MAURITANIA TRAVEL GUIDE
Mauritania is a land about desert and ocean. It is, of course, no wonder that the main attractions for most tourists are the desert in Adrar and the Tagant areas (around Atar), and the ocean in Banc d'Arguin (a natural reserve with dunes ending in the sea, full of millions of birds and protected by UNESCO). The Adrar is exactly how you've always imagined the Sahara to be - endless ergs (dunes) and regs (rocky desert) with tabular small mountains. Most tourists stay along the west coast of the country, although there are a few beautiful sights far into the interior (rock formations in Aioun, for example). If you decide to travel off the beaten path, leave plenty of time to get around.
Sadly travel to Mauritania is ill-advised due to persistent crime and terrorist activity. Ensure to follow the latest travel advisory from your embassy.
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MAURITANIA QUICK FACTS
- Capital: Nouakchott
- Currency: New Ouguiya (MRU)
- Area: 1,030,700 km²
- Population: 4,403 million (2018)
- Language: Arabic (official), French, Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof
- Religion: Muslim 100%
- Electricity: 220V/50Hz (European plug)
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MAURITANIA PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 1 May, Labor Day
- 25 May, Africa Day
- 28 November, Independence Day
Also, Muharram, Maulid an-Nabi, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha.
MAURITANIA WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Mauritania has a dry, hot and windy climate, and is severely exposed to the effects of desertification. The majority of Mauritania receives very little rainfall throughout the year. The country’s southern edge, which reaches the Sahel, has a wet season controlled by the movement of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) which oscillates between the northern and southern tropics over the course of a year. The country’s mean monthly temperature stay above 25°C year round with the hot season occurring from May to October, with peak mean monthly temperatures reaching 33°C in June and July.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
HIKING & CYCLING IN MAURITANIA
The best time for outdoor activities in Mauritania is from November to March, when it's warm but not scorching, and the nights can be cooler. From May to June temperatures are at their highest and June to October can bring some rainfall.
BEACH OPTIONS IN MAURITANIA
The beaches in Mauritania can be enjoyed throughout the year. The weather is more moderate from November to March, when it's warm but not scorching, and the nights can be cooler. From May to June temperatures are at their highest and June to October can bring some rainfall.
SURFING IN MAURITANIA
The best time find good surf in Mauritania is from October to February. Make sure to bring your wetsuit as although the average water temperature is much higher, it can also drop to 10 Celsius. There are no marked surf spots in particular and access can be tricky, but there is some great surf to be found!
KITESURF IN MAURITANIA
The best season to go kitesurfing in Mauritania is from March to July, although you can find good wind from February until September. The best known spot is Star Bay, very close to the capital town of Nouadhibou.
HEALTH RISKS IN MAURITANIA
Be aware of possible health risks in
Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.