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

Return to top

Organising Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Recommendation
The two modes of transport used in the cities are the taxi and the bus. There are many taxi cabs, old and without a meter, you should therefore not hesitate to negotiate the fare's price. Neither buses are modern but there are many of them and they are cheap.
Maps of Urban Networks
Map of Mauritania
Map of Mauritania

Return to top


Transportation From Airport to City Centre:


Airport

Distance

Taxi

Bus

Train

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

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Recommendation
With a bush-taxi you can go anywhere in Mauritania. They are however not always in good condition and their owners do not hesitate filling them up. Do not shy away from taking several places or taking the place in the front, more expensive but also more comfortable. There are two kinds of bush-taxis: on tar: Peugeot-break station wagons which can take up to nine people in addition to the driver. On tar and trails: 4x4 Toyotas or Nissan Patrol. In principle, cars leave when they are full, so for certain routes it is possible to wait a few hours or a few days before departure. Do not hesitate buying the free places. If one is travelling in the front, it is always necessary to take water, a scarf and a blanket.
Rail Companies
The National Industrial and Mining Society manages the rail connection between Nouadhibou and Zérouate (link in French)

Return to top

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).

Return to top

Travelling By Yourself

Recommendation
Roads are generally in good condition but the majority of them are trails. In Mauritania you drive on the right, except for between F'derick and Zouérate where you drive on the left. Given the specifics of the place, it is advised to be accompanied by a guide and always have a road map at hand. Car locations are relatively costly and it's better to check the vehicle's condition and the quality of the driver (experience and knowledge of the desert). Because of sand cover, presence of animals, intensification of the traffic and the circulating vehicles' condition one should avoid to drive in the night. Police must be informed In the case of an accident, in order to draw up a report. International driver's license is required.
Road Maps
Map of the Mauritanian Embassy
Find an Itinerary
Mauritania on the Maps.Live.com search engine

Return to top

Visiting

Different Forms of Tourism

Historical
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.
Cultural
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.
Nature
The Arguin Bank natural park, an important site of bird reproduction in Africa, situated in the North-West of the country, is particularly spectacular.
Religious
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.
Thermal
Non-existing.
Beach
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
Non-existing.
Outdoor Activities
The country offers numerous possibilities of camel-back excursions, 4x4 rides, Quad biking, trekking and hot balloon flights.
Shopping
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

Return to top

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
 

Return to top

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.
For Further Information
Meteorological forecasts for main Mauritanian cities
 

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall

Climate

 

Return to top

Eating

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."
Drinks
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.

Return to top

Paying

Domestic Currency
Mauritanian Ouguiya
ISO Code
MRO
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.

Return to top

Speaking

Official Language
Arabic
Other Languages Spoken
Dialectal Arabic hassanya, French, Fula, Soninke and Wolof
Business Language
Arabic and French
Getting Some Knowledge
The dialect spoken in Mauritania (hassanya) is a mixture of Arabic and Berber. It is spoken by a minority and difficult to learn outside of the country. French serves as lingua franca.
Free Translation Tools
Arabic Translate : Online translation of Arabic into English
Sakhr : Online Arabic translation website

Return to top

Any Comment About This Content? Report It to Us.

 

Learn more about Travel in Mauritania on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

© Export Entreprises SA, All Rights Reserved.
Latest Update: April 2022