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Niamey was probably founded in the eighteenth century, but was of little importance to most of Niger's history. The settlement served as an outpost on the trans-Saharan caravan route. In 1879, a treaty with France started a period of French colonization during which Niamey grew in size and importance. It now has one modern market, two runways for aircraft (one paved), and a public transportation system based on buses and "taxis collectives". Niamey has an arid climate just shy of being classified as semi-arid (BSk). Rainfall is quite low; however from November to March there are usually mists that cools the city down significantly giving it more moderate temperatures than other cities with this climate classification such as Ouagadougou or N'Djamena When using our France trip itinerary planner , you're building your holiday based on your own interests, visitor reviews, and the informed opinions of our well-traveled writers.