Best Tourist Places to Visit in Zinder, Niger, Africa

Best Tourist Places to Visit in Zinder, Niger, Africa

Zinder is the 2nd largest city of Niger, located in the southern part of the country at 13°48′19″ N 8°59′18″ E. Located around 480 meters above sea level, Zinder is situated around 230 km east of the country’s 3rd largest city, Maradi and 860 km east of the country’s capital and largest city, Niamey. Zinder is noted as a tourist destination, mainly for its historic attractions like the Zinder Great Mosque and the Zinder Sultan’s Palace. The city also houses a regional museum, a large market and an airport as well.


History of Zinder:

Historically, Zinder was a grand city being the foundation place of many regional powers, including the Sultanate of Damagaram, which was founded by the Kanouri aristocrats in the year 1736. There was a fortress constructed in the today’s suburb Birini that was mainly used for trading purpose. Zinder became modernized with the introduction of mobile service by telecommunication company Celtel in 2003, which resulted into the communication easier between the regional traders of Zinder.


How to get Zinder?

There is an airport in Zinder but flights are not scheduled. So it is suggested for overseas tourists to reach Diori Hamani International Airport in Niamey first and then take taxi or bus from there to Zinder. This airport is situated around 880 km away from Zinder and handles flights from Istanbul, Paris, Casablanca and other European and African cities.

SNTV line is a prominent bus operator connecting Niamey to Zinder, charging around 12,500 francs per way. Two other bus companies are Air and Rimbo.


Culture, Food and Shopping in Zinder:

Zinder is home to the French Cultural Center, named Le Centre Culturel Franco-Nigerien, which organizes regular concerts showcasing the blend of French and Nigerian culture. There is also a French private club in the city, situated near the regional museum.

Grande Marche is the main market of the city and also visitors can reach the Artisan Center, where different kinds of colorful products like wallets, silver jewelry, paintings and handicraft items are produced.

Restaurant Mourna is one of the well known restaurants in Zinder and other nice options are Chez Ramatou, Le Palmier and Hotel Damagaram.


What to do in Zinder?

  • Traditional shopping
  • Village tours
  • Walking
  • Visiting museum


What to see in Zinder?


Zinder Great Mosque:

Like many prominent cities of Niger, Zinder also houses a great mosque. Like its name, the mosque is also great in construction and architecture. The mosque is frequented by both devotees and tourists.


Zinder Sultan’s Palace:

The Zinder Sultan’s Palace is a historic palace, served as the residence of sultans in the past. Most parts of the palace are made out of mud brick that are nice to see.


Zinder Regional Museum:

The Zinder Regional Museum was constructed to showcase the local culture and tradition, especially of Hausa people, who are the predominant ethnic group in the country.


Grande Marche in Zinder:

Grande Marche in Zinder is a large and vibrant market place, with dozens of stalls with a wide selection of colorful local specialties and modern products. The market is located in the new town Sabon Gari.


Birni Quarter:

Birni Quarter is one of the localities of Zinder, famous for its vernacular architecture that can be seen in local traditional houses.


List of other places of interest in and around Zinder includes:

  • Zinder Airport
  • Le Centre Culturel Franco-Nigerien
  • Residence of Heinrich Barth
  • Waterhouse Zinder
  • The Grand Marché in Maradi
  • The Artisan’s Center in Maradi
  • The Katsinawa Provincial Chief’s Palace in Maradi
  • Dan Kasswa Mosque in Maradi


When to travel Zinder?

As like the rest of Niger, from October to March is the best time to visit Zinder in Niger when the weather will be supportive for outdoor activities.


Accommodation options in Zinder:

Zinder houses a limited number of hotels, so booking hotels well in advance prior to reaching the city is recommended. For more options, visitors can head towards Maradi (230 km). Here are some standard hotels in Zinder:

  • Hotel Damagaram
  • Hotel Amadou Kouran Daga
  • Auberge Gamzaki Hotel
  • Hotel Central

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