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The Islamic Republic of Mauritania, a former French colony,
achieved full independence on November 28th, 1960.
Mauritania Travel and Tourist Information with
links to official travel and tourism websites and state resources for
visitors to Mauritania.
Adra, Map of Mauritania, Mauritania Background, Nouakchott,
Travel in Mauritania.
Countries neighbouring Mauritania are: Western
Sahara, Algeria, Mali and Senegal.
Weather in Africa:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Africa.
Mauritania lies almost wholly within the Sahara; except for the
southern section, along the River Senegal. Nearly half of the country is covered in sand.
The majority of the people are Moors; of mixed Arab and Berber
Berber nomads, from the Sanhaja Confederation, moved into the area in
the 1st millennium AD.
Initially dominating the trade between the kingdom of Ghana and North Africa, the Sanhaja destroyed Kumbi Saleh, the then
capital of the kingdom of Ghana - situated in modern south-eastern Mauritania - in 1076.
The Berbers were in turn conquered by Arabs in the 16th century, and
the descendants of the Arabs dominated the upper level of Mauritanian society. Arabic also
displaced Berber dialects as the language of the country.
In the early 1900s French forces moved up the River Senegal and made
the area a French protectorate, in 1903; and subsequently a colony of France, in 1920.
If you're travelling to Mauritania, then you will probably spend
some time in the capital; situated in the west of the country.
Originally a village in the desert on the route south to Dakar, the
community grew after being selected as the site of the national capital in 1957, three
years before Mauritania accomplished full independence.
Hotels in Mauritania:
Find hotels in Mauritania with special online rates.
Hotels in Nouakchott
The Monotel or Mauricenter are reasonable places to stay in
Nouakchott. The Hotel Wissal is also acceptable, although some rooms have poor WiFi
connection and food can be little more than average, at best. But then, you have to
remember: this is Mauritania.
Rond point Cite smar, Nouakchott, Mauritania.
Reasonable 3-star accommodation in Nouakchott with private bathroom.
Guests at the Hotel
Mauricenter Nouakchott were generally pleased with the comfortable rooms.
Other Main Towns in Mauritania
Kaedi is a farming centre on the River Senegal.
Nouadhibou is a fishing centre and seaport for iron ore exports;
brought by rail from F'derik.
A lack of infrastructure means that many people choose to fly in
As with most of the West African countries shared taxis do go to the major
towns, and there are two trains a day between Nouadhibou and Zouerat, near the iron ore
mines of F'derik; but throw comfort out the window.
Airlines and Airports:
Air France and Air Afrique fly to Nouakchott from Paris, and Sabena serves the Mauritanian
capital from Brussels. There are also regional flights from neighbouring countries and a
pilgrim connection to Saudi Arabia.
Overland to Mauritania
Border crossings from Western Sahara
are dependent on an army convoy, so most people choose to travel to or from Senegal.
It is theoretically possible to travel to or from Mali
but the current situation needs to be checked in the capital of either country.
Adventures of Mauritania
Mauritania is beyond doubt the most dramatic country in North Africa, and one of the few
remaining areas of the world which offers a feeling of medieval lifestyles.
The train carrying iron from Zouerate, to the coast at Nouadhibou, is probably the world's
longest train. Its length can be as much as 3 kilometres and the 700km journey takes
around 12 hours.
Adrar is the Berber word for plateau, and that's what this region
is. The brown landscape has patches of green after the rains.
The official languages of Mauritania are Arabic and French, although
Poular, Wolof, and Soninke are also considered national languages.
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