Ethnic expedition with the world's best travel photographer of 2020* Vladimir Alekseev to Wodaabe and Tuaregs to the Guerewol men's beauty contest and to the Cure Salee festival

NIGER

September 16 – 28, 2024
(The dates can be shifted 1 week earlier, that is for September 9 — 21, 2024, due to probable change of the dates of Cure Salee festival)

* according to Royal Photographic Society
(United Kingdom)

tour to Niger Expedition to Wodaabe touareg festival Guerewol Air fulani journey to Sahara Sahel tour to Cure Salee

tour to Cure Salee
Have you ever seen the biggest theater scene in the world? Do real men compete in beauty or it is only for women?
You will find the answers only having visited Niger.
Buy the ticket to «Niger's Bolshoy Theater» and watch the incredible performance at the edge of Sahara!

One of the least visited and most authentic African countries.

Tour to Niger. Have you ever seen the biggest theater scene in the world? Do real men compete in beauty or it is only for women?
You will find the answers only having visited Niger.
Buy the ticket to «Niger's Bolshoy Theater» and watch the incredible performance at the edge of Sahara!

SСHEDULE & COST:

Dates: September 16 – 28, 2024
(The dates can be shifted 1 week earlier, that is for September 9 — 21, 2024, due to probable change of the dates of Cure Salee festival)

Duration: 13 days / 12 nights

Number of participants: 7 – 12

Cost per person:
- 3 490 EUR subject to 12 participants, or
- 3 650 EUR subject to 9 — 11 participants or
- 3 890 EUR subject to 7 — 8 participants, based on double accommodation.

10% early booking discount (in case you book before April 16, 2024)

Everything is included (also domestic flight from Niamey to Agadez, armed security escort), except for:
- international flight to Niamey roundtrip
- Niger visa (we assist to arrange "visa on arrival" at 110 EUR incl. visa fee and pre-visa)
- international medical insurance
- dinners in Niamey and Agadez.

Estimated cost of international flight Paris – Niamey – Paris: EUR 550 – 1100 (to be bought on your own. We consult you).
Estimated cost of international flight Istanbul – Niamey – Istanbul: EUR 750 – 900 (to be bought on your own. We consult you).
Estimated cost of international flight Moscow – Niamey – Moscow: EUR 1000 – 1300 (to be bought on your own. We consult you).

Single supplement: EUR 470



TRAVEL PROGRAM:
tour to Niger

Day 1. September 16, 2024. Monday. Arrival in Niamey

Arrival by air in Niamey late in the evening. Transfer to the 4* hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

* Recommended flights:
- with Air Algerie, departs from Moscow on September 16 at 4:10 am, arrives in Niamey on September 17 at 0:20, with 13h30m layover in Algiers,
- with Turkish Airlines, departs from Moscow on September 16 at 12:30 pm, arrives in Niamey on September 16 at 22:45, with 2 hours stopover in Istanbul,
- with Air France, departs from Paris on September 16 at 10:20 am, arrives in Niamey on September 16 at 14:50, direct flight,
- any other flight with arrival in Niamey any time on September 16 or in the night from September 16 to 17.

Meals: no
Accommodation: Grand hotel or similar hotel 4*, shower


Day 2. September 17, 2024. Tuesday. Niamey – Niger River – Niamey

Late breakfast at the hotel.
From 12 to 18 pm: Niamey, capital of Niger, with a high density that welcomes all the ethnic groups of Niger. The city is situated right on the banks of Niger River. Fishermen and farmers live along the majestic Niger River 4200 km long. Fishing is the fare of his people. By motorized canoe we discover this great river and also hippos along the fishing villages like Kanazi and Bubon. Dinner at Le Pillier restaurant.

Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: Grand hotel or similar hotel 4*, shower


Day 3. September 18, 2024. Wednesday. Niamey – Agadez

Early flight (7 am) to Agadez (flights available on Wed, Fri, Sun only).
You will discover the mythical city of Agadez and visit the palace of sultan, meet sultan of Agadez, if he is in the city, visit the animal market, walk around the old city classified World Heritage by Unesco, and see the Great mosque. The Great mosque built in Sudanese style, fully made of banko – a mixture of mud, dung and straw, appears a visit card of Agadez. Visit amazing Senegal Baker's house.
Agadez is a pleasant city to stroll, especially in its old center. It is the city of Tuareg people, situated right on the border of Tenere desert, a city crossroads of meeting nomads for the commercial exchanges with the caravan of salt coming from the North Sahara.
Dinner at Le Pillier restaurant Agadez.

