Mauritania

Mauritania

Etymology

The Bafours were primarily agriculturalist, and among the first Saharan people to abandon their historically nomadic lifestyle. With the gradual desiccation of the Sahara, they headed south. Many of the Berber tribes claimed Yemeni (and sometimes other Arab) origins. There is little evidence to support such claims, but a 2000 DNA study of Yemeni people suggested there might be some ancient connection between the peoples. [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Comptoir CAFE – In a popular district of Nouakchott, this pretty Comptoir café colored is a place where all the travelers of Nouakchott eat. [facebook]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Afro Romance – Open an account with AfroRomance to get a date with someone you actually want to see again. We have profiles from a wide range of women in Mauritania all available to view for yourself online. If you see something you like, you can then upgrade your membership and start interacting with other singles in your area. Discover an interracial romance for yourself today here at AfroRomance! [afro romance]

Mauritania Dating – Over the years, Mauritania Dating has discovered that Mauritanian single girls are a dating craze for singles from USA, UK, Asia, Canada, New Zealand, Europe and Australia. Thinking about it, Mauritanian girls’ “h”; hospitality, honesty and hotness make them irresistible for both local and foreign men. Mauritania has lots of amazing singles looking for something different from the norm. [mauritania.africa.dating]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Africa Tour Operators – Mauritania is among the biggest countries in Northern Africa, and it is a combination of desert plus ocean although mostly desert. The biggest area of Mauritania’s land mass is covered by internationally renowned Sahara Desert, whereas the western coast of the country touches the Atlantic Ocean. The big difference between these two environments implies that there is so much for visitors to see and also do. [africa tour operators]

Mauritania Tours – Chinguitty voyages LTD, leader travel agency in Mauritania, West Africa, with more than 13 years of success and experience in the tourism industry, (since 2003). [mauritania tours]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Cool off in a desert oasis – Visit Atâr, capital of the Adrar Region, an oasis lying on the route of salt caravans. It is the market centre for the nomads of northern Mauritania and has an old quarter, the Ksar, with flat-roofed houses and a fine palm grove. [world travel guide]

Explore the coast – Mauritania’s coast is essentially one long sandy beach that’s almost devoid of vegetation, but supports an astonishingly varied population of birds. Inland, the landscape is empty desert. If you have a 4×4 vehicle it is possible to drive along the beach, tide depending. [world travel guide]

Go birdwatching in the Parc National du Banc d’Arguin – Mauritania’s best attraction is the spectacular Parc National du Banc d’Arguin. A vast area of islands and coastline located on the Atlantic coast, it is one of the world’s largest bird sanctuaries and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also several archaeological sites on the islands. [world travel guide]

Kick back in Nouâdhibou – Discover the port town of Nouâdhibou, the centre of Mauritania’s fishing industry, which is situated on a peninsula at the northern end of the Bay of Levrier. Attractions include bustling markets, the resident monk seals and a ship graveyard. [world travel guide]

Make the most of the Atlantic – Mauritania has a long Atlantic coastline and visitors should make the most of the water. There are good spots for fishing, swimming and surfing along the coast in the west. Remote and deserted beaches can be found near Nouâdhibou, but there is a risk of landmines in the area so take local advice. [world travel guide]

Spot a rare monk seal – The monk seal is an endangered species and one of the last and largest remaining colonies is on the Cap Blanc peninsular in Mauritania. They are relatively large seals with adults weighing 300kg or more. If you are lucky you can see seals from the cliffs. [world travel guide]

Stroll around Nouakchott – The capital city, Nouakchott, was created in 1960, but maintains the traditional Berber style of architecture. It lies near the sea in a desert landscape of low dunes and adjoins the Ksar, an old Moorish settlement. Don’t miss the Plage du Wharf, the Ksar and its market, the African market and the camel market, the crafts centre, the Maison de la Culture and the carpet factory. [world travel guide]

