Niger is a West African country that shares borders with Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Chad, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Mali. It has a total area of 489,678 square miles that are covered by deserts, grasslands, and mountains. Two principal mountain ranges run through this country. Namely, these are the Blue Mountains and the Air Mountains, with the latter holding most of Niger's greatest mountains. This article takes a look at some of the tallest mountain peaks located in Niger.
The tallest mountain in Niger is Mont Idoukal-n-Taghès, which stands at 6,634 feet above sea level. This mountain peak is part of the south central Air Mountain Range. It borders the northern edge of the Bagzane plateau and is the starting point of the Aouderas Valley. From here, a river flows south toward the capital during rainy season, while for most of the rest of the year it is dry. Nearby are two unique towns, Abatol and Aouderas. Abatol is a religious pilgrimage destination and Aouderas is an oasis town. The high elevation here has provided the perfect habitat for both Saharan Mediterranean and tropical plant species.
Agareroum mountain is the second tallest in Niger and part of the Air Mountain Range. It rises to 6,115 feet above sea level and is located near the town of Inignaouei in the province of Agadez. This region is found in north central Niger. Below the mountain lies the Ténéré area of the Sahara Desert.
The third tallest mountain peak in Niger is the Todgha Mountain, which is also part of the Air Mountain Range. This peak reaches an elevation of 5,942 feet. Todgha is located in the Agadez province and is also known as Mont Todra. Agareroum mountain and the Télatene waterway can be found nearby.
Adrar Tchirelissene is the fourth tallest mountain in Niger and is also part of the Air Mountain Range. It has an elevation of 5,689 feet above sea level. The Adrar Tchirelissene is located near the town of Elok.
Other tall mountains of Niger include Greboun at 5,592 feet above sea level in elevation, followed by Oumougueni (5,461 feet), Taghes Izzeguerit (5,282 feet), Balarses (5,112 feet), Ifallatatene (5,090 feet), and Bagzane-n-Ammas (5,061 feet).
Mountain Ecosystems in Niger
The majority of the mountain peaks on this list are located within the Air Mountains. These mountains offer greenery in the middle of the desert, particularly after the August and September rainy season. The climate here is referred to as Sahel. Seasonal rivers create some pools of water throughout the mountains, providing water for animals and local communities. Researchers have identified over 450 types of vascular plant species throughout the Air mountains. Some of the tree species include Afagag, Aborak, Acacia, and Palm. At higher elevations, plant species that cannot be found in the rest of the country are thriving. Recently, researchers identified 3 fern species. This find is surprising because ferns were believed to only grow in humid and very green areas. Lack of rainfall makes this a harsh habitat for many types of plants. Grazing livestock often eats those plants that are able to grow in these mountains. Overgrazing is a problem here and lead to slow or halted plant growth and soil erosion. Some efforts have been made, however, toward tree replanting and growth. One of the local techniques is to surround tree saplings with Panicum turgidum grass tufts, which seems to protect the sapling and allow it to grow to maturity.