Sara and John say...
From desert to lush savannah, the varied climate of Niger depends largely on distance from the equator.
The vast and largely uninhabited north sits within the Sahara Desert. Rainfall is restricted to a few rare showers, mostly between July and September, then the rest of the year is dry.
Although ‘hot’ is a year-round description of the temperature, winter-time is notably cooler, with daytime temperatures sitting in the mid to high 20s Celsius, compared with the mid-40s in summer. However, it’s a dry heat in the desert for much of the year, and nights do cool off markedly under the clear sky. The desert, or ‘Harmattan’, wind can reduce visibility markedly, especially in the winter months.
Further south across Niger, the wet season is progressively longer, in response to higher humidities. The rains are heavier too. In the capital, Niamey, they set in around May, not relenting until early October, with only the months of December to February guaranteed to be dry. Due to more cloud-cover, especially in summer, temperatures do not reach the scorching highs found in the desert further north. However, the 30-degree year-round temperatures are accompanied by higher humidity, with the nights particularly sticky through the wetter summer months.
Sunscreen is a ‘must’, wherever you are and whatever the time of year in Niger.