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Old 19 Dec 2006
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Post Mali-Niger road conditions / Niger-Visa at the border ?

Hello forum,
I plan to ride next February by motorcycle (Africa Twin) from Bamako to Bilma. I still have some open questions:

1) Is it possible to get the visa for the Niger (coming from Mali) at the border?

2) For the moment it is probably not advisable to go via Burkina to the Niger, therefore the question: as for the condition of the piste between Gao and Niamey: is it just rough, or sandy as well (I dont want to put on my fresh pneus)

3) to Bikers with bigger bikes: whats the piste like from Agadez on to Bilma riding a rather heavy bike ? Or rather only to be approached with lightweight Enduros?

4) Can anybody tell me by pm a safe address in Niamey, where I can store my bike off surely for a half year?

Thanks Michael
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Old 26 Dec 2006
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Agadez to Bilma


The track from A to B is a lot of deep sand. There are beacons but a lot of them are missing. You will need a lot of fuel because of the sand. It is more than 600 km. Took us 3 days by car. Officially you also need a guide. The checkpoint outside Agadez will not let you pass without guide unless you avoid the checkpoint. The route Agadez-Bilma has some trafic (trucks) but many stretches are very flat as a result of which the track fans out seriously and the tracks get lost in the wind very quickly! We bumped into a broken truck with 15 people on board who ran out of water and food and which stayed unnoticed for a few days. When they saw us, they alsmost stormed our cars for water and food! Just to give you an idea.

But where do you want to go after Bilma? The sand only gets worse both North and South. South to Nguigimi should not be undertaken by a solo bike (or solo car for that matter).

I can recommend the route but I would not recommend to do it alone.

The other questions I cannot help you with.



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Old 29 Dec 2006
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I wouldn't do it with a heavy bike & alone either
Unless you want to sneak past the checkpoint (not a good idea in my opinion) you will anyway have to take a rather expensive guide, who can carry extra fuel for you and help you out in case you get stuck

Safe bike storage: plenty of oppurtunities
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Old 5 Jan 2007
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>>?4) Can anybody tell me by pm a safe address in Niamey, where I can store >>my bike off surely for a half year?

hi . I left mine at Hotel of the Camping Touristique (everyone knows it ) , ITs called "Hotel Universe" . They have a locked concrete hut to store motorbikes , and they ussually charge about 30 Euros per month .

I left mine there for 7 months and I found it in absoultely lovely condition . Also they will help you with the expired lassez-passe.

Have a nice day
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Old 22 Mar 2007
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I have travelled twice from Gao (Mali) to Niamey by public bus (2002, 2006). Each time I already had a visa for Niger. The officials at the border crossing point did not look as though they would provide visas -they had an attitude that seemed to assume that you had one already. I am not saying that you cannot get a Niger visa at the border (-because I have not tried) but I felt better having one already. (I obtained the visa in Germany before going to Mali)
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Old 23 Mar 2007
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If you're travelling through multiple West African countries in the CFA zone, you can get a single visa that will allow you to travel to all CFA zone countries. Go to the Burkina Faso embassy and ask about it...It allows you to travel between Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Niger and maybe a couple others for about 25,000 CFA or 40 Euro...check it out.

Also, hotel Universe is a great recommendation...great meat brochettes in front of the hotel/campsite at night and cold been inside!
Niamey is the chillest West African capital!

PS As far as not being advisable about entering Niger through Burkina...why not? Its possibly the easiest way in and about one of the nicest paved roads you'll ever see in West Africa. I did it in one day last February from Ougadougou...and the border crossing took 20 minutes max each side.
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Last edited by MotoEdde; 29 Mar 2007 at 17:01.
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Old 24 Mar 2007
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ah , regarding Visas at the border

yes . They can issue you one . At least on the burkina-Niger border . No problem and very very efficient . Its one of these stiker-type visa , and they handwrite your name on it . I think all borders should have it.

Also , you can enter without Visa (in the Airport) and get it done next day at the DGNC in Niamey. no problems .

Niger is the country which -from my point of view- coundt care less about paperwork . Dodgy/expired passavant , arriving with no visa , no insurance , etc.. etc.. etc. .no problems at-all. Enjoy Niger cos is as good as Africa gets.

just out of curiouslity ? why is not recommended to enter Niger via Burkina ? It didnt look unsafe -at all- to me 7 months ago ! .

Have a nice day
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Old 24 Apr 2007
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I am a bit confused about the state of play in Niger - do I need a guide for the lot or just bits (like the Tenere and Air which are both high on my list). I am sure that the normal bunch of paperwork will do....

could anyone clarify?
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Old 26 Apr 2007
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A guide is usually required ....

......in the Tenere and for north of Agadez into the Aire. I had no problem (Jan 2006) travelling freely between Niamey - Adadez, Niamey - Zinder by SNTV public bus, and was not told I had to have a guide or permit for these areas. While in Agadez, I organised a trip to Iferuoane (via Arlit) by SNTV bus and hitching, and was strongly advised to have a travel permit. I organised one through Sidi Mohammed (at Hotel Agreboun in Agadez). So while for this route I did not have to have a guide, a permit/travel plan was needed -and it was looked at by the police at Iferouane.

For my trip out to Dirkou/Bilma by truck, and Bilma-Agadez by camel, a guide was required -and the guide was required to report to the police with me in Dirkou and Bilma. On my camel trip into the Aire (Jan 2002) I also had to have a guide.

I think Niger is sensitive to 'losing' tourists, and so a guide in these remote parts is required, and probably a wise move in any case.
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Old 26 Apr 2007
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thanks for the info, we now have a guide lined up from Agadez through the Tenere and Air then up to Algeria, then another guide will be with us until Tunisia. Good thing is that both guides sound like they are up for exploring the desert a bit. I had to get a guide when I was in Turkmenistan and the second one they hooked me up with was a riot! He took me on a midnight run through 5km of dunes to find a buring crater full of natural gas - immense!

now I just need to get the money, anyone got some tights and a sawn-off I can borrow??
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Old 26 Apr 2007
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I'm planning a trip, by motorbike,January 2008 down the west coast and back up through Algeria. I'd be grateful to hear what sort of cost is involved hiring a guide from the Niger/Algeria border and do they have to accompany you all the way to the Tunisian border?Thanks, John
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Old 27 Apr 2007
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As far as I understand it a guide is only required north of Ghardai, but coming from the South you require a guide from the border, and that company is then responsible for your safety whilst in Algeria so will insist on accompanying you to your exit (and charging you for it....). We have been quoted 135 euros a day for a guide with 4x4, fuel etc, plus 2 days for the guide to get to and from us
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