Meals: breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: Hotel de la Paix, shower


Day 4. September 19, 2024. Thursday. Agadez – Tiguidit — Agadez (150 km, 3 hrs drive)

Agadez is the gateway to the Tenere desert and the Air Mountains, with some of the most beautiful desert scenery in the world. Today we set off to the Tiguidit, the beautiful place in Air mountains, the edge of Tenere desert, when we see the dunes and cliff paintings (gravures) of Tiguidit, as well Touareg nomadic camps and their smashing numerous cattle herds en route.
We meet nomads in this harsh environment and get into acquaintance with their ascetic lifestyle.
We are in the edge of Ténéré desert! Tiguidit is the southern edge of Air Mountains, the place where mountains lose altitude and disappear under the sands of the Ténéré Desert. The place is rich in paleontological sites. Cliff painting and small dunes of Tiguidit. In this area we travel with the armed military security. Drive back to Agadez. Dinner at Le Pillier restaurant Agadez.

Meals: breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: Hotel de la Paix, shower


Days 5 – 6. September 20 — 21, 2024. Friday — Saturday. Agadez — In Gall. Cure Salee festival (120 km, 2 hrs driving)

Early breakfast and drive from Agadez to Ingall, place hosting Cure Salee annual festival.
1st and 2nd day of Cure Salee festival. The Cure Salée is a very important annual event for Fulani and Tuareg breeders. This is a three-day festival taking place mid-September in Ingall, about 120 km west of Agadez. At the end of the rainy season, the grass is abundant in the Sahel but spread over great distances. In mid-September, all herds converge in the city of Ingall to meet in the rich salt pastures of the plain of Irazer.
This large meeting is an opportunity for breeders to meet the needs of animals but also to socialize, find the couples and celebrate the big annual Cure Salée festival. We will witness traditional dances and the choice of the best dancers, the fashion show and the choice of the most beautiful woman, traditional singer and also the traditional clothes, camel races and the famous Guerewol.
Here on the festival we will be welcomed by Touareg and Wodaabe people. Wodaabe is one of the tribes of Fulani group that populates this area. Wodaabe means "People of taboos" which underlines their strong traditions. They are famous for their unique culture and Guerewol men beauty contest. Wodaabe men will compete in traditional dressings and yellow and black make-up in order to highlight the whiteness of their teeth and eyes. For Wodaabe, they are considered the most valuable parameters in male beauty, along with the tallness and dancing skills. The whole days Wodaabe people will be performing Yaake dance, demonstrating their beauty, stamina and art of seduction. Traditionally Guerewol takes place once a year in the autumn when there is enough food in the area and all the livestocks gather together in Sahel, in the area between In Gall and Abalak. It is the moment for the girls to find a man. Thanks to magic power of the special potion, made of a dozen of herbs and barks, young Guerewol participants can sing and dance days and nights long to attract and seduce girls, and the latter make the choice to define the winner.
Touareg people, those who succeed to survive in the most inhospitable part of Africa, dressed in their indigo clothes, mounted on the camels will show their cultural features. We will be immersed in a great party atmosphere and also beautiful images of a people happy and fulfilled of its culture.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: tents, local shower with bucket)


Day 7. September 22, 2024. Sunday. In Gall (Cure Salee festival) — Agadez (120 km, 2 hrs drive)

Third day of Cure Salee festival lasts until around 12h30.
This is the last morning we attend the Cure Salee: camel racing, awards, backstage.
Lunch in In Gall. Drive to Agadez to visit hassling animal market.
Agadez has managed to retain all of its charm as the quintessential desert town. Its sandy streets and mud brick architecture, have not changed since it was at the center of Saharan trade many centuries ago. As you stand before the well-known Grand Mosque in the main square, it is not hard to imagine that this place was where thousands of camels used to rest on their journey across the Sahara from Gao to Tripoli, laden with gold and salt. Transfer hotel for shower. Dinner at Le Pillier restaurant Agadez.

