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Niger is a relatively sparsely-populated country in West Africa. The official language is French but Hausa, Fulfulde, Gourmanch├®ma, Kanuri, Zarma, and Tamasheq are also spoken. The terrain is mostly desert along with some savanna. Overall the climate is semi-arid to arid. Native animal species include the anaconda, the waterbuck, and the great honey badger. Mainstays of the economy include agriculture and some of the world's largest uranium deposits. Recent years have brought droughts, population growth, and overall hard times to Niger. Towns which used to serve as resting spots for camels along major trade routes contain a wealth of historical sites like forts and Hausa homes. In the Southwest, you can see The last known herd of West African giraffes. The A├»r Mountains and T├®n├®r├® Desert are beautiful, sandy sights. Millet, rice, cassava, sorghum, and maize are popular starchy staples. Typical vegetables include greens, green beans, and okra. Fish, goat, and chicken are commonly eaten. Salads are actually the usual start to a meal, and porridge and beignets are common snacks. Try chichena, bean flour dough balls that be seasoned with either squash or tomato sauce, or topped with sugar. Masa are sourdough pancakes that can be eaten with a peanut/hot pepper/ginger sauce. Mangoes can be large and delectable, or maybe you'd enjoy drinks like apollo, made from the baobab fruit, or bisap, made from hibiscus leaves.