Mauritania

Map of Mauritania

Plugs and Electric in Mauritania

Electricity

Voltage

220 V

Frequency

50 Hz

Plug

Continental-style, round two-pin plug.

Flights in Mauritania

Domestic flight services are limited in Mauritania. National airline, Air Mauritanie, operate a twice-weekly service between Nouakchott and Nouadhibou.

Air Mauritanie flights in Mauritania

National airline of Mauritania.

Flights from the UK to Mauritania

There are no direct flights between the UK and Mauritania. Royal Air Maroc and Air France both offer generally reliable services, involving a change of plane in either Casablanca or Paris. International flights arrive at Nouakchott. The national carrier, Air Mauritanie, operates services to and from Nouakchott, Casablanca and Dakar.

Air France flights from United Kingdom to Mauritania

www.airfrance.com

Air France fly several times a week from the UK to Paris with a connecting flight on either Air France or Air Mauritanie Airways to Nouakchott. Flying time is approximately 8 hours 50 minutes.

Royal Air Maroc flights from United Kingdom to Mauritania

www.royalairmaroc.com

Royal Air Maroc operate a daily flight into Casablanca with regular onward connections to Nouakchott. The flight time is approximately 9 hours 25 minutes.

Mauritania Culture and Traditions

Islamic ideals and beliefs in Mauritania encourage conservative dress. Sleeved garments and below-the-knee skirts are recommended, and travellers should avoid wearing shorts. If you like sweet mint tea you’ll be in heaven, tea drinking is a true addiction for all Mauritanians.

Weather in Mauritania

Mauritania’s climate is predominantly hot and dry. The climate is characterised by extremes in temperature and by limited and irregular rainfall. Annual temperature variations are small, although diurnal variations can be extreme.

The harmattan, a hot, dry, and often dust-laden wind, blows from the Sahara throughout the long dry season and is the prevailing wind, except along the narrow coastal strip, which is influenced by oceanic trade winds. Most rain falls during the short rainy season (hivernage), from July to September. Average annual precipitation varies from 500 to 600 millimetres in the far south to less than 100 millimetres in the northern two-thirds of the country.

Belts of natural vegetation, corresponding to the rainfall pattern, extend from east to west and range from traces of tropical forest along the Senegal River to brush and savanna in the southeast. Only sandy desert is found in the centre and north of the country.

Seasonality

The cooler winter period from November through to March/April is the best time for travel in Mauritania. Temperatures drop from a summer high of 45C down to between 25-30C. To see the bird migration at Banc d’Arguin visit between November and January.

Best Time to Visit Mauritania

To get the most out of your next adventure it makes sense to consider some of the very local factors that combine to make up what you feel is the best time to travel to a destination. Many of these factors are very personal – some people prefer to travel when the weather is not too hot, or sites too crowded – others prefer to travel when a traditional local event is taking place. Taking into account the dates of public holidays can also make sense as these may have an impact on opening times of attractions, shops and restaurants, or might affect public transport or other services. Conversely public holidays can be a time of great local festivities and celebrations providing a feast of local expressionism and culture.

Money Advice for Mauritania

Local Currency

Ouguiya (MRO)

General Advice

The Mauritanian Ouguiya is available in 1,000, 500, 200 and 100 notes, 20, 10, 5 and 1 coins. Euros are now widely accepted as are US dollars.

Money Exchange

Bureau de change desks can be found at the airport and in the main banks in Nouakchott. There are limited opportunities to change money outside of Nouakchott, Atar and Nouadhibou.

ATM Availability

ATMs are NOT available.  For more information check the Visa ATM locator, the MasterCard ATM locator or the American Express ATM locator for the addresses of ATMs around the world.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are not widely accepted in Mauritania. A few of the larger hotels in Nouakchott and Nouadhibou may take American Express.

Travellers Cheques

US Dollar cheques are the most widely accepted, however they can be hard to exchange.

