Niger Books and Travel Guides


Riding the Demon : On the Road in West Africa
The raw cultural, political, and economic vitality of West Africa is sought by newcomer Chilson upon Niger's lawless, hair-raising, fickle, murderousin a word, insaneroads. A freelance rural transportation network props up West Africa's economies. It is overburdened but vital, hideous and intimate, punishing, equalizing, indispensable. It is the bush taxi. Chilson, who spent a couple of Peace Corps years in Niger during the 1980s, returned in 1992 to tap into the bush taxi culture, one that endures in a nation of perpetual upheaval as a ``metaphor for Africa's fight for stability and prosperity.'' It is also the driver's chance to experience a dollop of freedom and power on roads that are seemingly alive and restless, potentially cruel and violent, and critical expressions of Niger's visceral and spiritual nexus.--Kirkus Reviews
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Nomads of Niger
If one picture is worth a thousand words, then the combination of text and images in Nomads of Niger adds up to the equivalent of a whole encyclopedia. The cover photograph alone tells you this will be a special journey; before you even reach the title page you've already been treated to several stunning portraits of a nomadic people known as the Wodaabe, "who number among the last nomads of Africa, indeed among the last nomads on earth." The landscape the Wodaabe inhabit is a harsh one: "In central Niger, between the great Sahara Desert and the grasslands, lies an immense steppe, scattered with scrawny bushes and skeletal trees. For nine months of the year hardly a drop of rain falls. The days are torrid, the nights sometimes freezing cold. And the harmattan, the hot wind out of the desert, blows up relentlessly, filling the air with a sandy haze." Across this no-man's land the Wodaabe herd their cattle, migrating north in the rainy season and south again in the dry months and leaving no trace of their travels as they go.
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To Timbuktu; A Journey Down the Niger
Traveling with Mark Jenkins is a mixture of the daring and the dangerous, the dramatic and the absurd. Here, he and three friends, with the aid of a remarkably intuitive African guide, set out to attempt the first descent of the Niger River, the legendary city of Timbuktu their final goal. Along the way, they are attacked by killer bees, charged by hippos, stalked by crocodiles. They pass through villages where every female child has undergone a clitorectomy, stumble upon a group of completely...
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