flag Mauritania Mauritania: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organising Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources


Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service (in French)
For Further Information
Embassies Abroad website dedicated to Mauritania
Check IATA Travel Website for visa requirements and health advices.

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Organising Your Trip

Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Nouakchott (NKC) 4 km / 2 miles USD 2 - - -

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Train reservation services
The National Industrial and Mining Society manages the rail connection between Nouadhibou and Zérouate (link in French)

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Major airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Mauritania Airways Major No Yes

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Different Forms of Tourism

Between Maghreb and Black Africa, Mauritania is favorable to tourism.
The ancient "ksour" (cities founded in 11th and 14th century to respond to needs of caravans crossing the Sahara) of Ouadane, Chingetti, Tichitt and Oualata in the North-East of the country are on the UNESCO's World Heritage list.
The country is trying to develop this kind of tourism by highlighting its rich heritage (poetry, singing...). Thus, a national film-makers' festival takes place each year in Nouakchott.
The Arguin Bank natural park, an important site of bird reproduction in Africa, situated in the North-West of the country, is particularly spectacular.
The 'Saudi' mosque is very well-known in Nouakchott. With its two minarets it is very imposing. It was given to Mauritania as a gift by Saudi Arabia.
The 700km long Atlantic coast has is very well known for its immaculate white sand beaches, picturesque landscapes, rocks and azure-blue skies.
Winter Sports
Outdoor Activities
The country offers numerous possibilities of camel-back excursions, 4x4 rides, Quad biking, trekking and hot balloon flights.
The original nomadic population leads a simple life, which has not allowed for a development of a variety of crafts. However, there is some beautiful silver and ebony jewellery.
Top Highlights in the Main Cities
Site about Nouakchott
Top Highlights of the Country
World Travel Guide site on Mauritania
Tourism Organisations
Mauritanian Official Tourism Board

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required of all travelers aged more than one year, except for those arriving from a non-infected zone and staying in the country for less than 15 days. A risk of malaria infection, mainly under the malignant P falciparum form exists year-round throughout the country, except for the northern zones of Dakhlet-Nouadhibou and Tiris-Zemour. Disease prevention is recommended in the risk-zones: C+P.

Bathing in fresh water presents a risk of exposure to bilharzias (or schiztosomose). Do not bath unless you are able to get a reliable opinion about a particular locality. The Anti-meningitides A+C vaccine is justified during periods of epidemics (generally the dry season), for longer stays or for a multiple-year expatriation. In order to [protect oneself against travel diarrhea, it is advised to avoid raw foods, meats and fish that are not properly cooked, as well as non-drinkable tap water.

For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
 World Health Organization website on Mauritania
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
Website about security in Mauritania

Emergency Numbers

Police 17
Fire Department 18
Emergency 525 21 35

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Nouakchott (GMT)
Summer Time Period
There is no summer time.

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
Mauritania is one of the warmest regions in the world. The moderate coastal zones and the more humid region around the Senegal river are exceptions. Temperature can exceed 44°C in May-June and drop to less than 10°C in January and February. Differences in temperature are equally high between day and night time. Rain season varies enormously in time and space. Generally, it extends from June to October. At this time, humid and strong heat periods make this a trying season. The rest of the time the country is swept by violent winds.
Hotel reservation websites
Meteorological forecasts for main Mauritanian cities

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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Food Specialties
Mauritanian cuisine takes its inspiration from the cuisines of Maghreb and Black Africa. Dishes are simple and composed of rice or semolina served with meats (chicken, lamb, goat, camel, etc.). The coastal cuisine especially uses well-known fish (sea bass, sea bream, grouper, etc.). Dates are frequently used in Mauritanian foods. One of northern specialties is also round biscuits in a sauce called "leksour."
Among the traditional drinks one finds zrig (curdled milk mixed with water), bissap (drink made by brewing hibiscus leaves) which has diuretic properties and tijmakhte (rye bread mixed with water), very effective in case of diarrhea.
Dietary Restrictions
Mauritanian law prohibits the consumption of pork meat and alcohol. Concerning alcohol there is nevertheless a certain tolerance given to foreigners. Alcoholic drinks are not on the menus, one must ask the person in charge of the establishment.

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Domestic Currency
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
The national currency is Ouguiya (MRO. It is non-convertible and therefore cannot be obtained before going to Mauritania. Exchange operations must be carried out in banks or at agreed intermediaries. Traveler's checks are accepted throughout the chain of exchange offices.
Possible Means of Payment
Payments are made in cash and it is better to always have smaller bills. ATMs are non-existing and the use of credit cards is limited, however, the situation is evolving rapidly.

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Official Language
Other Languages Spoken
Dialectal Arabic hassanya, French, Fula, Soninke and Wolof
Business Language
Arabic and French

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Useful Resources

To Find a Job
Employment ads website
Employment ads website

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Latest Update: May 2024