Mauritania Safari Tours & Holidays

Mauritania lies on the West African coast, bordering Mali, Senegal, and Western Sahara. It is a stunning place, where deserts, mountains, and coast meet, with spectacular results. The country has seen its fair share of problems in recent years, including a violent coup. It’s best to check current advice before booking a trip to the country. But if you can go, you’ll find a Mauritania safari is definitely one to remember.

Mauritania is a haven for nature lovers and eco-tourists. The Banc d’Arguin National Park is the biggest draw for travelers and a haven for birdlife. The coastal park is made up of small islands, beaches, sand, and mudflats, and is protected from development. Only a few hundred people live within the park. But there are many thousands of birds: it a vital migratory stop-off and breeding ground. They include flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, egrets, and many others. Take a tour through the park on a wooden fishing boat.

When on the coast in Mauritania, make sure you look out for the incredible sight of fishermen using dolphins to help them herd fish into nets.

Take a desert safari into Mauritania’s interior, following in the footsteps of generations of traders. As well as exploring ancient desert cities, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of some of the Sahara’s animals – there are more of them than you might think. Look out for desert crocodiles, the screw horn antelope, and the fennec fox.

Wherever you go in Mauritania you’ll find something to look at or something to do. It is one of those places that draws you in quickly and keeps you hooked. A Mauritania safari is a great way to see the best in the country.

How to get to Mauritania

Mauritania has its official airline the Mauritania airlines that operates flights to the Nouakchott international airport but the easiest way to get to Mauritania is by flying from Istanbul turkey with Turkish airlines.

Passport, Visa, and Entry requirements for Mauritania

According to Mauritania’s visa policy, every traveler must obtain a visa from the nearest Mauritanian embassy or diplomatic mission unless they are from one of the 9 visa-exempt countries, or if they get a visa on arrival ensure you contact their embassy before traveling to Mauritania for updated information.

The health sector of Mauritania

Mauritania’s public health system consists of administrative units and health facilities organized in a pyramid style. As of 1999, total health care expenditure was estimated at 4.8% of GDP. In the same year, there were an estimated 0.1 physicians and 0.7 hospital beds per 1,000 people.

Ensure you purchase travel and medical insurance before traveling to Mauritania.

Malaria and Yellow fever vaccination for Mauritania

Proof of yellow fever immunization is required for entry to Mauritania. The mosquito-borne disease is still present in the African nation.

Mauritania is also a risk for travelers to the region. Antimalarial medication is recommended.

Dengue and chikungunya are two more mosquito-borne infections found in Mauritania. While there is no vaccine against these diseases, repellents and mosquito netting are the best forms of protection.

Medical care is limited to Mauritania. There are facilities in large urban areas, but pharmacies may not be well-stocked. It is advised that you bring your own prescriptions and medicines.

Currency of Mauritania

Mauritania has its own currency contrary to many of its neighboring countries, which are all using the CFA. It is also interesting that the name of the Mauritanian currency, Ougiya is unique around the world, contrary to dollars, dinars, and so on.

Ouguiya means once in Hassaniya Arabic, which is a corruption of Standard Arabic So, originally, one Ouguiya was worth one ounce of gold.

It is worth noting that the Ouguiya is used in two countries, Mauritania and the unoccupied strip of land of Western Sahara.

Official Language of Mauritania

Arabic is the official language of Mauritania; Fula, Soninke, and Wolof are recognized as national languages. The Moors speak Ḥassāniyyah Arabic, a dialect that draws most of its grammar from Arabic and uses a vocabulary of both Arabic and Arabized Amazing words.

Best time to travel to Mauritania

Mauritania is mostly hot and dry with little rain, though the coast is tempered by trade winds. The winter season of November to March is the best time to visit Mauritania, when it’s warm but not scorching, though nights can be chilly.

What to wear in Mauritania

Mauritania is an Islamic state so appropriate dressing is paramount so Loose, lightweight, comfortable clothing is the rule wherever you travel in Mauritania. In conservative areas in the desert, women especially should wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.

What to bring while traveling to Mauritania

Knowing what to pack while traveling to Mauritania is a key factor as the country is an Islamic state and sharia laws are applicable to ensure your pack genuine clothing, not clothes that will make you look romantic or expose your body parts below are some of the items to take with while traveling to Mauritania

  • Sunglasses
  • hut
  • sunscreen
  • Ziplock plastic bag to protect your things from dust
  • European electrical adaptor
  • Photocopies of visa
  • Photocopies passport
  • Light sleeping bag or sheet

Car hire and driving in Mauritania

Travel in many parts of Mauritania is dangerous for foreigners and you should check the countries section of your Government website before making any plans. There have been cases of kidnapping on the road between Nouakchott and Nouadhibou and you shouldn’t contemplate driving this in a self-drive car. The conditions of paved roads in Mauritania are poor, and overland travel is difficult. You are advised to use four-wheel-drive vehicles, check the tide times, travel in convoy if possible, and ensure you take adequate supplies of water and fuel. Local drivers tend to drive without regard to traffic signs or rules, and in towns beware of erratic maneuvers by donkey carts. Roadway obstructions and hazards caused by drifting sand, animals, and poor roads are common. These hazards, when combined with the number of untrained drivers, poorly maintained vehicles, and the wider security risk makes Mauritania a challenging self-drive location.

Accommodation in Mauritania

There are limited accommodation facilities outside the city of Nouakchott so make sure you’re updated on the accommodations in the area you’re traveling to for more inquiries about Mauritania contact our Africa experts today for updated information.

Local food of Mauritania

Eating is not just a way to gain sustenance but a social activity. Food is eaten “family style” from a large serving bowl known as a “calabash.” Utensils are eschewed (rarely used only in urban areas when consuming “western” food) in favor of the right hand. The left hand is reserved for sanitary purposes and is not to be used to serve food, feed, or eat.

Couscous, rice, millet, potatoes, and sweet potatoes are stapled starches. With its long coastline and plentiful fishing yields, fish is the main source of protein among the inhabitants along the coast. Dried fish appears to be preferred, possibly to prevent spoilage in the high temperatures that the region experiences. Among the nomadic tribes of the north, lamb and camel meat are the main sources of protein.

Tipping while Travelling in Mauritania

Tipping in Mauritania can be common for some. If you look like you have money, you will be expected to tip something to keep in mind when packing. While the desert of Mauritania is amazing and it is also home to a UNESCO site and one of the longest trains if you go to Mauritania be sure to use our tipping guide to figure out when you should tip on your vacation in Mauritania by contacting our experts

Further information for Mauritania

Mauritania is a conservative Islamic State; as such visitors should dress and behave accordingly, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan. It is wise to avoid physical contact between men and women in public as public displays of affection can cause offense, particularly in rural and traditional areas and near mosques, religious shrines, and religious educational institutions. Homosexuality remains a punishable offense in Mauritania and drug laws are severe. Those found in the possession of any illegal drug may receive a prison sentence. Mauritania is a dry country. The sale and consumption of alcohol are against the law, although some restaurants do serve it. It is wise to carry your ID at all times, particularly when traveling outside Nouakchott. You should also comply promptly with directions from the police and other Mauritanian security forces.

Safety of Mauritania

A lot changes over time but traveling to Mauritania on your own can be very unsafe and travelers are expected to book a safari with a safari operator and restrain from traveling alone the country has a high level of crime including terrorism please inquire before booking a safari to Mauritania.

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