Though Niger has finally gained some political stability in the last half of the decade, it still struggles with terrorist attacks from time to time, and as such, travel here isn’t always guaranteed safe. That said, if and when you do choose to visit, you’ll be rewarded with a fascinating mix of Arab and African cultures, where you can wander the adobe mazes of Agadez and Zinder and experience the frenetic energy these sites provide.

The best time to visit Niger is at the beginning of September when the Cure Salee festival takes over the little town of Ingall: Here, the Taureg and Wodaabe nomadic tribes gather to help marry off their bachelors. The men dress in elaborate costumes and makeup and chant and dance to potentially attract a wife. Finding a hotel can be tricky, but it’s an experience that’s definitely a world away from usual. Though Niger is one of the world’s poorest countries, it’s also among the most welcoming. And if you’re not a risk-averse person, visiting can be an endlessly rewarding experience.