Mauritania Travel Overview

Mauritania Travel Overview

At a glance

Capital: Nouakachott

Official language: Arabic

Currency: Ouguiya

Continent: West Africa

Former desert kingdom, today’s presidential republic

Mauritania has been ruled by a military government since August 2008. In July 2009 presidential elections took place again.


According to Countryaah, Mauritania is a state in North Africa, which is located in the western Sahara. The state borders Senegal, Mali, Algeria, Western Sahara and the Atlantic Ocean. Half of the country consists of desert.

Travel to Mauritania

Mauritania is shaped by the African culture on the coast and the culture of the Arab world, which came into the country through the spread of Islam. This clash can be seen especially in architecture, but also in African music and daily customs.

Mauritania sightseeing

Travelers are recommended to visit the caravan towns of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata, which were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. Another highlight of many Mauritania trips is the Atar camel market.


Vaccinations against tetanus, rabies and meningococci are recommended, as the medical standard of Mauritania is not comparable with the European one. If you are seriously ill, it is advisable to fly out, so take out travel insurance in good time.

Important facts

Capital: Nouakachott

Official language: Arabic


Currency (sub-unit)

Ouguiya (5 Khoums)

ISO 4217 code

MRO / 478


Continent: Africa

Region: west

Geo coordinates: N 21 ° 0 ‘28.4 ” W -10 ° -56’ -27″

Highest mountain: Kediet Ijill (910 m)

Total area: 1,030,700 km²

Mainland: 1,030,400 km²

National border: 5,074 km

Coastline: 754 km


Dependency: France until 1960

UN member since: 1961

Other political affiliation: Arab League

Form of government: Presidential Democracy


Mauritania GDP - gross domestic product

Export goods: Iron ore, fish, meat

BSP: $ 2,176,000,000

GDP: $ 2,062,000,000

GDP purchasing power parity: $ 7,280,000,000

Economic growth: 5.7%

Export: $ 1,154,000,000

Import: $ 1,266,000,000

Electricity consumption: 216 million KWh

Oil consumption: 28,000 million m³

Cultivation area: 0.19%

Bovine: 1,580,000 pieces

Sheep: 8,000,000 pieces

Fishing: 89,000 t

Demographic data

Residents: 3,177,400

Residents in cities: 1,808,300

Average age: 17 years

0-14 years: 45.6%

15-64 years: 52.2%

> 65 years: 2.2%

Population growth: 2.88%

Birth rate: 40.99 / 1,000 residents

Death rate: 12.16 / 1,000 residents

Ratio men / women: 0.98

Fertility: 5.86 children / woman

Infant mortality: 69.48 ‰

Life expectancy men: 50.88 years

Life expectancy women: 55.42 years

Country codes and abbreviations

ISO 3166 Alpha 2: MR

ISO 3166 Alpha 3: MRI

ISO 3166 numeric: 478

Top Level Domain: mr

IOC country code: MTN


Source: Abbreviationfinder


Telephone connections: 59,000

Cell Phones: 610,000

TV: 440,000

Computer: 40,000

Internet users: 26,000


Railway lines: 717 km

Paved roads: 1,340 km

Cars: 30,000


Number of doctors: 300

Daily food intake: 2,790 kcal / resident

HIV- infected people: 11,600


Illiteracy: 57%


Foundation: 350 BC Chr.

Last sovereign since: -1960 BC Chr.


Main religious group: Muslims


Prison inmates: 1,200


Armed forces (troop strength): 16,000

Main battle tank: 35

Battleships: 4

Warplanes: 10

Defense Spending: $ 21,500,000


Arriving by plane

Mauritania does not currently have a national airline.

Air France (AF) (Internet: flies direct from Paris to Nouakchott several times a week. Mauritania is also served by the airlines Air Algerie (AH), Royal Air Maroc (AT) and Tunis Air (TU).

Departure fee


Arrival by car

Entry and exit by land through the Western Sahara must only take place on the coast near Nouadhibou. The tarred road from Dakar (Senegal) to Nouakchott is 575 km long (travel time: approx. 8 hours). The Senegal River must be crossed by ferry at Rosso (ferry connections from 7.30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.). There is also a tarred road from Mali to Mauritania.

If you want to travel to Mauritania from the north (Western Sahara), you should find out about the current political situation in Western Sahara at the Mauritanian embassy. In addition, entry should only take place via the marked roads. Because of the unmarked minefields, leaving the roads is life-threatening. The Route du Mauritaniethrough Algeria is no longer passable. For security reasons, people are urgently warned against entering via Algeria and the north of Mali.

Arrival by ship

The main port is Nouâdhibou, Nouakchott has a small port. The port of St. Louis in Senegal is also responsible for Mauritania.


Traveling by plane

The national airline Mauritania Airlines International (L6) is the only airline to offer domestic flights between Nouakchott and other major cities.

On the way by car / bus

Roads connect Nouakchott with Rosso in the south (paved road), Néma in the southeast and Akjoujt in the north of the country. The paved La Route de l’Espoir leads from Nouakchott in the east of the country to Mali. All other streets, e.g. B. the connection from Atar in the west with Ain Ben Tilli in the north, are sandy slopes that are only accessible with vehicles with four-wheel drive. In some regions the roads are impassable during the rainy season. In the dry season, quicksand sometimes obscures the sandy slopes; You shouldn’t venture into this inhospitable area without a local driver.

The 500 km long route from Nouadhibou through the Banc d’Arguin National Parkto Nouakchott has no supply points and should only be accessed with a local guide, off-road vehicles and in convoy. Supplies of water, food and fuel should be sufficient for several days. In the office of the National Park Banc d´Arguin in Nouadhibou (Antenna Banc d´Anguin) a fee of 1,200 UM per person per day has to be paid for the transit. Reliable guides can also be found there.

Rental cars
are available in Nouakchott, Nouâdhibou and Atar. All-wheel drive vehicles and drivers are very expensive. It is advisable to rent a rental car with a driver.

Driving in the desert on your own should never be undertaken without spare parts and extensive safety precautions.

International driver’s license is recommended.

Traveling in the city

Taxis in Nouakchott and Nouâdhibou are very expensive. Unit prices. A small tip is expected. Taxis can also be hired for a full day.

Buses are cheap, but in poor technical condition.

On the go by train

The SNIM line (Internet: between Nouâdhibou and Zouérate was built for the iron ore mines. People and cars are transported from Nouâdhibou to Atar. The journey is long and exhausting, advance booking necessary.