Top Ten Nigerien Attractions

Top Ten Nigerien Attractions

       Niger is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River. It borders Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Algeria, Libya and Chad. Niger covers a land area of almost 1,270,000 square km, making it the largest nation in West Africa, with over 80% of its land area covered by the Sahara desert. The country’s predominantly Islamic population of just above 15,000,000 is mostly clustered in the far south and west of the nation. The capital city is Niamey. Niger is a developing country. It consistently has one of the lowest ranks of the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI), currently 167th of 169 countries. Much of the non-desert portions of the country are threatened by periodic drought and desertification. The economy is concentrated around subsistence and some export agriculture clustered in the more fertile south, and the export of raw materials, especially uranium ore. Niger remains handicapped by its landlocked position, desert terrain, poor education and poverty of its people, lack of infrastructure, poor health care and environmental degradation. Nigerien society reflects a diversity drawn from the long independent histories of its several ethnic groups and regions and their relatively short period living in a single state. Historically, what is now Niger has been on the fringes of several large states. Since independence, Nigeriens have lived under five constitutions and three periods of military rule.

  1. Aïr Mountains

    The Aïr Mountains is a triangular massif, located in northern Niger, within the Sahara desert. Part of the West Saharan montane xeric woodlands ecoregion, they rise to more than 6,000 ft (1 830 m) and extend over 84 000 square km. Lying in the midst of desert north of the 17th parallel, the Aïr plateau, with an average altitude between 500 and 900 m, forms an island of Sahel climate which supports a wide variety of life, many pastoral and farming communities, and dramatic geological and archaeological sites. There are notable archaeological excavations in the region that illustrate the prehistoric past of this region. The endangered Painted Hunting Dog, Lycaon pictus once existed in Air of Niger region, but may now be extirpated due to human population pressures in this region.
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  2. W National Park

    The W National Park is a major national park in West Africa around a meander in the River Niger shaped like a “W.” The park includes areas of the three countries Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso, and is governed by the three governments. Until 2008, the implementation of a regional management was supported by the EU-fundet Project ECOPAS. The three national parks operate under the name W Transborder Park.
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  3. Niamey

    Niamey is the capital and largest city of the West African nation of Niger. Niamey lies on the Niger River, primarily situated on the east bank. It is an administrative, cultural and economic center. Niamey’s population, which was estimated at 774,235 (2006), is now projected to be much higher. The city is located in a pearl millet growing region, while manufacturing industries include bricks, ceramic goods, cement and weaving. Niamey was probably founded in the 18th century, but was of little importance to most of the country until the French developed a colonial post in the 1890’s. In 1926 it became the capital of Niger and the population gradually increased, from about 3,000 in 1930 to around 30,000 in 1960, 250,000 in 1980 and, by some estimates, 800,000 in 2000. In 2011, government press estimated the total urban population at over 1.5 million. A major cause of the increase has been in migration for work and during droughts, as well a high population grown. This last factor means a majority of the city’s citizens are youths.
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