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  #1  
Old 3 Aug 2011
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Niger / Air

Hello there

Long time since I have posted here but took a short break from saharan travel and now looking to head back now I have some spare time.


I'm interested in doing around 10 days by camel in the Air mountains in mid October 2011.

I'm aware that the situation in Niger is risky at the moment.


Just a few questions if thats ok ?


The whole Niger visa issue seems a bit ''yes you can ,no you cant'' ? So if anyone has any reliable info on how I can get a Niger Visa from Ireland on a Irish passport that would be great. Also,Im assuming its a non runner getting one in Niamey on arrival ? Where would be the best Niger Embassy to apply at ? Using a visa express company is fairly expensive.


Also,what's the likelihood of me getting a guide(s) to head to the Air ? anyone any decent contacts in Agadez ?


I was in Algeria when it was ''supposedly'' really bad but I found it fine. I suppose its the luck of the draw but im not going to bother hanging around any longer waiting so any possible answers on queries above is much appreciated.

Cheers

Last edited by danielsan; 3 Aug 2011 at 23:09.
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  #2  
Old 4 Aug 2011
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Dont know about visa for Irish: UK consulate details here but I suspect it may have closed down.
Other consulate options are Brussels (less hassle than Paris I believe). I used an efficient NL agency once - cheaper than going there.

Niger was discussed here a few months ago and I would say the situation in the Aïr is no better for tourism. Even in the good years this part of Niger was always much less safe than anywhere/anytime in Algerian Sahara (Kabylie may be different). You may even be forbidden from leaving Agadez for Aïr.

I would consider Chad - having a bit of a lull at the moment. Pointe Afrique are still doing flights to Faya I believe.

Ch
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  #3  
Old 5 Aug 2011
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Chris

Thank you for your response.I have emailed a few contacts I once had in Niger and am yet to hear anything back so as suspected it looks like it may be too risky at the moment.Shame,I would really like to get to Air mountains.

As for Chad absolutley yes I would be very interested.Has Tibesti opened up again ? Any contacts for guides in Chad ? If its a little to much I may try Algeria again,fantastic country.

Hopefully Niger may improve in the future.
Phil
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  #4  
Old 5 Aug 2011
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Hi Phil, Tibesti isn't wide open - not sure it ever will be - but with Ounianga and Ennedi you can have a good look around.

Going there independently is too complicated or expensive these days I suspect.
Better to join a Le Point Afrique tour if they are actually running.

The other alternative is Le Spazi Aventura out of Milan - they know Chad well but wont be cheap.

Chris
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  #5  
Old 10 Aug 2011
moro
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hi,
Air mountains by camel is no problem at all (not so with a car)
if you need some contacts email me

getting out of town on foot is a no brainer
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  #6  
Old 10 Aug 2011
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Contact in Agadez

Hi Danielsan, you can try Mamane Bashir in Agadez for Air info on
  • mamane_bachir2003@yahoo.fr or
  • +227 96595976
Tourism was dead there last year and they would really appreciate some business!

Best of luck,
Kobus
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  #7  
Old 10 Aug 2011
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Guys

First off thank you very much for your replies.I have already contacted a guide through a Tuareg friend of mine from Tamanrassett.My contact advise me that the Air / Tenere is still a bit risky, but he is willing to do a 10 day camel tour in the region as security has slightly improved, but again it is still a risk, and as you are all aware you never know who you can run into in the Sahara.

Loks like I will be leaving mid - late october.The only issue I have now is the Niger Visa.Looks like I might have to grab it through an online agency .
Any recomendations on a visa agency would be great based in either UK or Europe ?

Thanks again
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  #8  
Old 10 Aug 2011
moro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsan View Post
Guys

First off thank you very much for your replies.I have already contacted a guide through a Tuareg friend of mine from Tamanrassett.My contact advise me that the Air / Tenere is still a bit risky, but he is willing to do a 10 day camel tour in the region as security has slightly improved, but again it is still a risk, and as you are all aware you never know who you can run into in the Sahara.

