Niger — Visas and Vaccinations
Visas are required to enter Niger for citizens of USA, Canada, UK and most other European countries except Denmark, Finland, and Norway. Many close by African nations are also visa exempt. Australian and New Zealand citizens also require a visa. In order to obtain a visa, apply at your nearest Niger consulate in your home country, and receive it before you travel in order to enter the country. A fee is charged, and normal processing time is up to two weeks. You will require a passport with six months validity, and also evidence of an international yellow fever certificate. In addition, for a tourist visa you must show proof of a return ticket, proof of funds for the duration of your stay, and a copy of your hotel reservation confirmation in Niger. Tourist visas are valid for a three-month stay, or you can seek a double entry visa which will gain you another three months in Niger after you leave and reenter the country after the initial three months.
Health and Safety
A valid yellow fever certificate is required to enter Niger. If you do not have an up-to-date vaccine you need to seek it six to eight weeks before you travel. Malaria is also highly prevalent in Niger, as in many places of sub-Saharan Africa. Dengue fever is yet another viral disease spread by mosquitoes, and so every care should be taken to defend against insect bites by covering up exposed skin and applying insect repellent.
The public health of Niger is not up to Western standards, and so every precaution should be taken to prevent and disease of illness once there. Even in the best hospital in the capital city of Niger, the healthcare may not be adequate enough to treat many medical problems, so you are best to avoid needing to visit the hospital at all, if at all possible. Certainly, you need to ensure all your vaccinations are up to date before you travel, since the following are still public health concerns in Niger: cholera, diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, MMR, polio, rabies, tetanus, tuberculosis, and typhoid. If these immunizations are not up to date you should seek the vaccine at least six weeks before travel.
There has been a current national travel warning as of April 2012 issued by the US Department of State due to the risk of Westerners being kidnapped: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cispatw/tw/tw_5691.html, and any travel more or less North of Niamey and Tahoua, has been advised against. Aside from this there is a high risk of crime for independent travelers, due to high levels of poverty. It is not true for all areas of the capital city, but you should take extra precautions around the areas of the Gaweye Hotel, National Museum and Petit Marché in Niamey against muggings. Car thieves prefer to target off-road vehicles, and at any time it is always better to travel with a guide and their vehicle. In addition, areas near the Mali border are extremely dangerous, and essentially lawless, and so should be avoided. Furthermore, in August 2012 the Niger River experienced the worst flooding in 100 years, with fatalities and leaving 125,000 displaced people in the southern Dosso region. Infrastructure in these regions is devastated, and you should heed caution of any weather warnings when visiting Niger.