Going Individual or Organised...
Favorite thing: If I recall well, there were 4 or 5 foreign organised groups at the festival (about a dozen tourist in each group), including one Italian, one Dutch, one German and one Japanese. In addition I met about a dozen individual travellers and some professional photographers.
The organized groups typically combine the festival with a brief tour around the region, spending about a week in and around Ingall during the Cure Salee, at least a week around Agadez and the Aiir Mountains and some days in and around Niamey. Charges are about from EUR 2.000 incl. international flight. You will easily find the agencies on the internet.
You can also travel independently to Agadez and take an organised tour to the Festival from there, which will set you back about EUR 600 for a week all inclusive, if you have 3 others. The main advantage of going organised is that you have a knowledgeable guide and private transport, and that they usually take in several other excursions from Ingall, which are extremely hard to arrange individually.
Going individually as always has the advantages of very low cost (EUR 10/day is enough), more adventure, unlimited freedom and staying close to (and spending your money on) the local community.
- Budget Travel
About Food, Drinks and Shopping in Ingall
Favorite thing: During the festival you will find at least a dozen of foodstalls to choose from in the centre of Ingall. I cannot say I had some amazing food there, but on the other hand I never got sick from it either. Most commonly on offer is rice or spaghetti with sauce and (goat-) meat if you wish (cost usually EUR 0,30 to EUR 1).
Some well stocked stores in Ingall and hawkers at the Festival ground sell cold drinks, like coca cola and sprite, for about EUR 0,30 to EUR 0,40 a bottle.
On the market you will find some great stalls serving fresh bread and tea in the morning.
As for water you can choose (price indications are for cooled water):
1. Borehole water, which looks brown and tastes dirty (EUR 0,03 a plastic bag);
2. Sealed waterbags of different brands; taste usually OK (EUR 0,20/bag 0.5l);
3. Bottled water; the purest water you can get (EUR 1,50/bottle);
I took all three without problems, but I would recommend #2 for travellers who are already used to water of minor quality, and bottled water for short term tourists. One shopowner even refused me to sell the borehole water, since he had imported the bottled water especially for tourists.
For souvenirs i.e. jewellery, you might be approached by some Tuareg men or you could ask around at the rent a mattress-place.
- Budget Travel
Where to sleep in Ingall
Favorite thing: As far as I?m aware there are no regular guesthouses in Ingall, that is probably just a sleepy village the rest of the year.
The most common options for individual travellers who visit the Festival are:
Rent a mattress:
In the centre of Ingall someone (I suppose from Agadez) operated a service for travellers. You could rent here a thick mattress for about EUR 2,50-- a night. The open compound was somehow secured and also had covered resting spots to spend the incredible hot hours between noon and 4pm. Water and a place for toilet available, as well as basic food.
On arrival you are likely to be approached by villagers who are glad to offer you a place for the night; They usually charge EUR 3-5 a person for a night.
The hundreds of nomadic people stay in tented camps near the Festival Grounds, which is a 20 minutes walk from the village. Their tents are made of animal skins and perfectly protect against the sun. I don?t know if you?re allowed to camp here as well. Note that sleeping in a regular ?Western? tent is not suitable here because of the heat.
- Budget Travel
The Road To Ingall
Favorite thing: Private transport:
About ca. 110 km. from Agadez along the Tahoua - Agadez road, there?s a junction up North, from where it?s another ca. 40 km to the village of Ingall. The junction was flanked with flags of multiple countries, including those of several European and neighbouring counties. I was very surprised to see that the road all the way to Ingall was covered with tarmac and moreover in very good condition.
It was easy to get transport from Agadez busstation to Ingall, even though the Festival started already one day before. I had to wait only (!) 2 hours for a minibus to depart. It usually takes another 3-4 hours to reach there.
From the direction of Niamey, you might be able to find a direct connection to Ingall from Tahoua as well; otherwise ask to be dropped at the junction and you must be able to find an onward ride easily. When I was there, a shop on the junction was operating where you could also buy some basic food.
On the way back you?ll find connections to Agadez and Tahoua in abundance, supposing you leave right after the end of the (official) festival.
- Budget Travel