Meals: breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: Hotel de la Paix, shower


Day 8. September 23, 2024. Monday. Agadez – Wodaabe nomadic camp. Guerewol festival (210-240 km, 4-5 hrs drive)

Breakfast. Leave early, lunch in the bush on the way. Transfer to the area where Wodaabe nomads stay with their nomadic camp in Sahel. Participate Guerewol men's beauty contest in the night.
After a year of separation, the Wodaabe Peuhl meet for several days, renew friendships and exchange information. They enjoy celebrations to live their traditions, celebrate weddings, participate in songs and dances or take part in various competitions. Among the highlights include the Wodaabe sprees on camel or traditional dances of Wodaabe men – showing up their beauty, their makeup and their eccentric adornment. Women's jury choses the best one, many couples are created these nights.
Stay with Wodaabe around the fire, takes to their famous Yaake dance.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Tents, local shower with the bucket


Day 9. September 24, 2024. Tuesday. Wodaabe nomadic camp. Guerewol festival.

Full day spend at Guerewol with Wodaabe people. Morning, evening and night sessions. Yaake dance, usually wearing 2 different types of cloths and 2 types of make-up. Photo sessions. Before noon take a 1-hour ride on camelbacks around the area to see Sahel nomadic pastures. Visiting Wodaabe houses, talks about culture and lifestyle. It is also the moment to share the emotions of this ancestral culture that has been preserved and remains the most important link that the Wodaabe have the pleasure of sharing with the other Peuhl people of Niger.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Tents, local shower with the bucket


Day 10. September 25, 2024. Wednesday. Wodaabe nomadic camp – Abalak — Tahua (250 km, 6 hrs driving)

In the morning Football match with Wodaabe in full dress. Farewell with Wodaabe people and the place of Guerewol. Drive from Wodaabe nomad camp to Tahua via Abalak, visiting Tabalak lake en route. Arrive to Tahoua not late, in order to visit the Sultan palace of Ader people in Tahua and qoranic school.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Tarka hotel, shower


Day 11. September 26, 2024. Thursday. Tahoua – Yaama — Birni'n'Konni — Dogon Doutchi (350 km, 6-7 hrs driving)

Drive from from Tahoua to Tamaske village of Hausa people. Continue journey through the region of Ader, the region from which Niger's present president comes from. This region is known for its earthen constructions built in Sudanese style. The Yaama Mosque is known to have won the Aga Khan Award. Amazing Yaama village of 33 mosques manually made of banko. Visiting most famous mosques and school if it is open.
Lunch in Konni and drive up to Dogon Doutchi.
If we arrive to Dogon Doutchi not late, we can visit the palace of sultan.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Guest house Magama, shower


Day 12. September 27, 2024. Friday. Dogon Dounchi – Dosso — Niamey (480 km, 7-8 hrs driving)

Early morning drive via Dosso to Niamey, almost 8 hrs. Accompanied by military escort. Lunch fast on the restaurant en route. Arrival in Niamey and check-in at the hotel. Dinner at Le Pillier restaurant.

Meals: breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: Grand hotel or similar hotel 4*, shower


Day 13. September 28, 2024. Saturday. Niamey — Koure — Niamey — return flight (170 km, 3 hrs driving)

After breakfast, accompanies with mandatory police escort, we drive to Koure, to find and see the giraffes of Kouré, the last herd in freedom in the whole zone of West Africa.
Visit last giraffes of Kourre.
Back to Niamey. Lunch at the Grand hotel buffet. Shopping at artisanal market.
Last shower (day use hotel 1 room for 3-4 people) before the transfer to the airport.
In the night (at 11 pm or so) international flight back home.

* Recommended flights:
—Turkish Airlines, departure from Niamey on September 29 at 3:45 am, arrival in Moscow on September 29 at 18:10, with 2h40m stopover in Istanbul,
— Royal Air Maroc, departure from Niamey on September 29 at 3:15 am, arrival in Moscow on September 30 at 6:25 am, with 15 h 15 min stopover in Casablanca,
— Air France, departure from Niamey on September 28 at 23:20, arrival in Paris at 5:55 am on September 29,
— any other flight after 10 pm on September 28 or in the night from September 28 to 29.

