Updated June 2023

Desert tourism collapsed in the Aïr-Tenere over a decade ago. The region is now a people-smuggling and bandit corridor. The Sahel border with Mali sees frequent village massacres.
No reports of anyone crossing from Algeria for years, nor is it likely soon.
Some have got as far up as Agadez from the south, but these days even that town is dangerous.

Niger CFA XOF exchange rates. In some places you can pay in euros.

Price of fuel
Diesel 600 CFA/litre, petrol 636 CFA
World fuel prices.


Useful languages
French, Hausa. Arabic is less useful than you think.

Needed by all except some EU countries. Consulates include, Amsterdam, Brussels, Bonn. Only for locals in Tamanrasset. Note the varying requirements on vaccination certificates, return tickets and bank statements.

Border formalities
With a vehicle buy a laissez-passer (local vehicle carnet) and insurance (both cover the whole CFA zone). Arlit to Agadez and southwards: no more escorts, but this was all before the fall of Libya which changed everything up here.

Desert pistes east of Agadez (Aïr; Ténéré; Djado) 
‘Even in the good years’ tourists were occasionally robbed in the Aïr, and travellers have long required a guide and permits costing from €50 a day in your car or at least three times that in his own car to travel in this area.
Landmines in the Aïr are said to have been cleared, but the risk of banditry here and out in the desert remains high. No one has been here for years but, as described in the book, the Tenere Loop (below) remained one of the best two-week tours in the Sahara.
In early 2022 there were attacks on the Agadez to Dirkou track, tracks out of Chirfa, raids on artisanal gold mine camps and even on the Arlit to Agadez highway.