Flights to Agadez
Agadez is a busy market town in an otherwise remote region of central Niger. It is in the heart of Tuareg territory so it can be culturally distinct from the rest of Niger, and special permits are required for travellers who are heading to this region. The city is very old, having been founded in the 11th century as a caravan stopping-point through the Sahara. Today you can still see much of that history in this mud-brick town. Modern conveniences are not common so you should plan on roughing it a little while you are there.
The local Mano Dayak International Airport (airport code: AJY) is currently not operating so the only way to get a flight to Agadez from South Africa is to arrive at the Diori Hamani International Airport (code: NIM) which is in Niamey and more than 700km away. From there you can get a bus to Agadez. Air France is the only airline that will have a one-stop flight to Agadez (arriving in Niamey) and that will connect in Paris. With Kenya Airways, you can have connections in Nairobi and Ouagadougou instead.
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The Tourist Attractions of Agadez:
The official language spoken throughout Niger is French but more people in Agadez speak other local languages such as Hausa or the Tuareg language of Tamajaq.
The original structure of the Grand Mosque dates to 1515 but it was almost completely rebuilt and restored in 1844. It is a very tall mud tower with rows of support poles protruding from the sides, making it a distinctive building that you can’t miss.
The remote desert landscape around Agadez is an attraction in itself if you are up for a little adventure. You will find the town to be completely surrounded by the Sahara, so there shouldn’t be any difficulty finding your way out into the desert. It is not a good idea to leave any of the main roads to head into the wilderness as the area is not safe enough for that kind of exploration. There are decent roads north toward Arlit, or south to Zinder that will give you excellent views of the scenery.
Air and Tenere Nature Reserve
The Air and Tenere Nature Reserve is a newly designated park without any facilities in place for tourists. It is to the north-west of Agadez and you can see the desert as well as the Air Mountains in that area. Wildlife is minimal but you may see cheetahs, baboons, antelopes, gazelles and many species of birds. As just mentioned, travelling alone off-road is not safe so you should be in a large group with a proper guide if you choose to visit the park.
When Should You Visit?:
Agadez is a desert town and you can expect typical desert climate. Most of the year is over 30C (86F), with the peak heat coming from April until the end of July. It will be around 40C (104F) for that season. If you are looking for the cooler parts of the year, plan your trip in December or January. It is around 28C (82F) for those months. As you can imagine, rainfall will not impact your plans no matter when you go. Most months have no rain at all, and there is minimal rain in July and August.