Continental-style, round two-pin plug.
Domestic flight services are limited in Mauritania. National airline, Air Mauritanie, operate a twice-weekly service between Nouakchott and Nouadhibou.
National airline of 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 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 operate a daily flight into Casablanca with regular onward connections to Nouakchott. The flight time is approximately 9 hours 25 minutes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Credit cards are not widely accepted in Mauritania. A few of the larger hotels in Nouakchott and Nouadhibou may take American Express.
US Dollar cheques are the most widely accepted, however they can be hard to exchange.
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.
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.
All passports must be valid for six months and have two clear pages free.
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.
|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.|
Other nationalities should either contact Travcour UK (see below) or their nearest embassy for up-to-date information prior to departure.
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
In main towns taxis can be waved down. They are not metered, fares can be expensive and should be agreed before starting the journey.
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.
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.