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    Travel Mauritania A mysterious little destination

Travel Mauritania


Mauritania was described as the “Le Grand Vide” or “The Big Nothing” by French colonialists.  Mauritania consists mainly of Sahara, which covers over 80% of the country and thus has one of the lowest population densities on the planet. Though there is nothing much to attract visitors but the laid-back atmosphere and desert scenery often makes a visit to Mauritania worthwhile. Mauritania is situated in the north-west of Africa and on its west it has the Atlantic Ocean and on the south-west it share border with Senegal, in the southeast and east it has border with Mali and on northwest it has Western Sahara.



Top things to do here are relaxing on the beaches of the sand-swept capital of Nouakchott or to hire a guide and head out to visit the old caravan towns of Tichit, Chinguetti, and Ouadane. These UNESCO world heritage towns were founded in the 11th and 12th centuries.  They include beautiful old mosques and ancient buildings that look like they are about fall into ruins. Though the towns are attractive but the journey through the desert landscape is very striking. You can also visit the Banc d’Arguin National Park and watch millions of birds like pelicans, flamingos and cormorants. UNESCO declared this national park as a World Heritage Site since it is the world’s largest bird sanctuary providing shelter for roughly 2 million migratory birds.

Mauritania has colorful culture and a native Moorish population. The capital city is Nouakchott which was founded in 1960; it is situated near the sea within low dunes desert landscape. In the neighborhood it has the settlement of old Moorish’s the Ksar. The attractive sites worth visiting here are the Plage-du Wharf, the Ksar, the mosque, crafts centre, carpet factory, Maison de-la Culture and African market as well as the camel market. Mauritania has a coast of 500 miles with sandy beaches. Nouadhibou, a mounting centre and port for the fishing industry is located on the northern-end of Levrier Bay of Peninsula. Another place of interest is Adrar which is a stunning mass of brown and pink plateau covered with gild intersected by the deep canyons protecting the palm groves.

A tour to Affole and Assaba regions is also worth visiting, they are situated in the southeast and south of Tagant via Ayoun el Atrous, Tamchakett and Kiffa towards the El Agher’s wild plateau. One will find that hotel accommodation is very limited in Mauritania so it is best to book hotel accommodation well in advance. The hotels are comfortable but are a bit expensive, though there are government guest houses throughout the country. You can enjoy Moroccan, Lebanese, Chinese and French restaurants in Nouakchott and Nouadhibou however local cuisine, based on lamb, Mechoui (whole roast lamb), goat and rice is available throughout the country. One will get handicrafts and woodcarvings in open market areas of towns.




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