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Location:Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Senegal and Western Sahara
Currency:Mauritanian ouguiya (MRO)
Area:1,030,700 sq km
Population:4,079,284 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:Arabic (official and national), Pular, Soninke, Wolof (all national languages), French; note - the spoken Arabic in Mauritania differs considerably from the modern standard Arabic used for official written purposes or in the media; the Mauritanian dialect, which incorporates many Berber words, is referred to as Hassaniya
Religion:Muslim (official) 100%
Things to Do
1. Camel Trekking in the Sahara Desert
Embark on a memorable camel trekking adventure through the vast and mesmerizing Sahara Desert. Explore the stunning sand dunes, immerse yourself in the silence of the desert, and witness breathtaking sunsets.
2. Kiteboarding in Nouakchott
Experience the thrill of kiteboarding in the vibrant coastal city of Nouakchott. Feel the wind in your hair as you glide across the waves and perform daring tricks. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced kiter, Nouakchott offers ideal conditions for this exhilarating water sport.
3. Visit to the Banc d'Arguin National Park
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Banc d'Arguin National Park. Witness the diverse ecosystem of the park, including migratory birds, marine life, and stunning landscapes. Take a boat tour to explore the park's islands and enjoy the tranquility of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4. Exploring Chinguetti's Ancient Libraries
Step back in time and visit the ancient libraries of Chinguetti. Discover a rich collection of ancient manuscripts that were preserved by the Saharan trading town's scholars. Learn about the history and culture of Mauritania through these valuable artifacts.
5. Hiking in the Zarga Mountains
Embark on a breathtaking hiking adventure in the Zarga Mountains. Explore the rugged terrain, witness stunning views of the surrounding landscapes, and immerse yourself in nature. The Zarga Mountains offer a unique and rewarding hiking experience for outdoor enthusiasts.
6. Fishing in the Banc d'Arguin
Experience the traditional fishing practices in the Banc d'Arguin. Join local fishermen in their daily activities, learn about their techniques, and try your hand at catching fish. Immerse yourself in the rich maritime culture of Mauritania through this unique fishing experience.
7. Exploring Terjit Oasis
Uncover the beauty of Terjit Oasis, a peaceful oasis located in the desert. Enjoy a refreshing swim in the natural pools, relax under the palm trees, and savor traditional Mauritanian cuisine. Terjit Oasis offers a tranquil retreat amidst the desert landscapes.
8. Visiting the Imperial City of Chinguetti
Discover the enchanting Imperial City of Chinguetti, known for its ancient architecture and rich history. Explore the narrow streets, visit the ancient mosques, and immerse yourself in the cultural heritage of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
9. Camping under the Starry Sky
Experience the magic of camping under the starry sky of Mauritania. Set up your tent in a picturesque location, enjoy a traditional Bedouin dinner, and marvel at the beauty of the night sky. Camping in Mauritania offers a memorable and tranquil outdoor experience.
10. Exploring the Ancient City of Ouadane
Step into history as you explore the ancient city of Ouadane. Marvel at the well-preserved architecture, visit the ancient mosque, and learn about the city's significance as a trading hub. Ouadane offers a fascinating glimpse into Mauritania's past.
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Mauritania has a hot, arid desert climate with temperatures ranging from 25-40°C throughout the year. The country is located in the Sahel region and experiences very little rainfall. Coastal areas are affected by strong sea breezes, while inland areas can get very hot and dusty.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Mauritania is from November to February when temperatures are cooler and more comfortable, although still hot during the day. The country experiences the highest levels of rainfall from July to September, making travel more difficult in these months. Winter is the best time to visit the interior desert regions, while spring and autumn are the best times for visiting coastal areas and the north of the country.
Mauritania offers a range of accommodation options for visitors, ranging from basic camping facilities to luxury hotels. Some of the most popular options include:
Mauritania has a number of hotels, both in the capital city of Nouakchott and in other cities and towns throughout the country. These range from budget-friendly options to luxury hotels, with varying levels of amenities and services.
Guesthouses are another popular option for travelers in Mauritania, offering a more traditional and cultural experience. These typically provide basic accommodation and meals, and can be found in rural areas and small towns.
For those who prefer a more adventurous experience, camping is a popular option in Mauritania. There are many designated camping areas and facilities, as well as opportunities for wild camping in more remote areas.
Luxury Tented Camps
For a more luxurious camping experience, visitors can opt for one of the country's many luxury tented camps, which offer comfortable tents, private facilities, and high-end amenities. These are often located in remote desert locations, offering a unique and unforgettable experience.
Buses are a popular and affordable mode of transportation for longer journeys, connecting cities and towns throughout the country.
Taxis are widely available in cities and towns, and are a convenient way to get around. These can be found at taxi ranks, or can be hailed on the street.
Rental cars are also available, allowing visitors to explore the country at their own pace. This option is particularly useful for those traveling to more remote areas, or for those who want greater independence.
For longer distances or for travel to more remote locations, visitors can opt to fly. Mauritania has a number of airports, with flights connecting the country's major cities and towns.
There is a limited train service in Mauritania, with trains connecting Nouakchott and the mining town of Zouerat. This is a slow but scenic option, and is particularly popular among tourists.
- The currency of Mauritania is the Mauritanian ouguiya (MRU).
- The current exchange rate is approximately 1 USD = 37 MRU.
- It is recommended to have some local currency on hand for small purchases.
Cash And Cards
- Cash is widely used in Mauritania, especially in rural areas.
- Credit cards are accepted in hotels, upscale restaurants, and some shops in major cities.
- It is advisable to carry some cash as backup in case of card acceptance issues.
- ATMs are available in major cities like Nouakchott, Nouadhibou, and Atar.
- It is recommended to withdraw cash from ATMs located inside banks or reputable establishments.
- Some ATMs may have withdrawal limits, so it's advisable to plan accordingly.
- Tipping is not a common practice in Mauritania, but it is appreciated for exceptional service.
- If you choose to tip, rounding up the bill or leaving a small amount is sufficient.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in Mauritania is relatively low compared to Western countries.
- Prices for basic goods and services are affordable.
- However, prices may vary depending on the location and level of tourism.
- Be cautious of street vendors selling counterfeit goods, especially in tourist areas.
- Avoid exchanging money with unauthorized individuals or on the black market.
- Always negotiate prices before making a purchase.