Traveling tips for Mauritania – what you should know before a trip to Mauritania

Planning an unforgettable trip to Mauritania? Our comprehensive guide will equip you with essential insights to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. As a traveler, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with Mauritania’s unique geographical position, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the vast Sahara Desert. Bordered by countries like Western Sahara, Algeria, Mali, and Senegal, Mauritania serves as a fascinating crossroads between North and Sub-Saharan Africa, offering diverse landscapes and a rich cultural tapestry.

Understanding the practical aspects of traveling to Mauritania is equally important. From securing a visa upon arrival to ensuring your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your entry date, our guide covers all the necessary travel requirements.

We’ll also provide you information on health measures, such as required vaccines against yellow fever, and give you an idea of how much living and travel will cost. With the help of these pointers, you can easily create a budget and ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises during your trip to Mauritius.

Geographical Information

Location and Borders

Mauritania is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Western Sahara to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mali to the east and southeast, and Senegal to the southwest. This strategic location makes it a gateway between North and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Major Cities and Regions

The capital city, Nouakchott, is the largest urban center and a hub for commerce and culture. Other significant cities include Nouadhibou, a major port city, and Atar, known for its proximity to the Adrar Plateau and desert landscapes.

Climate and Best Times to Visit

Mauritania has a predominantly arid climate, with extremely hot summers and mild winters. The best time to visit is during the cooler months from November to February when temperatures are more comfortable for travel and exploration.

What do you need to travel to Mauritania?

Here are the requirements for traveling to Mauritania:

  1. Visa: You can get a visa on arrival. The cost is 55 euros or 60 US dollars, and you must pay in cash.
  2. Hotel Booking or Letter from Local Host: You must show your hotel booking or a letter from your local host. If you’re traveling for business, you must have a letter of invitation.
  3. Passport Validity: Your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you arrive.
  4. Yellow Fever Vaccination: If you’re coming from a country listed as a transmission risk, you must have a certificate to prove you’ve had a yellow fever vaccination.
  5. Health Declaration and Temperature Check: You must complete an individual health declaration on arrival and will undergo a contactless temperature check.

Cost of Living and Travel Expenses

The cost of living and travel expenses in Mauritania are as follows:

Cost of Living:

  • A family of four’s estimated monthly costs are $2,849.8 (113,222.6MRU) without rent.
  • A single person’s estimated monthly costs are $789.7 (31,375.7MRU) without rent.
  • The cost of living in Mauritania is, on average, 39.9% lower than in the United States.
  • Rent in Mauritania is, on average, 86.4% lower than in the United States.

Travel Expenses:

  • A one-week trip to Mauritania usually costs around $0.00 (MRO133,681) for one person and $0.00 (MRO267,362) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.
  • A two-week trip to Mauritania on average costs around $0.00 (MRO267,362) for one person and $0.00 (MRO534,724) for two people

What are the best budget-friendly activities in Mauritania?

Here are some budget-friendly activities you can enjoy in Mauritania:

  1. Port de Pêche: This is a working fishing port and one of the biggest in West Africa. Try to get there in the late afternoon to watch the fishing boats come in and land their fish.
  2. Plage de Nouakchott: This beach near the airport is a beautiful place to hang out and spend the weekend.
  3. Terjit Oasis: A beautiful oasis that’s worth a visit.
  4. Bibliotheque Habott: A library that houses a world heritage collection.
  5. Saudi Mosque: A modern mosque that’s worth a visit.
  6. Chinguetti Mosque: This marvelous place is inspired by the beauty of Islam and by centuries of history.
  7. Mauritania Desert Voyages: You can join multi-day tours or motorcycle tours for an unforgettable experience.

Is Mauritania good for tourists?

Yes, Mauritania is a unique destination that offers a variety of experiences for tourists. Here are some highlights:

  • Natural Wonders: Mauritania is known for its breathtaking desert landscapes, from the towering dunes of the Sahara to the stunning canyons of Adrar.
  • Cultural Experiences: Visitors can experience the traditional nomadic way of life by joining a caravan through the desert or spending a night in a Bedouin tent under the stars.
  • Historical Sites: Mauritania is home to ancient cities such as Chinguetti, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which offers a glimpse into the country’s rich history and culture.
  • Capital City: Nouakchott, the capital and largest city of Mauritania, is a vibrant metropolis with lively markets, colorful fishing boats, and impressive mosques.
  • Coastal City: Nouadhibou offers diverse landscapes and activities. You can explore the shipwrecks that dot the coast, and visit the national park where you can spot rare monk seals and migratory birds

Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency of Mauritania is the Mauritanian Ouguiya (MRU). As of the last update on May 25, 2024, the exchange rates are as follows:

  • 1 Mauritanian Ouguiya (MRU) is equivalent to approximately 0.0252149 US Dollars (USD).
  • Conversely, 1 US Dollar (USD) is equivalent to approximately 39.659 Mauritanian Ouguiyas (MRU)


Emergency Contacts and Services

Here are the emergency contacts and services in Mauritania:

  • Police: 117
  • Fire: 118
  • Ambulance: 101

Please note that the Mauritania authorities may not answer calls to these numbers. In case of an emergency, you can also contact your travel provider and insurer.

If you are a U.S. Citizen with an after-hours emergency, you can call the U.S. Embassy in Mauritania at 00 222 4525-2660. The Consular Section provides assistance to victims of crime.

We hope this guide helps you prepare for an amazing trip to Mauritania. Remember to bookmark our website for future travel tips and updates. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and fellow travelers! Safe travels!

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