We never really considered Niger Republic a destination of choice till we saw this photo from Loriade.
Immediately she put it on Instagram, all the huge travel curation platforms jumped on it. Two reasons; it was/is a gorgeous photo and it was different location. It’s not every time you see people of color as visitors or even working in Niger Republic. We had to get a story from her centered around the basics of getting around Niamey. Things every Nigerian should know before they head to Niger Republic. We agree, its not the popular destination of choice but you never know who might find information useful.
Loriade is currently on a #54by54 mission (visiting all the 54 African countries before she turns 54). She’s lived/worked/visited 20 countries which is quite impressive! The African continent has so much beauty to offer and we are looking at exploring more African countries. Loriade blogs at lorikemi.com and you can follow her frequent travels on Instagram @lorikemi
Both Niger and Nigeria are a part of ECOWAS. All a Nigerian passport holder needs to travel to Niger is a valid international passport and a yellow card. If you are up for an adventure, there are a couple of routes by road and Niger Republic from Kebbi State or Sokoto State. Order borders include Kano State, Maiduguri and even good old Daura (the city where our current president is from). However, I took the easy way out and flew.
I traveled to Niamey on Air Cote d’Ivoire via Abidjan i.e Air Core d’Ivoire. There is also had the option to travel on Asky via Lome but I chose to travel with Air Cote d’Ivoire because the ticket was slightly cheaper and the journey was shorter overall. See! Niger Republic has some options.
Where I stayed
I stayed with a coworker and I did not have to spend any money on accommodation. Some great hotels I had the opportunity to visit during my stay in Niamey includes Hotel Gaweye, Grand Hotel and Hotel Terminus. I will highly recommend this for people who intent to go to Niamey for work/ business purposes.
Eating in Niamey
My eating in Niamey was not very adventurous. However, I did try a dish made with moringa leaves and my co workers and I had it with fried meat. There is also fari masa, which is like the Nigerian Puff-Puff. Aside from that, based on what my coworkers ate and what was offered at “local restaurants,” I got a sense that Nigeriens eat a lot of rice, vegetables and red meat. The riverside bar/restaurant at the Grand Hotel, especially, is famous for its brochettes (meat skewers).
Nigeriens use the West African CFA which was traded at a rate of 1 USD for 600 CFA. I was in Niamey in March and early April 2017. I usually spent between 5,000-8,000 CFA (about 8-13 USD) for a meal and drink when I bought food (pizza, sandwich and fries, shawarma and fries, etc.). My go to restaurants where at Amandine and La Cabane. These restaurants are well patronized by the expat community. I spent less than 3,000 CFA when I bought rice, meat and stew or a sandwich at “local restaurants.”
Things to do
I spent most of my time at my host’s home or the office of the organization where I was working, but I notably had drinks at the bar behind the Piscine Olympique and attended a traditional Nigerien wedding reception with a coworker and his family in the Terminus neighborhood.
I had lunch at Amandine and La Cabane a couple of times, dinner at Le Pillier, and took a stroll along the river Niger near the restaurant Camp Banda. One evening I checked out La Plage, a popular hangout spot for Niamey’s youth, and watched the sun set from the bridge nearby. I also went to the National Museum and watched children play soccer on the grounds of the Grand Mosque after getting a private tour on my second to last day.
LK is currently in Dakar and we are drooling over her entire feed! So perharps a Dakar story next? Niger Republic seems like a place we’ll do a quick dash to and back, perhaps a weekend away. What do you guys think? Explore Niger or nah?