Travel To Mauritania
Jewel of the Sahara
Home to a very unique train journey as well as the UNESCO world heritage site of Chinguetti – Mauritania has a surprising amount on offer for such an unknown land.
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Our Mauritania tours will showcase all that this nomadic, tribal land can offer.
A place that once suffered from security issues and foreign office bans, Mauritania is roaring back with its unique blend of wild Atlantic fisherman mixed with traditional desert nomads of the Sahara. This huge and sparsely populated nation has attractions and wonderful towns waiting to be discovered by the intrepid traveler.
What are you waiting for? Check out our sample Mauritania tour itinerary and get in touch today for a quote!
Mauritania tours should be avoided in the summer months due to the heat. November to March is the best time to travel.
Thankfully it's super easy to get a Mauritania visa. Basically all nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival for $60USD or €55.
Bring clothes for hot and cool weather conditions. Comfortable footwear. A headscarf - especially to protect from dust if you are riding the iron ore train.
See the highlights from Nouakchott to Chinguetti and back in this Mauritania essentials tour!
Sample 6 Day Itinerary
Day 1 – Nouadhibou
- Start in Nouadhibou city, the country’s second largest city and economic centre.
- Head to the Atlantic ocean at Cape Blanc – a peninsula that is shared between Mauritania and Western Sahara. This was where the Spanish expanded their fishing presence from the Canary islands onto the African continent. It is also possible to spot the Mediterranean monk seal colony here and plenty of bird colonies.
- Visit the new ship graveyard of Nouadhibou
- Dinner at a family restaurant. For those who fancy a well deserved ice cold beer it is possible to visit the Chinese restaurant next door for the only establishment that openly serves beers.
- Overnight at Hotel Al Jezira
Day 2 – Nouadhibou – Choum
- Breakfast at hotel
- Head to the Port of Nouadhibou. Lots of local fish markets to explore here.
- Lunch at a local restaurant.
- Prepare for the Mauritania Iron ore Train – stop at local shops and stores to ensure the group is stocked up on plenty of essentials.
- Board the world famous Mauritania Mineral Train – at over 2km this is the longest and heaviest train in the world. Make sure to bring a warm blanket, warm clothing and scarf to protect yourself from the sand. The train will depart anywhere from around 4pm to 6pm.
Day 3 – Choum – Chinguetti
- Arrive at the town of Choum at 3:00am and spend the rest of the early morning resting in nearby tents.
- Wake up and enjoy a cooked breakfast by camp fire.
- Begin the days exploring of the Adrar Region of Mauritania.
- Visit Azoughi oasis and village for a tea stop.
- Lunchtime at hotel Mer et Desert. You’ll most likely meet the owner, a French woman. She knows a lot about the social issues of local tribes and is a great source of information.
- Drive to the UNESCO world heritage site of Chinguetti – one of the holy cities of Islam. You’ll visit the library and other historical monuments and landmarks including the much loved Friday Mosque of Chinguetti, the national symbol of Mauritania.
- Evening sunset watched from the huge sand dunes surrounding Chinguetti
- Dinner and overnight at Hotel Eden.
Day 4 – Chinguetti – Ouadane
- Breakfast at the hotel
- Begin the 80km drive through nothing but desert and sand dunes: on the way stopping in the village of Tanounichert for tea with the locals.
- Arrival in Ouadane and explore the streets that once glorified the country as a whole.
- Traditional dinner and overnight in the Hotel Vasque.
Day 5 – Ouadane – Choum Mineral Train
- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Depart for Choum – the place where we catch the mineral train.
- On the way stopping at Agrour – here’s your chance to see pre-historic paintings left here 5000 years ago!
- Visit the Mheirith Oasis – an incredibly picturesque place where Mauritanians like to come and relax during the date growing season.
- Home-cooked lunch in Terjit Oasis followed by a short trek (approx 30 minutes) to the source of the oasis, here, the scenery will even remind you of Jurassic Park!
- Drive through the stunning Tivoujar Pass and arrive early evening in Atar town.
- Overnight and dinner in the Hotel Des Caravanes
Day 6 – Atar – Nouakchott
- An early rise for breakfast and the long drive back to the Mauritanian capital city of Nouakchott.
- On the way stopping for lunch at San Francisco Café for a meal and access to WiFi after a few days of deprivation.
- Arrive in time to catch the lively Atlantic fish market. Every evening hundreds of fishermen bring in the day’s catch on their distinct sea canoes. The catch is then brought by donkey cart to the city’s markets
- Visit the National Museum where artefacts of the history of Mauritania and its ancient cities are exposed – this will allow you to have a quite recap of what we’ve seen in the last days.
- Visit the local craft market where locals specialize in camel wool rugs.
- Photo stop by the Great Mosque of Nouakchott – funded by Saudi Arabia and built in 1982.
- Head to the beach for some great people watching. This is where locals come to escape the city and cool off.
- Overnight in Nouakchott.
- End of Mauritania Tour.