The Margouilla's Advice on Nightstopping in Niamey


What airfield can I expect?


Where am I?


Where do I sleep?

Hotel Gaweye (15mn from the airport)

PO Box 11008 - Niamey, Rond-point Kennedy
Tel: +(227) 20 72 27 10
Fax: +(227) 20 72 34 00

The only palace in Niamey, the 200-room Gaweye is right on the Niger River bank. It has a swimming pool, a tennis court, and offers sat-TV and free wifi, all in good working order. Single rooms start at 70,000 XOF, and the largest suites go for 150,000 XOF.

Grand Hotel du Niger (15mn from the airport)

PO Box 471 - Niamey
Tel: +(227) 20 73 22 16
Fax: +(227) 20 72 26 43

The Grand Hotel has been recently renovated, yet its preten-sion to be a palace has faded away with the years. It is still a good alternative for crews looking for a cheaper hotel than the Gaweye. There is still a nice swimming pool and the terrace overlooking the Niger River is a perfect place to have a drink in the early evening. Renovated rooms start at 55,000 XOF, and senior suites are only 87,000.

Hotel Terminus (15mn from the airport)

PO Box 882 - Niamey, rue du Sahel
Tel: +(227) 20 73 22 52
Fax: +(227) 20 73 39 74

A typical West African hotel, with bungalows built around a flourishing garden. Yet not everything works as it should... The wifi for instance. The place remains cheap and clean, with singles starting at 35,000 XOF a night.


Where do I eat?

Le Pilier (15mn from the airport)

PO Box 946 - Niamey, city centre near the National Assembly
Tel: +(227) 20 72 59 85

Large Italian restaurant with a Sahelian look: the walls are made to look like banko, the dried earth traditional houses are made of. There are several eating rooms and terrace, our favourite being "the Tavern", a fresh underground vaulted cave. Food is very good, with pizzas, fresh pasta and many other Italian specialties. Le Pilier also has restaurants in Agades and Iferouane.

Le Tabakady (15 mn from the airport)

Niamey, city centre near the National Assembly
Tel: +(227) 20 73 58 18

Good French restaurant decorated with nice photos from the Niger desert. The meat is especially good. Evenings only.

Le Bistro (15mn from the airport)

Niamey, Quartier Chateau 1
Tel: +(227) 21 76 24 96

Recently-opened French "crêperie", good quality. The owner is currently opening a wine-bar next to it.


What can I visit?

Most of the year, heat is your main enemy if you fancy visiting Niamey. The easiest option is the Musée National, just across the street from Hotel Gaweye. It offers several exhibits in small pavilions, and a zoo complete with live lions, hippos and crocs. Amazingly there are also three absolutely complete dinos skeletons including a velociraptor uncovered in the Aïr region by American archeologists. Good arts & craft are also being sold there. Open every day, entrance fee 1,500 XAF.

Another good outing is the Grand Marché, a large labyrinth-like local market where everything is dirt-cheap. You can acquire a "boubou" (local clothing) made out of "bazin", a Sahelian paper-like cloth, for less than 15,000 XAF, complete with shoes and hat. Another good buy is kilitchi, dried meat flavoured with salt and pepper.

Finally, it is nice to go to the Grande Mosque, a modern compound built in 1977 with Libyan funds. The most courageous will climb the 171 steps to the top of the minaret to enjoy the view.

Taxi from the Gaweye or Grand Hotel to the market or mosque is about 500 XAF per person.


Where can I go out?

La Cloche

Restaurant, night club, bar, video games and pool club, whorehouse: la Cloche does it all. The ambiance is unique in this Niamey classic.

El RaÏ

The underground club of hotel Gaweye is lively only on weekends. Closed Monday nights.



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