Take in some archaeological sites – Tour the Affolé and Assaba regions, south and southeast of the Tagant, via Kiffa, Tamchakett and Ayoun el Atrous, to the wild plateaux of El Agher. Interesting archaeological sites include Koumbi Saleh, once capital of the Ghana Empire, 70km (45 miles) from Timbedra. [world travel guide]

Visit a fortified medieval town – See the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Oualata, once among the greatest caravan markets of the Sahara. A fortified medieval town built in terraces up a rocky peak, it has for centuries been a place of refuge for scholars. There is a manuscript museum with examples of calligraphy on ancient scrolls. Tirzet and its Muslim cemetery are nearby. [world travel guide]

Visit a holy city – Take an excursion over the breath-taking mountain pass of Homogjar to Chinguetti, a holy city of Islam founded in the 13th century and now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city has a medieval mosque and a library housing ancient manuscripts. It used to be a stopover for pilgrims on their way to Mecca but today much of the city is buried under sand dunes. [world travel guide]

Festivals

Festivals

African Liberation Day – Every year on May 25th, Mauritania celebrates the anniversary of the founding of the Organization for African Unity, known today as the African Union. The day is memorable around the continent and is sometimes called “Africa Day” for short. It is marked by conferences, exhibitions and displays celebrating the different African cultures in the country and beyond. [iexplore]

Held annually in November and celebrated by the Hindu community living in Mauritania, Diwali is a Hindu celebration of light over darkness and good over evil. It signifies the arrival of spring each year as the community bids farewell to winter. Events are generally held at Hindu temples in the capital of Nouakchott and are characterized by the lighting of lanterns and tea candles, which illuminate the city. Invariably, there are also many festivities after the religious rituals including dancing, music and fireworks. [iexplore]

National Independence Day – Mauritania celebrated its independence from France in November 1960. National Independence Day is an important marker of liberation not only in Mauritania, but also on the African continent as a whole. The day is a public holiday so travelers should expect most things to be shut down as citizens partake in the day’s festivities. [iexplore]

Tabaski – One of the most important holidays on the Islamic, and therefore Mauritanian calendar is Tabaski, a two/three day event in October commemorating the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his first-born son to God. The festival is also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice because participants slaughter a sheep, mimicking Ibrahim’s final actions in the biblical tale. The meat is divided amongst friends and family during feasts across the country. [iexplore]

Public Transit

Public Transit

By train – There is only one train line in Mauritania, linking Nouadhibou with Choum and Zouerat, but it’s a tourist attraction itself. The train is said to be the longest one in the world, having over 220 cars and being over 2 kilometers long. It’s used to carry iron ore from the Zouerat mine to Nouadhibou harbour. [wikitravel]

Fiche – Most roadblock/checkpoint police will require a fiche – a document with your data on it (name, nationality, itinerary for the journey, etc.). Make sure your nationality is in French to avoid misunderstandings. Brendan van Son prepared a sample fiche template you can find on his website. Have at least 50 fiches for Mauritania when driving Morocco-Mali or Morocco-Senegal. Another dozens for Western Sahara. [wikitravel]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Mauritanian Professional Interpreters’ Company- MPI – MPI is a full-service interpretation, teaching and training company. It offers interpretation services in various major languages such as English, Arabic, French, Spanish and Chinese. The company is a reliable and responsive provider of interpretation services to a variety of clients including government agencies, mining companies, NGOs, and international organizations. [facebook]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Living in Mauritania – Located in the West African region, Mauritania is both a desert spring and coastal haven. Much of the geography is left to its natural state, undisturbed by urban infrastructure. Tourism here doesn’t mean big, fancy resorts; it means enjoying what Mauritania was naturally blessed with. Despite the raging conflicts surrounding it, the country maintains its resolve. Take a look at some of the information we’ve collected. [expat woman]

Your Expat Community in Mauritania – Salut & as-salām ‘alaykum and a very warm welcome to the expat community in Mauritania! If you are moving to Mauritania or are just considering becoming an expat in the African country, then InterNations is the network for you. Our expat community in Mauritania can assist you in making your move abroad as smooth as possible. [internations]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Resources

Resources

Places in Mauritania

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