Africa > Sahel > Niger > Northern Niger
Northern Niger covers Niger's Saharan territory.
- Agadez — the largest city in Saharan Niger.
- Arlit — the second largest city in the region.
- Bilma — gateway to the remotest reaches of the Ténéré Desert.
- Chirfa — gateway to the Djado Plateau.
- Aïr and Ténéré National Nature Reserve — beautiful desert landscapes that have long been a major draw for travelers in Niger, although sadly at present the area is not safe for travel.
If visiting in mid-September, just after the rainy season, be sure to participate in the Cure Salee, translated as the Salt Cure because of the nearby salt flats and also known as Festival of the Nomads. It's a yearly gathering by the nomadic Tuareg and Wodaabe peoples that inhabit northern Niger and Mali taking place at the village of In-gall, 115 kilometres west of Agadez. The festival is part market, part social gathering. For the Wodaabe peoples Cure Salee is the most important guérewol, or courtship ritual, of the whole year. The guérewol is a much fascinating, that is for the western traveller, ritual where the men perform dances that can go on for days wearing elaborate make-up for women to courting a potential husband.
Because of Malian troops, it is not recommended to go here.