Taking a ride on the Niger River in a pirogue was a highlight of my first trip to Niger. While there are numerous departure points, we had our driver take us northwest of Niamey a bit to the Rio Bravo golf course (yes, there's a golf course and yes, the "greens" are oiled patches in the sand!). Behind the golf course is a small lodge and restaurant with a boat launch. Prices for an hour on the river are reasonable, but you should negotiate for the best price. Our "pilot" poled us up the river for a bit, where we got to see some hippos and a variety of birds. We then turned around and followed the current to an island in the middle of the river. The island was home to a small village and we got to see village life up close. Our guides took us to the new school and also to see the (huge) fruit bats that rest in the trees on the island during the day. Once back at the lodge, there are alos options for camel rides or a cool drink under the trees along the river.
, Niamey, Niger
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
This restaurant serves excellent Maghreb cuisine (north African - Tunisian/Algerian/Moroccan) in a comfortable setting. The restaurant is in a house, and has a very homelike atmosphere. The food was great and the service was friendly and efficient.
Take a 4x4 out to Koure (east of Niamey) to drive through the bush in search of some of West Africa's last wild giraffes. There is an information center along the main road where you pay a small fee and hire a guide (who'll ride on the roof and tap on the vehicle with a stick to indicate which direction you should go). Then the adventure begins!
Directions: Take the road past the airport in the direction of Dosso for 45 minutes to an hour. Just past the town of Koure there is a turn off for Diantandou. At the turn-off there is a small hangar and a large giraffe sign where the giraffe guides are stationed.