Top 12 times and places to see when you Visit Mauritania
Right across the Sahara desert and the Atlantic ocean on the other side lies Mauritania, the 11th largest country in Africa. Tourists are always looking for inspiration to guide their visit to Mauritania. But drawing up a list of places to visit can be daunting, especially when you don’t know the terrain. The reason why we’re here to help! What are the top places to see when visiting Mauritania? Or What is the best times to visit?
Life has not been easy for the vast part of the African Maghreb – Mauritania. Kidnappings, territorial frictions, coups, and military juntas have plagued the country. Due to these and other factors, most foreign governments now advise against all but only necessary travel to large portions of this country.
However, there are places to see when you visit Mauritania, such as the Sahara desert and the Chinguetti dwellings. The reason is that Banc d’Arguin beaches and the Atlantic Ocean are both readily available for viewing. Also, you may explore Nouakchott’s low-rise, crumbling houses.
12 Best places to see when you visit Mauritania
Let’s tour the Top 12 times and places to see when you visit Mauritania!
If you plan to see only one attraction when you visit Mauritania, that should be Nouakchott! The ancient, dusty haze of a capital city is filled with vibrant, low-rise homes. About two million people live in this shanty district built for just 15,000 people. This makes Nouakchott a very high-spirited place to be.
While in Nouakchott, don’t forget to visit the fish market. Here, varying seafood is sold by the locals, which is, of course, gotten from the Atlantic Ocean. Several sellers haggle daily and beckon customers to buy their produce. The noise and chaos of the fish market are something you should experience. Don’t miss the chance to taste how the Atlantic ocean salt fish taste.
Emerging from the shifting sands of the Sahara desert, Chinguetti is an eerily place to be. Experience the empty street and buildings infringed on by the unforgiving Sahara desert’s wind and sand.
Even some residential buildings have been left bare, and the residents skip for their life in search of other places of abode( mostly Nouakchott). This was once an important trading site between the med and sub-Sahara in the south. Today, the Chinguetti lies desolate, drawing a large crowd who continue to marvel at the brick-built towers and ancient fortresses of the Berber tribes dating back to the middle ages.
Notably, the Chinguetti spot is part of a bigger UNESCO World Heritage Site, which comprise several other historic desert towns in the Adrar region and beyond. It is a must-see place when you visit Mauritania.
#3. Banc d’Arguin
When you think of Mauritania, you most likely think of the desert, but there is also a water body to cool off the heat. Banc d’Arguin is Mauritania’s largest park with breathtaking views. It has a large patchwork of white sandbanks and rock-lined beaches that flows into the waters of the Bay of Arguin on the last northern fringes of Mauritania.
It is famous for its diversity and incredible species of migratory birds. If you want an excellent spot to watch a few watch nature, here’s your main catch! Birds like sandpipers, pelicans, flamingos, and terns could be seen having a good time on river banks. It might interest you that the population of nesting birds in Banc d’ Again is the highest in West Africa! Moreover, it is also the abode of the traditional Imraguen folk.
Tichit is still alive, despite its remote location deep in the Sahara Desert. The village is a particularly magnificent element of the country’s UNESCO Ksours.
Look up to see the soaring Tichit Mosque, crowned with crenulations and inlaid with intriguing triangular window slots (it’s possibly the country’s most famous mosque). Then, spend some time wandering the ancient city and marveling at the unusual use of colored quarry stones – it’s unique to Tichit!
It is essential to discover and visit the dusty town of Ouadâne. Deep in the Mauritanian Sahara lies a community with a haunting beauty and a past that can be read in the exteriors of its abandoned homes. Despite Ouadâne’s low population, exploring its meandering alleys and alleyways will give you a sense of living in the harsh, arid desert environment. In addition, you may come across a Berber nomad selling his goods, which make for charming souvenirs and gifts.
#6. The Iron Ore Train
There’s something genuinely magical about Mauritania’s Iron Ore Train. The best way to see it is by visiting one of the many small towns along its route. From there, you can watch as the train slowly winds its way through the desert, hauling its load of iron ore.
It’s a fantastic sight and one that you won’t soon forget. So make sure to add a visit to the Iron Ore Train to your Mauritania itinerary. You won’t regret it!
