Bush taxis leave early from the Wadatta (pronounced Wa-dah-TAH) gare in Niamey, 1,750F per person in a minivan or slightly more in a station wagon. Or, you can rent out an entire station wagon for 20,000F one-way. One decent driver is Oumarou, 96-62-73-96.
See and Do
Sunday is market day in Balleyara, a 2-hour drive east from Niamey. The spectacular market gets going at about 10AM. Balleyara is known across West Africa for having one of the largest animal markets, with camels, long-horn bulls, horses, sheep, goats, and more for sale. Sellers and buyers come to the Balleyara animal market from all across Niger and other nearby countries. It also has a very lively regular market with a mix of Zarma, Bella, and Fulani cultures.
- Traditional hand-woven wedding blankets in bright colorful patterns: 7000F-20000F depending on size and complicated weaving.
- Black etched wooden bowls: 500-1000F for small, 1500-2500F for medium, and 3-4500 for large, depending on negotiating skills and number of foreigners in the group (the more foreigners, the higher the price).
- Carved spoons, available from the same guys as the black etched wooden bowls: 150-250F depending on size and quality.
- Carved calabashes
- Pagne fabric 5000F for 3 pagnes (6 meters) or 2000F for 1 pagne (2 meters). Enitex brand from Niger is less: 4000F for 3 pagnes or 1500F for 1 pagne.
Eat and Drink
Street food stands are your best option. You can also find delicious local bread and sweet bread. On the main road just outside the market are a couple of boutiques that serve food such as rice and sauce, omelet sandwiches, etc. Filtered and sealed water is for sale for 25F each, known as "PureWater" (pronounced Pure-Watta)
There are no hotels in town but there is a new campement/resort about 3 km before town, with all the amenities. However, you could also visit Balleyara as just a day-trip from Niamey.
No internet yet in Balleyara (as of 2008). Good cell phone reception.