Mauritania

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  Overview

Mauritania is a land about desert and ocean. It is of course no wonder that the main attractions are the desert in Adrar and the Tagant areas (around Atar), and the ocean in Banc d'Arguin (a natural reserve with dunes ending in the sea, full of millions of birds and protected by UNESCO).

The Adrar is exactly how you've always imagined the Sahara as: endless ergs (dunes) and regs (rocky desert) with tabular small mountains. Popular places are along the west coast of the country, although there are a few beautiful sights far into the interior, like the rock formations in Aioun.

Mauritania is also of strong historical interest, with a sprinkle of World Heritage-listed caravan towns, all testifying to ancient civilisations



 
  Bordering Countries   Capital City   Currency  
  Western Sahara, Algeria, Mali, Senegal   Nouakchott   Ouguiya Shilling (MRO)  
             
  Official Language   Largest City   Dialling code  
  Arabic   Nouakchott   +222  
   
 
 
 
 
           
           
           
  When to go

Mauritania experiences the same mix of hot and dry weather for much of the year. The south regions have a rainy season that lasts from July to September and a good time to visit is between March and April when the deserts are cooler and there is a steady cooling wind.

Best time to go: November to April (Daytime temperatures are comfortably warm but not too hot and there is little chance of rain)
High Season: December to February
Low Season: July to September (Rainy season, most humid period in the south)
Best Weather: November to April
Worst Weather: August
   
               
 
           
Fast Fact

If you look at Mauritania from space, you can see a clear bullseye-like image called the Eye of Africa. Nobody knows yet for sure what created this gigantic ground sculpture.
           
           
Electricity / Voltage
Plugs / sockets are usually an issue when it comes to traveling, so always make sure you travel with a universal plug adapter

The voltage is 220 V
The plug used is C
The electrical frequency is 50 Hz
           
           
Itravel's preferred Top Attractions
Brief descriptions of our recommended areas to visit
           
    Nouakchott
The capital and by far the largest city of Mauritania. It is one of the largest cities in the Sahara. The city is the administrative and economic centre of Mauritania. Barely 50 years old, Nouakchott has to be simultaneously one of Africa's strangest and most unassuming capital cities
 
         
    Terjit
The Terjit Oasis is a sandy area amongst palm trees alongside a freshwater stream, nestling in a narrow gorge beneath a massive cliff face, which is covered in Maidenhead Ferns and stalactites
 
         
    Chinguetti
A ksar or medieval trading centre in northern Mauritania, founded in the 13th century as the center of several trans-Saharan trade routes, this small city continues to attract a handful of visitors who admire its spare architecture, scenery and ancient libraries. The city is seriously threatened by the encroaching desert; high sand dunes mark the western boundary and several houses have been abandoned to the sand.
 
         
    Banc 'dArguin National Park
The World Heritage Site is a major breeding site for migratory birds, including flamingos, broad-billed sandpipers, pelicans and terns. Much of the breeding is on sand banks including the islands of Tidra, Niroumi, Nair, Kijji and Arguim. The surrounding waters are some of the richest fishing waters in western Africa and serve as nesting grounds for the entire western region.
 
         
    Ouadane
The old town, a World Heritage Site, though in ruins, is still substantially intact, while a small modern settlement lies outside its gate. It a staging post in the trans-Saharan trade and for caravans transporting slabs of salt from the mines at Idjil. Ouadane is the closest town to the Richat Structure, a massive circular landmark visible from space.
 
         
    Atar
A small town which is great for exploring the Adrar region and tends to be slightly cheaper overall than Chinguetti. Atar is growing in importance due to its proximity to an airport and a regional hospital
 
         
 
 

 

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