Zinder Travel Guide

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Blvd Independence

Blvd Independence

Chuck Ridgway

Zinder was founded in the beginning of the 17-th century by Hausa tradesmen from Kano. In the 19-th century the city reached its peak. Situated on the trading route from Kano to Agadez , the city was a big trading center of the Hausa empire.

When the French arrived, Zinder was their administrative center until 1926, when the capital was moved to Niamey . Zinder still is the second largest city of the country and has the best market of Niger - it is a very nice place to spend a few days.

Highlights of the the city include the Birnin Quarter, the Zengou Quarter - where you can find some od the best examples of Hausa architecture anywhere in the world - the Grande Mosquee and the Sultan's Palace. With a bit of luck you can arrange a visit to the Sultan and even admire his Rolls Royce - the only one in Niger - or any of the other seven cars he owns.

A nice place to relax in town is the Centre Cultural Franco-Nigerien (CCFN). Even if you don't speak French you can still enjoy the newly opened art gallery and the garden cafe. If you do speak French you can find lots of interesting reading in the spacious library.   

Zinder is a good stop on the way to or from Nigeria, the main road leads you directly to Kano (the nicest city in Nigeria). The road to Agadez is not completely finished. See the Getting There section for more details.

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