Niger Register Travel insurance Destinations
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Latest updates: The Health tab was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada).
Safety and security
Safety and security
Niamey (see Advisory)
The security situation has improved in Niamey. Crime and the risk of kidnapping, however, remain a threat.
- After dark, be extremely vigilant and limit or avoid your movements
- Travel between the airport and Niamey only in a convoy of at least two vehicles
Areas bordering Nigeria
State of emergency
A state of emergency is in effect in Diffa region and in the municipality of Tillabéri. A curfew is also in effect in Diffa region from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Follow the instructions of local authorities, including curfew orders.
Borno and Yobe, Nigeria
A state of emergency is in effect in the Nigerian states of Borno and Yobe, which border southeast Niger. Instability in these states could spillover into Niger.
Crime occurs throughout the country, including in the capital. Common crimes include muggings, theft and armed assaults. In Niamey, petty crimes such as pickpocketing and purse snatching also occur.
Home invasions and car jackings occur periodically. Many thieves specifically target foreign nationals.
Bandits operate freely in certain isolated regions of the country. There is a heightened risk of armed robberies in areas north of the Tahoua–Zinder–Diffa axis.
- Avoid walking after dark
- Don’t display any sign of wealth or affluence in public
- Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- Safely store photocopies of passports, visas and travel documents in case of loss or seizure
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Except for main routes, road conditions are poor throughout Niger.
Road hazards include aggressive drivers, bicycles, mopeds, pedestrians, roaming farm animals, slow-moving carts and broken-down vehicles.
In case of an accident, go to the nearest police station to file a report.
Emergency roadside or medical assistance is not available.
Travelling outside of Niamey
Don’t travel after dark. Nighttime attacks on tourists have occurred in most of the country, particularly on the Agadez–Arlit, Agadez–Tahoua and Tillabéry–Niamey roads and within the city of Zinder. In particular, avoid off-road driving in the northern region of Agadez due to residual landmines.
If you must travel outside of Niamey despite our advisory:
- do so only during daylight hours
- travel in a convoy of several vehicles in excellent mechanical condition
- be accompanied by an experienced driver at all times
- don’t leave the main roads
- bring sufficient supplies of food and water, and a medical kit
- lock car doors and keep windows shut at all times
- carry a satellite phone, especially when travelling in remote areas
Demonstrations take place frequently. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Fraud and scams are commonplace. They may present as romance and friendship, business ventures, loan requests or employment opportunities. They can pose serious financial risk to targeted victims. Proceed with great caution when considering such proposals.
There’s a high threat of kidnapping from terrorist groups throughout Niger. This includes the capital, Niamey.
Terrorist groups and bandits have kidnapped foreign nationals. In October 2016, an American aid worker was kidnapped in central Niger.
- Don’t travel to isolated areas, particularly to the regions around Agadez, Arlit, Tahoua and Tillabéry and in Zinder
- Avoid the regions bordering Mali and Burkina Faso
- Use varied and unpredictable routes and schedules when moving from one place to another
- Limit your movements
- Avoid travelling after dark
- Remain extremely vigilant at all times
There’s a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time. Citizens of countries that support the Niger government or regional interventions against terrorism are at particular risk.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Avoid using public transportation, including transportation organized by hotels.
Most taxis are in poor condition and don’t meet basic safety standards.
You should consider hiring a driver, for safety and security reasons. What about Nigeria? Perhaps: avoid land travel in all border regions
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Niger authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Niger.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Prior to your travel, Canadians must obtain a visa to visit Niger.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Polio: vaccine advice - March 7, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
This country is in the African Meningitis Belt, an area where there are many cases of meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease is a serious and sometimes fatal infection. Travellers who may be at high risk should consider getting vaccinated. High-risk travellers include those living or working with the local population (e.g., health care workers) or those travelling to crowded areas or taking part in large gatherings.
Polio *Proof of vaccination*
- Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up to date.
- One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.
Proof of vaccination:
If you are staying more than 4 weeks in this country, you may have to show proof of polio vaccination when you leave the country.
Make sure that the polio vaccination is documented on the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. This is the only document accepted as proof of vaccination. They are provided at Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres.
Carry the certificate as proof of vaccination.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of yellow fever vaccination for travellers from all countries.
- Vaccination is recommended depending on your itinerary.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in West Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in West Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.
For protection of cholera
All travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.
Travellers at higher risk should discuss with a health care professional the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Travellers at higher risk include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring.
Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in West Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus, yellow fever and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
Rift Valley fever
Rift Valley fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can be fatal. It is spread to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, from the bite of an infected mosquito, or eating or drinking unpasteurized dairy. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from bites and avoid infected animals and unpasteurized dairy. There is no vaccine available for Rift Valley fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. The mosquito that spreads the virus is found here.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites and other diseases spread by insects.
- There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- See a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in West Africa, like avian influenza, ebola, and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities are limited in Niamey and inadequate outside the capital. Emergency and ambulance services are very limited. In the event of a serious illness or accident, you’ll need medical evacuation.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Niger.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Niger, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
The death penalty applies to serious crimes such as murder.
Drugs and alcohol
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines and lengthy jail sentences.
Outside of the month-long observance of Ramadan, Niger’s laws and customs tolerate alcohol consumption.
It’s illegal to photograph military zones, military installations, diplomatic premises, radio and television stations, airports, and the presidential palace and Kennedy Bridge in Niamey.
Don’t photograph political or student demonstrations, or military personnel.
If you’re unsure, seek permission from local authorities before taking any photograph.
Always seek permission before photographing a local.
You must carry an international driving permit.
Drivers must not turn on their headlights during daylight hours.
You must pull over for:
- official motorcades or military convoys with headlights on
- public emergency vehicles with sirens on
- funeral processions
If you’re involved in a serious accident, don’t move your vehicle before the police arrive.
Working in Niger
Employees and volunteers with non-governmental organizations must register with the Government of Niger and inform the authorities of their plans before starting any work. Failure to fulfil these requirements can result in detention and/or expulsion from Niger.
Dress and behaviour
Niger’s customs, laws and regulations adhere closely to Islamic practices and beliefs. To avoid offending local sensitivities:
- dress conservatively
- cover your arms and legs in public
- behave discreetly
- respect religious and social traditions
In 2019, Ramadan will start on or around May 5.
During Ramadan, refrain from drinking, eating and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset.
Although the laws of Niger do not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex, homosexuality is not socially tolerated. Members of the LGBTQ2 community could face arrest under other charges, such as committing “unnatural acts.” LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Niger.
The currency in Niger is the African Financial Community franc (CFA).
There are no ATMs in Niger.
Few businesses, including major hotels and restaurants, accept credit cards.
Only change money at a reputable exchange bureau. Foreign currency exchange over 1 million CFA requires authorization from the Ministry of Finance. Forms are available from all major banks.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
There are three seasons in Niger:
- the cool dry season, from November to February
- the hot dry season, from March to June
- the rainy season, from June to October
During the rainy season, heavy rains can cause floods and landslides. Most of Niger’s secondary roads may be impassable.
If you decide to travel to Niger during the rainy season:
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
Emergency services exist but may be unreliable. In case of emergency dial:
- police: 17
- medical assistance: 15
- firefighters: 18
There is no resident Canadian government office in Niger. The Embassy of Canada to Mali, in Bamako, has consular responsibility for Niger.
Bamako - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Bamako, Mali and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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