Forget Blue Steel; it’s all about best dance, costume and face paint for one of West Africa’s best-loved festivals, Cure Salee. Cure Salee, or Salt Cure in English, is a big social and cultural celebration to mark the end of the rainy season in Niger. Join the coming together of Sahara’s Desert Nomads and celebrate love and life just like they have for centuries, like the Wodaabé tribe who flock to the small town of Ingall for a dance-come-beauty contest where the men take the stage in front of perspective wives.

A beauty pageant for men

Cure Salee is a large social and cultural celebration of Saharan Desert Nomads from the Tuareg and Wodaabé tribes in Ingall, Niger. One of the most popular events at Cure Salee is the Yaake dance at Gerewol where, after months of preparation, the men of the Wodaabe tribe show-off their beauty, charisma and charm in pursuit of a wife. It takes hours for men to decorate themselves complete with the iconic red-and-white face paint, jewellery and traditional clothes before they line-up and dance, eye-roll and show-off their teeth in front of perspective wives.

In addition to Yaake, Cure Salee has one week of celebrations including everything from camel races to women’s drum circles and livestock parades. If you fancy getting your groove on with the Wodaabé and Tuareg tribes and thousands of other spectators, Universal Traveller can tailor a tour for you and your dancing crew. We can get you to Cure Salee and ensure your flights, transfers, accommodation and insurance are sorted before you even tell work you’re going on holiday.


When is it?

02nd October 2016 to 03rd October 2016

Tips and tricks

  • Cure Salee is a popular time to visit Ingall, Niger. Book in advance with Universal Traveller and save yourself a lot of hassle!

  • The closest international airport to Ingall is Mano Dayak International Airport, Agadez. Tourist visas and transfers can get complicated so we recommend going on a group tour.

  • Don’t forget to visit the sites of Agadez while you’re in the area. From dinosaur excavations to ancient temples, allow yourself a few days to explore the city’s best.

  • Don’t miss out on the dances, especially those of the Wodaabe tribe like the Yaake and the Raume (a bird dance), which are usually performed for hours each day at the festival.

  • Respect Yaake, where men are competing for their future wives! If a woman likes a man and it’s reciprocated, the man will make an offer to her parents and they will soon be wed!

  • Temperature averages are around 30 degrees-plus throughout the festival; stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun.

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