Mauritania

Travel to Mauritania - impressive sand dunes

The country is situated in Western Africa, bordering Algeria, Mali and Senegal. A trip to Mauritania offers many unique experiences because of the countrys fascinating landscape with dunes stretching as far as the eye can see - in some places the dunes are as high as 90 meters.

Most of Mauritania is desert. The Sahara stretches all the way to the coast, where the waves of Atlantic Ocean wash in. In other words, you must prepare yourself for some sand in your shoes. With a population density of about 3 inhabitants per square kilometer Mauritania is a rather sparsely populated country. Therefore you have the opportunity to go on trips, for example by camel, where you and your traveling buddies can feel like the only ones in this desert world.

Climate

Heat - and especially drought - are not unknown phenomena in Mauritania, where the climate is predominantly desert. In some inland areas the temperature can reach up to around 50 degrees during the hottest months, but there are also areas with frost.

Star and crescent

The vast majority of the residents in Mauritania are Muslims, as it is shown on the Republic's green flag, which is decorated with Islamic symbols: star and crescent.

Nouakchott

Mauritania was a French protectorate until 1960 when it gained independence and hence its own capital, Nouakchott. This city is placed by the Atlantic Ocean, and had 558.195 inhabitants at the census in 2000. It also houses the largest airport in the country, called Nouakchott Airport which receives flights from many countries around the world. The city is not a gem in terms of urban design, but it offers other things that makes it worth a visit. For example it has a delicious fish market Port de Peche, with a large selection of fresh fish directly from the sea. You can also choose one of several interesting restaurants, if you are hungry. Furthermore the sea location offers great opportunities for a swim, but be aware of undercurrents.

Paradise for birds

On the coastline are salt marshes, more sand dunes and to the north you can find the tidal bay Banc d'Arquin - a must see for birdwatchers. The 12,000 square kilometer national park was founded in 1974 and is known for hosting wintering waders. The place is on UNESCOs World Heritage List.

Be cautious

Right now the Danish MFA advice is to avoid all unnecessary travel to Mauritania. This is due to "a particular risk of terrorist attacks and kidnappings which may be directed against Danes". Furthermore there is a risk of landmines, which constitute a danger to every one. So if you go to Mauritania - be careful!

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