Ouadane or Wādān is a small town in the desert region of central Mauritania, situated on the southern edge of the Adrar Plateau, 93 km northeast of Chinguetti. The town was a staging post in the trans-Saharan trade and for caravans transporting slabs of salt from the mines at Idjil.
When Ouadane was founded isa matter of contention, but it’s generally agreed the city rose to prominence in the 11th century. Alongside Chinguetti, Tichitt, and Oualata, Ouadane became an important trading and religious center along with one of the most important trans-Saharan routes. The walls surrounding old Ouadane suggest it was a ksar or fortified village.
Buildings in the ksar that have not already crumbled to the ground are in a precarious state of disrepair, with one notable exception: the old mosque. Built-in the 15th century, the mosque received some restoration attention without detracting from its ancient charm. The structure itself is relatively small, but the uncovered rounded rows of horseshoe arches create an intriguing and at times disorienting architectural feature.
Things to do in Ouadane town Mauritania
Visiting the 50-km-diameter circular Richat structure is one of those geological features that are more clearly observed from space than from down on the ground, with this ‘eye of Africa’ a familiar landmark to astronauts since the earliest manned missions.
How to get to Ouadane town Mauritania
Ouadane is a 9-hour drive from the main capital Nouakchott and ensures you use a well maintained 4×4 vehicle as the services are limited and ensure you travel with enough snacks and water as restaurants are very scarce and may find local Mauritanian restaurants.
Where to stay in Ouadane town Mauritania
Ouadane is a perfect place to explore and some of the options of accommodation to look out for include Auberge Verani and Auberge la gueila are local accommodation options to stay.