Dusty streets of Oualata

Travel to Oualata – The Caravan City

Oualata is a typical fortified medieval town set atop a rocky peak. The place offers an interesting array of activities for the nature lovers as well as history buffs besides a unique architecture (decorative vernacular architecture) that makes it distinctive.

Oualata is situated around 100 kilometres from Nema, in south-east Mauritania. The town’s economy is supported largely by trade and agriculture.

Oualata was founded in the 11th century as a part of the Ghana Empire. It is believed to have been first settled by an agro-pastoral people akin to the Mandé Soninke who lived along the rocky promontories of the Tichitt-Oualata and Tagant cliffs of Mauritania. There, they built what are among the oldest stone settlements on the African continent. Oualata was destroyed in 1076 but refounded in 1224, becoming an important centre in the trans-Saharan trade route and a significant religious and cultural centre.

Oualata is occupied primarily by the Berber and Soninke ethnic groups. It is characterised by a tropical climate, with extremely hot, dry summers and warm, pleasant, winters. Oualata was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For attractions, travellers can visit Oualata stone built houses that exhibit the unaltered, original gothic architecture with intricate ornamentation and brilliant and bright murals with a wide variety of motifs; the manuscript museum; and the historic Fort of Oualata.

  • Oualata is a city that fulfills travellers’ need for true differences.
  • Discover spectacular stone built houses that line the narrow streets and make of Oualata one of the most beautiful cities in Mauritania.
  • Discover a new culture and enjoy a unique and magic experience.


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