Meals: breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: Grand hotel or similar hotel 4*, DAY USE


* The dates can be shifted 1 week earlier, that is for September 9 — 21, 2024, due to probable change of the dates of Cure Salee festival.
TESTIMONIALS OF OUR CLIENTS
FROM PREVIOUS EXPEDITIONS TO NIGER:

  • HIPPOtv GmbH hippotv.de
    отзыв опубликован на сайте
    We had already two successful film tours with Alex and must say: Alex is THE guy!
    Excellent planning and even better people we met along the tours to Niger and Amazonia. Pretty sure it won´t be our last expedition with Mzungu.
    Keep up with your good work & all the best!
  • Главное в поездках с Алексеем - не только возможность увидеть далекие места и экзотические ландшафты - но и уникальная возможность пообщаться с людьми у которых в голове зашиты программы очень сильно отличающиеся от наших, собираюсь уже в третий раз в этом году с ним поехать - был в Нигере и на Ямале теперь мечтаю об Амазонии
    Дима Пупин
    отзыв опубликован на Facebook
Cost includes:

  • air ticket from Niamey to Agadez one way (around 350 EUR)
  • accommodation in hotels according to the program on TWIN/DBL basis,
  • single accommodation in tents,
  • day use hotels: 1 room for 3-4 pax
  • Toyota Land Cruisers 4WD with A/C, fuel, driver, 3 passengers in 1 car,
  • all airport transfers, boats, camels etc according to the program,
  • full board meals (3 times a day), except for dinners in the restaurants in Niamey and Agadez,
  • unlimited bottled drinking water along the whole route,
  • security military escort on all parts of itinerary where it is needed,
  • all entry fees and site visits, photography fees, contribution to local communities,
  • participation in festivals,
  • camel riding, giraffe tour, football and all activities according to the program, incl. the farewell dinner,
  • camping gear: tents, mattresses, furniture, toilet cabin, shower cabin
  • all formalities and permits,
  • visa support
  • accompaniment of very experienced English speaking guide and Russian and English speaking team leader throughout the trip.


PRICE EXCLUDES :

  • international flight to Niamey roundtrip
  • medical insurance
  • Niger visa (EUR 110)
  • dinners in Niamey and in Agadez
  • single accomodation
  • alcohol, souvenirs
  • tips

TO TAKE WITH:


  • wear sets fitting weather conditions, one warm set
  • long sleeve wear set,
  • repellents (is a must!),
  • mosquito net for sleeping place (is a must!),
  • comfortable closed shoes and open shoes,
  • forehead torch,
  • big backpack for luggage (or bag, or small suitcase),
  • small backpack for personal items and camera,
  • sleeping bag for warm weather,
  • sunblock set (cream, sunglasses, cap),
  • sandblock set: desert glasses, buff/mask (up to you)
  • personal hygiene items (toilet paper, towel, wet tissues, hygiene lipstick etc.),
  • personal medical kit (analgesics, sanitizers, antibiotics, your personal medicine),
  • yellow fever certificate,
  • COVID vaccination certificate on full vaccination or certificate with negative result of PCR coronavirus test taken at most 72 hours prior to arrival (requirement may change)
  • Anti malaria preventive pills (up to you to decide)
  • photo and video camera
KEY FEATURES:
TOUR TO NIGER
Niger

Best season: September – April


Annual Cure Salee festival on the edge of Sahara is the meeting point of the Touareg, Wodaabe and Haussa people where they compete in speed, beauty and alloquance and main part of which is Guerewol of Wodaabe people. For many years In Gall was chosen the place for the great Cure Salee festival and where all nomadic and semi-sedentary ethnic groups get together to share the three days of fest and ceremonies to the sound of music and cultural activities.

Unique and one of the most colorful ethnic fests - Guerewol where Wodaabe men compete in beauty and stamina for several days

Football match on the sand with Wodaabe in full dress

Riding on camels along the desert and an opportunity to feel like a real nomad

Medieval town Agadez at foot of Air mountains with unique architecture and mosques, built of banko (mix of mud, straw and dung)

4WD driving accompanied with the official convoy to the heart of Sahara - lifeless desert Tenere, where only true ethnic tribes of "blue people" - nomadic Touareg can survive

Giraffes of Koure - the last herd in freedom in West Africa
Why with MZUNGU EXPEDITIONS?
  • 1
    UNIQUENESS
    We find the most astonishing places on Earth and speed up to reach them. Our motto is to go ahead of road roller, touch the unique and unknown, before it disappears.
  • 2
    ADVENTURISM
    Wherever we go, we look for challenging activities and adventures, filling the journey with absolutely different spirit and emotions. That is why people join us over and over again.
  • 3
    SAFETY
    In our trips we pay special attention to safety. All our travels are based on personal experience, equipped with the best gear, involving proved providers and experienced local guides who perfectly know local features.
  • 4
    EXPERIENCE
    We have a unique experience of the most offbeat expeditions and ascents, deep knowledge of countries and peoples, and are ready to share it with you.
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