Mauritania

About Mauritania

'Le Grand Vide', the Big Nothing, that's what the French colonialist called Mauritania. This qualification is somewhat unjust to the country. There is, however, a lot of sand, and a lot of nothing. But Mauritania also has fascinating wildlife (birds, seals) in the Banc d'Arguin National Park, impressive old caravan cities like Chinguetti, Ouadane or Tichit and is generally speaking a very nice place for travelling.

That doesn't mean traveling is easy in Mauritania. Travel infrastructure (in the form of hotels, restaurants, roads) is lacking in many places. When you can find accommodation, it is not very cheap. Food isn't cheap either and nice cosy restaurants are not to be found anywhere except maybe in the biggest cities Nouakchott and Nouadhibou. But this makes travel adventurous! Where else than in Zouerate can you take a 2,5 km long desert train that just transports iron ore and you!

For people who want to cross the Sahara taking the route from Morocco over Western Sahara (occupied by Morocco) to Mauritania is one of the best options. There are a few tough spots near the border (land mines, lack of road) but generally speaking it is not too hard to cross here. It seems that it is easier going from the north to the south. Check the Dakhla section in Western Sahara for details.

Travelers to Mauritania need to realize that it's a country that faces many problems of social nature. Not only is it one of the poorest countries on the planet but also the population is very divided ethnically and by caste.

This is provided under the terms of the CCPL license, and is based on an original from World66 titled "Mauritania", edited and/or created by greenleaf, richardosinga, which is subject to Copyright and a Disclaimer.