Most people haven’t heard of Mauritania. And, those that have, may have heard only negative things about coups and questionable human rights records. Usually the second question after “are there tours to Mauritania” is: is it safe to travel to Mauritania? Here we dispel some myths about the safety of Mauritania travel.
A place that once suffered from security issues and foreign office bans, Mauritania today has moved on quite a bit from its coup-ridden recent history. These coups – one in 2005 and one in 2008 – resulted in severe international sanctions and internal unrest, however, there have not been major open conflicts for several years.
On June 22 2021, Mauritanian authorities arrested former President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on charges of corruption. However, he was succeeded by his former right-hand man, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani in the first transfer of power between elected leaders in the history of a country marked by military coups and upheaval. Since then, the government has been relatively stable.
Homosexuality is officially illegal and is a capital offence in Mauritania. That being said, tourists are generally not questioned on their sexuality and made to feel very welcome by guides and in homestays. Displays of intimacy such as kissing and holding hands should be kept to a minimum, as with any islamic country such as Mauritania.
While threats of kidnapping are not unheard of, actual cases of kidnapping and terrorism are extremely rare in Mauritania. Tours to Mauritania are strictly and meticulously planned. We only take tourists to areas that have a high level of safely and stability, and we, as well as our partners on the ground, are constantly monitoring the security situation. We also always travel as a group and with trusted local guides.
In conclusion, no country is 100 percent safe. You are much more likely to have your phone stolen in the French Riviera than have the same happen to you in Mauritania, and you are more likely still to have an issue with the authorities in the USA than any here. Group tours to Mauritania are by far the safest way to travel, particularly those with security and local guides.
If you are still unsure and would like to speak to us, please get in touch