Sunday Spotlight – Agadez
Hello folks. Today, a place which I can’t really talk much about with words. Agadez is a town in the middle of the desert, in the middle of the dusty, dry and poor West African country of Niger. Niger itself is one of the poorest countries in the world, the capital Niamey is a place where there are a sadly high numbers of beggars, but out in the middle of nowhere is the mudbrick town of Agadez. Agadez is sometimes touted as a town similar to Timbuktu. As Timbuktu is pretty much off limits at the moment (as is much of Mali), Agadez might just be the adventure you’re looking for! There is no money back guarantee though!
Most people don’t come to Agadez for Agadez. Most people don’t come to Agadez, or indeed Niger full stop. Those heading to Agadez are mostly likely going there to join a camel trek to go deep into the Sahara. And that means probably bearing a 7 plus hour bus ride from Niamey, actually one of the best distance for time bus journeys you can do in West Africa. The buses however are not comfortable, and the ride is incredibly taxing, and usually leaves at 4-5am from Niamey.
Agadez though is a nice enough place. Blisteringly hot in the day, dry, cold at night. If you’re like me and made the seven-hour journey just to take a look at the place and say you’ve been to the Sahara, well, a couple of days will do you. Take things slow, wander and explore the streets. Almost every building is mud-brick, which is alright for accommodation, although nights still get cold.
I really just had a day and a half there, and I principally saw two things, although there was also a festival on with a large group of people moving through the town which I tagged on to.
The Grand Mosque is not as grand as many of the Grand Mosques in various West African towns, but with its one tower, it is certainly unique and somewhat special I guess, in its own way.
The camel market is amazing and a great place to take photos. It’s also the best place in the area to sell or buy a camel, and some travellers do do that. What an adventure, head to Agadez, buy a camel, head across the Sahara. No. I didn’t. I would like to say I did, but I’m not sure I’d enjoy the ‘doing’ if you know what I mean.
Not a lot of restaurant choice in Agadez, can’t remember what I ate but I think I had a steak and chips. Which is surprisingly easy to find in West Africa. Otherwise, there’s not much more to say about Agadez, the capital of dust and camels in the middle of Niger. But hey, it’s a great place to SAY you’ve been! May the Journey Never End!