If you want to see the traditional nomadic way of life that once dominated Mauritania’s plains, the windblown town of Néma, located at the end of the so-called Road of Hope from the capital, is the place to go.
Located just across the border from Mali, the town has long been a famous stopover for traders traveling between the Atlantic coast and the interior of West Africa.
It is also renowned today as a destination that promotes the old brousse: the traditional country life of Mauritania’s original people.
That implies crumbling districts of mud-brick homes, dirt streets, and modest, lovely people.
#8. Drawing National Park
Drawing National Park is one of the best places to see when you visit Mauritania. The park is home to various animals, including some of the rarest in the world. Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful scenery and landscapes. You won’t miss a few things when visiting Diawling National Park.
The first thing you’ll want to see is the fantastic wildlife. The park is home to various animals, including some of the rarest in the world. You can see lions, leopards, elephants, and many other types of wildlife.
Another thing you’ll want to see is the beautiful scenery and landscapes. The park has a variety of landscapes, from mountains to deserts. You can also find many plants and flowers in the park.
Zouérat is one of the best places to see when you visit Mauritania. The three things that have regulated the rise and times of the expansive town of Zouérat have been industry, industry, and industry.
Set in the northern parts of the country, between the vast beige and brown bluffs of the Tiris Zemmour mountains, it’s long been known for its closeness to some of Africa’s richest mineral reserves.
That explains the smoke, dust billowing from factories, refineries, and the regular stream of convoys making their way south to the coast’s ports.
Travelers would be better off just observing the hardworking nature of the residents here before venturing off to explore the Saharan communities of Frederik or Chinguetti.
Sélibaby is another town with its feet firmly planted in the more tropical parts of the African Sahel, deep down in the southern outskirts of the country and near the border with Senegal.
The place has a particular dynamism because of its university and the brand-new regional hospital facility (financed by the Chinese, as are so many new developments in this part of Africa).
The town of Kaédi has a rare speck of urban greenery, for which you must drive to the country’s furthest southern extremities, where the Senegal River bends and twists itself.
The building is an odd mishmash of forms, and it’s obvious to see the Moorish and Sub-Saharan traditions merging between the old low-rise huts and that excellent beehive-built hospital.
There’s also a beautiful bazaar, like in many of the country’s border towns, loaded with colorful items from the fertile south and earthy crafts from the Saharan north.
#12. Camping in the desert
Finally, a vacation to a desert country like Mauritania needs a night of stargazing. The expansive orange sands are ideal for an evening meal around a campfire, followed by tea and a friendly discussion.
The thousands of heavenly lamps that will appear will astound you, so turn off your flashlights and get ready. Take warm clothing if the weather drops, and check the forecast to ensure there are no sandstorms on the way.
Best times to visit Mauritania
The milder months of November to February are ideal for visiting Mauritania. This is when the temperatures are more manageable, especially in Nouakchott, the capital city. However, even during these months, average high temperatures can reach 30 degrees Celsius; if you want to get away from the heat, head to the mountains in northern Mauritania, where it’s a few degrees cooler. Unfortunately, December and January are the months with the least rainfall in Mauritania.
If you want to see a typical Mauritanian holiday, go in late September or early October. Eid al-Adha, one of the most important Islamic holidays, is celebrated during this time. During Eid al-Adha, sacrificed animals are killed, and their flesh is given to those in need.
See Also: Mauritanian Embassy in Canada – Citizen Services
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Mauritania famous for?
Mauritania is well-known for its dismal human rights record, including the continuation of slavery due to a historical caste structure between the Bidhan and Haratin. It was the world’s last country to abolish slavery in 1981 and finally criminalize it in 2007.
Is Mauritania worth visiting?
Mauritania is unlikely to become a tourist destination anytime soon; the country is not very safe, and many nations warn against visiting for good causes.
Can you drink alcohol in Mauritania?
Mauritania is a deeply conservative country. It is one of the few areas in Africa where alcohol is prohibited, along with Somalia and Sudan. As a result, the upscale hotels and restaurants only sell fruit smoothies and mocktails.
Therefore, it is against the law to drink in public places, and if you are caught doing so, you might be asked to leave.
Finally, Mauritania is a lovely country with a lot to offer. There are several locations to visit and activities to enjoy, so there is something for everyone. Mauritania is the ideal destination for experiencing culture, relaxing on the beach, or exploring the desert.