The former colonial capital (pop. 202,300), Zinder has a great walled market where you can buy, among other things, camel paraphernalia—saddles, blankets, reins and even dried camel dung (it's burned as fuel). There's also an old Foreign Legion fort that brings Beau Geste to mind. Many of the buildings in Zinder have elaborately decorated walls and gates. There are several stores near the center of town that stock food and goods not normally found outside Niamey, and the street stalls and restaurants generally offer decent meals at reasonable prices. Quiet and slow paced, Zinder is a good place to recharge the batteries after exhausting forays into the bush. Plan one night. 450 mi/725 km east of Niamey.

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