Flights to Maradi
Maradi is in south-central Niger, not far from the border with Nigeria. It isn’t a very wealthy city, so be prepared for very simple amenities and dirt roads. Even so, it is a busy city with a great deal of life going on.
The local Maradi Airport (airport code: MFQ) is not handling any commercial flights to Maradi at this time, so you will have to arrive at the Sadiq Abubakar III International Airport (code: SKO) in Sokoto. It’s more than 200km away so you may want to rent a car or check the bus schedule. From South Africa a flight to Maradi through Sokoto is available with either Arik Air or South African Airways. Both have the same route with transfers in Lagos and in Abuja.
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The Tourist Attractions of Maradi:
Niger is a mainly Muslim nation, and that is very prevalent in Maradi. Alcohol is not common though some restaurants will serve to non-Muslims. Clothing should be modest, and that means no shorts or tank tops (especially on the women). French is the official language in Niger but it is not that frequently spoken in Maradi. There may be a little English or Arabic with Hausa being the main language of the city.
Unlike the produce-oriented market place, Centre Artisanal is where you can go for handicrafts and locally-made items. It is just to the north of Maradi and it’s the best place to get authentic handmade goods. Tuareg silver jewellery is particularly renowned but you can also find other metal or leather goods for sale as well. It will be expected that you stop and chat a little and have at least one cup of tea.
Maradi Grand-Marche is the main marketplace for the city, and it is the busiest on Mondays and Fridays though there are usually vendors and activity all through the week. You can find the typical fruits and vegetables but also a wide range of natural remedies are also sold here. Various dried herbs and many animal body parts are available if you want some unusual souvenirs. Because tourism is quite minimal in Maradi, there are not a lot of your usual souvenir-type items for sale.
The market is easy to find and located right in the centre of the city. There are walls around the area so you may actually miss it on first glance. When shopping, you are expected to haggle over all of the prices.
When Should You Visit?:
At any time of the year Maradi will be above 30C (86F) with minimal rainfall. It will be at that temperature in December and January, and dip close to it again in August when it is slightly wetter. There will be more extreme heat in April and May when it usually reaches 40C (104F) in the daytime. This is generally not the best time to travel in this area. Stick to the winter months for more comfortable weather. No matter when you go, the temperature will drop by at least 10 degrees so the evenings are much nicer.