Bilma is an oasis town in north east Niger with a population of around 2,500 people. [National Geographic Channel. "Impossible Journeys: The Traders." Aired July 27, 2008.] It lies protected from the desert dunes under the Kaouar Cliffs and is the largest town along the Kaouar escarpment. It is known for its gardens, for salt manufacture, date cultivation, and as the destination of one of the last Saharan caravan routes (the Azalai, from Agadez).


Its population is mostly Kanuri, with smaller Toubou, Tuareg, and Hausa populations, the last being a reminder of Bilma's role as a key stop in the Trans Saharan trade.

Administration and economy

Bilma is the administative seat of the Bilma Arrondissement, covering some convert|260000|sqmi|km2 of north eastern Niger. While it continues to produce salt in large "natron" salt pans, and this salt is still sold for livestock use throughout west Africa, tourism (based out of Agadez and the Aïr Mountains some convert|350|mi|km to the east) is of growing importance.


The isolation of Bilma made it the destination for disgraced officials under the authoritarian regime of Seyni Kountché, and a prison was built there by the government. Political leaders were held there in the 1980s, such as Sanoussi Tambari Djakou, today president of the PNA-AL, a Nigerien political party.

In 1989, UTA Flight 772 crashed into the desert near the town after a bomb exploded on board.


*Samuel Decalo. "Historical Dictionary of Niger". Scarecrow Press, London and New Jersey (1979). ISBN 0810812290
*Jolijn Geels. "Niger". Bradt London and Globe Pequot New York (2006). ISBN 1841621528.

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  • Bilma — ist eine Gemeinde (französisch commune urbaine) und Hauptort des gleichnamigen Departements in der Region Agadez im Norden von Niger. Es ist ein Oasenort in der zur Sahara zählenden Ténéré Wüste. Bilma weist per Volkszählung 2300 Einwohner… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • bilma — (del lat. «epithĕma», del gr. «epíthema»; Chi., Cuba, Méj., Sal.) f. Bizma. * * * bilma. f. bizma …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Bilma — (Bilmagh), Hauptort eines Volksstammes der Tibbo in der Sahara (NAfrika), fast auf der Mitte zwischen Fezzan u. Bornu gelegen. Das angrenzende Gebiet ist reich an Salz u. Wasser …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Bilma — Bilma, die südlichste Oase der Oasengruppe Kauar (s. d.) in der Sahara …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Bilma — Bilmạ,   Oase in der südlichen Sahara, Ostniger, rd. 1 200 Einwohner; Baumwollanbau, in nahe gelegenen Salzpfannen wird Salz gewonnen …   Universal-Lexikon

  • bilma — f. bizma …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Bilma — Salines de Bilma Bilma est une ville oasis du nord est du Niger. Elle fut une étape dans le commerce transsaharien au Moyen Âge. Histoire La grande richesse de Bilma a été constituée par les sources de Timero, Tchi intchiyé, Aboubou, Tchololo et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bilma — Original name in latin Bilma Name in other language Bilina, Bilma, Fort Dromard State code NE Continent/City Africa/Niamey longitude 18.68532 latitude 12.91643 altitude 356 Population 2291 Date 2012 01 18 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • bilma — बिल्म …   Indonesian dictionary

  • bilma’ — ə. hidrogen …   Klassik Azərbaycan ədəbiyyatında islənən ərəb və fars sözləri lüğəti

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