Niger is a country in north central Africa with 13 million inhabitants. The republic is named after the river Niger. Neighboring countries are Mali, Algeria, Libya, Chad, Nigeria, Benin and Burkina Faso. Niger lies partly in a belt called the Sahel. In the north of Niger lies the Azbine Mountains and the Aïr Mountains, with rocks, green oases and waterfalls. The Tchigai highlands are located in the northeast. Lake Chad lies below. The Sahara, with beautiful sand dunes, lies north. Central is the Ténéré desert, with beautiful oases. The valley of the river Niger lies southwest, with grass savannas around it. Niger has a desert climate in the north and a tropical climate in the south. The capital Niamey has 650,000 inhabitants. Sights are the national museum, the zoo, the Great Mosque, the cultural centers and the markets. Other important cities are Agadez, Mayahi, Zinder, Bilma, Diffa, Dosso, Maradi, Tillabéry and Tahoua. On the World Heritage List of UNESCO are the National Park W and the nature reserves of Air and Ténéré. Other places of interest are the dinosaur graveyard, the village of Iferouâne, the Tuaregs, La Cure Salée, the Gerewol festival of the Wodaabee nomads and the salt caravans.

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