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Timbuktu to Niamey via Niger River

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Timbuktu to Niamey via Niger River

1. Posted by EmmylouSA (Budding Member 5 posts) 9y

Hi there,

Myself and a friend are keen to take a boat along the Niger River east from Timbuktu through to Gao and then across the border into Niger to get to Niamey.

We have heard that this route could not be safe and would appreciate it if anyone could confirm or deny this rumour.

Any alternative advice or suggestions also welcome.

Thanks in advance.

2. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

This route is very unsafe and its not a good idea to travel here. On the route Dogofiry-Timbuktu-Gao-Menaka and also north and east of this road is infested with (armed) robbers. This is also the case on the route Gao-Ansongo-Niamey (Niger). Its not a good idea to travel there (atleast not if u take the road). In short; I would definately not do it.

If u still do it its better to know that the situation is not sweet and soft there. but perhaps a boattrip is less dangerous. So decide for yourself.

[ Edit: Edited on May 13, 2007, at 8:37 AM by wouterrr ]

3. Posted by polhill (Budding Member 21 posts) 9y

We drove the Douentza - Gao - Niamey route last year and didn't encounter any trouble. We checked with some locals before driving the route and they said the problems weren't as bad. The scenery on the banks of the Niger is beautiful too. I would say in a boat you should be even safer, especially if there are quite a few people on board. Just make sure you get some reports of the locals beforehand.

4. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Quoting polhill

We drove the Douentza - Gao - Niamey route last year and didn't encounter any trouble. We checked with some locals before driving the route and they said the problems weren't as bad

You took a big risk I think?
Were you aware of the problems in this area, beforehand?
I get my information from the foreign affairs department of my country. They can't possibly make up the fact that there are armed banditgroups in this area. Hearing this, it makes me think. But if u are looking for some adrenaline shot then this route is perhaps worth the fear.

5. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 9y

Quoting wouterrr

Quoting polhill

We drove the Douentza - Gao - Niamey route last year and didn't encounter any trouble. We checked with some locals before driving the route and they said the problems weren't as bad

You took a big risk I think?
Were you aware of the problems in this area, beforehand?
I get my information from the foreign affairs department of my country. They can't possibly make up the fact that there are armed banditgroups in this area. Hearing this, it makes me think. But if u are looking for some adrenaline shot then this route is perhaps worth the fear.

I wouldn't possibly do it myself either. But if you check that site (probably minbuza.nl isn't it?) you can not go anywhere. Every single possible risk is mentioned. Even Limburg is dangerous...

6. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Quoting Utrecht

Every single possible risk is mentioned. Even Limburg is dangerous...

True. I have this same feeling myself about minbuza as well. btw those limbos are dangerous. so u better watch out. I heard they are very good at fully stripping peugeot 406 cars and sell the parts for good money

7. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 9y

Quoting wouterrr

Quoting Utrecht

Every single possible risk is mentioned. Even Limburg is dangerous...

True. I have this same feeling myself about minbuza as well. btw those limbos are dangerous. so u better watch out. I heard they are very good at fully stripping peugeot 406 cars and sell the parts for good money

So it was you! How much are those tyres?

8. Posted by polhill (Budding Member 21 posts) 9y

Well If I took everything our foreign office (www.fco.gov.uk ) says to heart then I would never leave England, and would happily spend the rest of my life sitting around reading the Daily Mail.

The locals generally know when the problems have finished. Just look at Casamance in Senegal, every foreign office says not to go, despite the conflict ending ages ago. This almost cripples the local economy which is dependent on tourists, be open minded and do listen to advice from governments, but I don't think what they say is gospel.

9. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Quoting polhill

Well If I took everything our foreign office (www.fco.gov.uk ) says to heart then I would never leave England, and would happily spend the rest of my life sitting around reading the Daily Mail.

thanks....I think I agree with you. but then..Africa is mysterious and it seems that not much information reaches us. where does the foreign office would get its info from? would they just exaggerate, and give info based on a single case (of robbery?)....to just be at the safe side?