Loks like I will be leaving mid - late october.The only issue I have now is the Niger Visa.Looks like I might have to grab it through an online agency .
Any recomendations on a visa agency would be great based in either UK or Europe ?

Thanks again
got my niger visa the following way:
- called brussels embassy & received the application form by fax
- sent them my passport, application form and photos and I think it was 150 euros for a 6 month multiple visa by DHL (yak!) - described my intended travel route as Labezanga - Niamey - Zinder & back
- got my pass with a visa after a few days

speaking french helps greatly
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  #9  
Old 13 Aug 2011
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Good News Niger!

Hi all!

I just got an e-mail from a Tuareg friend who runs an official agency in Agadez saying that the Air and Tenere are officially open for tourism next season 11-12. The Governor of Agadez had a meeting with all the tour operators to break the news. His mobile is: Houche 00 227 90990942

Should you need any further help please, do not hesitate to drop me a line.

Best

Alberto
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  #10  
Old 15 Aug 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alberto View Post
Hi all!

I just got an e-mail from a Tuareg friend who runs an official agency in Agadez saying that the Air and Tenere are officially open for tourism next season 11-12. The Governor of Agadez had a meeting with all the tour operators to break the news. His mobile is: Houche 00 227 90990942

Should you need any further help please, do not hesitate to drop me a line.

Best

Alberto
Ok, open for tourists, but what about mines in Air and security in the whole area?

RR.
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  #11  
Old 15 Aug 2011
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Ok, open for tourists, but what about mines in Air and security in the whole area?

I got the same 'open for business' message from Houche and asked him to clarify. Have the bandits relocated, been assimilated or chased out? No answer yet, but I have heard from others that most Aïr mines have been dealt with.

Ch
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  #12  
Old 16 Aug 2011
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Wa wa wa! Great news, or at least we can hope.
Now waiting for reports from people travelling south from Tam or north from Agadez. I was planning for Mauri-Mali again, perhaps one should consider Alg-Niger now
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  #13  
Old 21 Aug 2011
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Someone needs to go to Agadez and give us a first hand report on what is going on!
Rough Guide writer Richard Trillo gives hope for travel even to Bilma and the Tenere....

"Friday, 19 August 2011
Improved security in the Sahel: military escorts dropped in northern Niger
Posted by Richard Trillo at Friday, August 19, 2011 0 comments

This story about travelling in Niger, by the Xinhua press agency, "No more convoys under military escort in order to travel in the North", is highly significant, if it's entirely true. It says the routes radiating between Agadez and Arlit in the north, between Agadez and Abalak (on the route to Tahoua and Niamey) and between Agadez and Aderbissinat (en route to Zinder and Kano, Nigeria) are all open to the free movement of vehicles, without the need to travel in convoy with a military escort.
There's enough detail about the fact that it was a "unilateral decision of the governor of the Agadez region", about the "joy on the faces" of local people and especially businesses – which had been limited to one convoy every three days and who can now operate as they like – to make it sound completely credible, even though it comes as a surprise. The note about the authorities not recommending travel at night adds to the sense of normality. Interestingly, although the article refers to "the horrors" of the Tuareg rebellions, it makes no reference to AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), merely referring to "other forms of banditry".
Presumably, travel to the south of these routes remains straightforward. What it means for the current safety of travel north of Arlit – to Assamakka and Algeria – or indeed northeast past the Ténére Tree and on to Bilma, I have no idea. I think you wouldn't get a sense of that until you were actually in Agadez."

Improved security in the Sahel: military escorts dropped in northern Niger | The Rough Guide to West Africa
Niger : plus de convois sous escortes militaires pour circuler dans le nord - Afriquinfos
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  #14  
Old 21 Aug 2011
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I have been in touch with Houche also and looks like I am all set to go around mid October.

I can provide any info needed after the trip but hopefully a few may have been there and back before then and give us a solid update.

Cheers
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  #15  
Old 22 Aug 2011
moro
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ha, security in Niger always seems to go in quantum leaps

in any case travel by camel is a very safe way to travel especially if your guide takes a few turns wehere vehicles can't follow
enjoy and good luck danielsan!
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