Where is it?: Mauritania is in northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean between Senegal and Western Sahara.
Why do people go here?: With its huge size, small population and endless desert, Mauritania is not a traveler’s destination. Those adventurous travelers who come to Mauritania will appreciate how exotic and isolated the country is from the world.
What are the main entry points?: There are flights between Paris and other West Africa countries. You can cross from the Western Sahara, although it’s best to check the security situation in Morocco first.
Currency used: Ouguiya
Country Code for Phones: 222
Other Phone Tips: Good luck finding a phone.
Religion: Sunni Muslim 100%
Population: 3.2 million
Ethnic Breakdown: Mixed Moor and Black 40%, Moor 30%, Black 30%
Government: Military junta
Languages: Arabic, Pular, Soninke, Wolof
Major Cities: Nouakchott
Attractions: Arguin Bank National Park
Tourism Office locations and links: Mauritania Links
Tips for Visiting
Off-the-Beaten-Path: Since Mauritania is isolated, anywhere you go is the path less traveled. Try visiting Tichit, if you really want to go to the middle of nowhere.
Health Issues: No major health risks
When to go: Mauritania is a country consumed with sand and no rain. As imagined, it’s very hot year-round. Try traveling from December to February if you want to escape the heat.
Common Phrases: Greetings: Salam Aleikum, Greetings (response): wa aleikum as-salam, Thank You: Shukran, How much?: kem?, Yes: nam, No: nam
Specific Events/Holidays: Independence Day: 28 November
Getting Around: Taxis are the best way to get around and are affordable. You can also hitch on trucks but they tend to be slow
Cheapest airport to fly into: The cheapest airport to fly into Mauritania is the Nouakchott International Airport.
Need more information?: Check out the Mauritania travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.