Organize your move to Niger

Hi all,

we invite you to share your experience about moving to Niger.

Here is a list of questions which might help the ones preparing their move to Niger:

What would you bring and what would you leave behind?

Is it a good idea to bring furniture or domestic appliances?

Any foodstuffs that are banned in Niger?

Is it better to bring a car or to buy one once settled in Niger?

Any advice for the ones who are moving to Niger?

Thank you in advance for your participation :)

There are several answers to this question, but first one must begin with your situation by asking the following:
1) Who is paying your moving expenses (and to what degree)?
2)How long do you plan to live in Niger?

We've seen Westerners literally bring their whole household in a 40 foot container to Niger.  That's certainly an option.  If you're a North American, that means none of your electrical appliances will work without re-wiring your home to 110 V (I've seen it done) or installing some type of transformer.

Otherwise, if you have to purchase everything in Niger, you'll find that you don't have many choices, the choices you do have are expensive or you'll need to take a lot of time and seek advice on where to have things made. It is quite common to have beds, tables, chairs, sofas, etc made locally.  In some cases they do quite a nice job and give you sturdier furniture than the pre-fab stuff that you can purchase in the high-end boutiques.  In other cases, the workmanship is modest or poor.  Always ask to see examples of what the person has made before.

If you plan on living for many years in Niger, you can start to piece together your household bit-by-bit, ordering some things, purchasing others new and buying many items from departing foreigners. The latter is often less useful than you would imagine as many expats insist on including their transportation costs of getting the item to Niger in their final selling price.  The result is few good deals.

If you can afford it (or someone else is paying), it would be wise to bring in a solid car to Niger.  You'll need to pay customs duties on it, as well as shipping fees, but you'll know exactly what you are getting.

There are 2-3 new car dealers in Niamey and you'll probably find them to be expensive, as their real customers are international organizations and NGOs and not so much the private individual.

The used car market in Niger consists of cars being sold by departing expats and 8-15 year old cars that were once driven in the U.S. and Western Europe.  A $5000 10-year old car in the U.S. might be worth $9-10,000 in Niger, depending on its condition.

Whatever vehicle you get, you must realize that car parts are not easy to get.  I knew a person who had to travel back to Europe to replace their computerized (with a chip) car key, after it was lost because their is no way in Niger to duplicate it in Niger.  Most Toyota and Nissan parts are available, but many other models' parts are quite difficult to find in Niger and it may take weeks to locate if your car breaks down.  Generic oil, air and fuel filters are generally easy to find, though. Otherwise many car parts have to be taken from wrecked cars.

Likewise, not every model of car is suited for desert weather and lots of dust.  We see few Volvos, VWs and Mercedes-Benzes in Niger for that reason.

Hi johns632,

Thank you very much for your contribution. :)