Other Information

On arrival in Mauritania you will be given a currency declaration form. It is illegal to import and export local currency. It is also illegal to change money on the black market.

Entry Requirements for Mauritania

Entry Warning

The documentation and fee required for obtaining visas varies according to both your nationality and where you are applying from. It is the sole right of each country to determine who is allowed to enter.

Passport

All passports must be valid for six months and have two clear pages free.

Taxes

Some countries may charge an arrival or departure tax which may or may not be included in the price of an airline ticket, or may need to be paid in cash on arrival or departure.

Visa Requirements

Travelling from Requirements
Australia A visa is required, this should be applied for before departure. You will need 2 application forms, 2 passport sized photos, a guarantee letter, copy of vehicle carnet if relevant and your passport. The visa is valid for a maximum of one month and for 3 months from issue date.
Canada A visa is required, this should be applied for before departure. You will need 2 application forms, 2 passport sized photos, a guarantee letter, copy of vehicle carnet if relevant and your passport. The visa is valid for a maximum of one month and for 3 months from issue date.
Denmark A visa is required, this should be applied for before departure. You will need 2 application forms, 2 passport sized photos, a guarantee letter, copy of vehicle carnet if relevant and your passport. The visa is valid for a maximum of one month and for 3 months from issue date.
Ireland A visa is required, this should be applied for before departure. You will need 2 application forms, 2 passport sized photos, a guarantee letter, copy of vehicle carnet if relevant and your passport. The visa is valid for a maximum of one month and for 3 months from issue date.
Netherlands A visa is required, this should be applied for before departure. You will need 2 application forms, 2 passport sized photos, a guarantee letter, copy of vehicle carnet if relevant and your passport. The visa is valid for a maximum of one month and for 3 months from issue date.
New Zealand A visa is required, this should be applied for before departure. You will need 2 application forms, 2 passport sized photos, a guarantee letter, copy of vehicle carnet if relevant and your passport. The visa is valid for a maximum of one month and for 3 months from issue date.
South Africa A visa is required, this should be applied for before departure. You will need 2 application forms, 2 passport sized photos, a guarantee letter, copy of vehicle carnet if relevant and your passport. The visa is valid for a maximum of one month and for 3 months from issue date.
United States A visa is required, this should be applied for before departure. You will need 2 application forms, 2 passport sized photos, a guarantee letter, copy of vehicle carnet if relevant and your passport. The visa is valid for a maximum of one month and for 3 months from issue date.
United Kingdom A visa is required, this should be applied for before departure. You will need 2 application forms, 2 passport sized photos, a guarantee letter, copy of vehicle carnet if relevant and your passport. The visa is valid for a maximum of one month and for 3 months from issue date.

Other Nationalities

Other nationalities should either contact Travcour UK (see below) or their nearest embassy for up-to-date information prior to departure.

Passport & Visa Service

For assistance with obtaining passports and visas UK-based ‘Travcour’ have been offering travellers a comprehensive and reliable travel document service since 1985. www.travour.com

Transport in Mauritania

Buses

Linking Atar, Chinguetti and Ouadane with Nouakchott, local taxi-brousses depart when full.

Taxis

In main towns taxis can be waved down. They are not metered, fares can be expensive and should be agreed before starting the journey.

Car Hire

Car hire is available in the main towns of Nouakchott, Nouadhibou and Atar. Due to generally unsurfaced road conditions a 4WD vehicle is strongly recommended.

Driving

Drive on the right. Care should be taken as many roads are unpaved and 4WD is required. In the dry season drifting sand often covers roads. After rain roads may be washed away. For serious desert driving it is highly recommended to use the services of either a local driver or tour company.

Trains

There is one rail route in the country but this is mainly used by the State Mining Company and is not geared up for tourists, though sometimes sees adventurous travellers onboard. This daily iron-ore train departs Nouadhibou around 1500 hrs on a 12-hour journey to Choum.

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