decide to continue visiting Niger, make sure to be vigilant, especially in places where visitors are frequent such as hotels, restaurants, etc. Try to stay away from large crowds as much as possible where the attackers’ targets can be easily reached
Remember that these roads are permanently closed to tourists, unless you have a special permit so you can avoid them as much as possible:
- Al-Shorfa (Djado) / Djanet (Algeria)
- Ashuluma (North Djado) / Salvador Corridor (Libya)
- Adrar Bousse (North Air) / Djanet (Algeria)
- Adrar Bousse (North Air) / Azoua (Algeria)
- Agadez / Arlette / Iferouane
- Agadez / cook
7. Do I need to get insurance if I am visiting Niger?
For your safety, it is always better to take all-inclusive trips and medical insurance before setting off on your journey.
8. Do they speak English in Niger?
Niger is more of a francophone than an anglophone country. If you are going to communicate with locals, you may need to get an interpreter.
If you have any additional questions about your trip, you can contact the Niger Tourism Promotion Center here:
Niger Tourism Promotion Center
President Heinrich Lübcke Street
PO Box 612, Niamey
Tel: (+227) 20 73 24 47
9. Can I exchange my money in Niger? Do they accept credit cards? Can I use my ATM card?
Yes, no, maybe.
Yes, you can cash your money in a bank in Niamey.
No, it’s impossible to find a place that can process your credit card payments (and it could cost you a fortune).
You may be able to withdraw funds using certain credit cards in Niamey.
10. How do I get to Niger?
Getting a flight is easy since very few connecting flights fly to and from London and Niamey regularly.
11. What is the best time to visit Niger?
If you want to avoid the rainy season in the country, the best time to visit it is in January and July to September and from November to December. During this time, temperatures are very high with very little or no chances of rain.
12. Why are you visiting Niger?
To be exact, all the negative things you might hear or read about Niger probably don’t do wonders justice.
The streets of Niger are lined with some of Africa’s most beautiful architectural buildings such as the Sultan’s Palace and the Agadez Grande Mosque which are some of the country’s top attractions.
Thanks to its location, Niger is also the perfect place for you if you want to taste the Sahara and travel on a seemingly endless sandy road.
Finally, Niger, just like its neighboring countries, is also home to some of the most amazing wildlife on the continent and the world. Visit W National Park which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and catch your eye as giraffes, elephants, lions and more coexist on this beautiful piece of land.
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