Mauritania is a hidden gem nestled in the westernmost region of the African continent. With its vast desert landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and welcoming locals, this country offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience. Whether you are a first-time visitor, returning for another adventure, or an experienced traveler, there are numerous cities in Mauritania that cater to your interests. Here is a travel guide to help you plan your journey, highlighting the order of visiting cities for each group of travelers.
For First-Time Visitors: 1. Nouakchott: Start your journey in the capital city of Nouakchott. Despite its modern infrastructure, it still retains a bustling traditional market and a vibrant fishing port. Explore the National Museum of Mauritania and delve into the cultural heritage of the country.
2. Chinguetti: Take a journey into history by visiting the ancient city of Chinguetti, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This desert oasis was once a hub of Islamic scholarship and commerce. Marvel at its beautiful ancient mosques and libraries, and experience camel rides in the surrounding dunes.
3. Atar: Continue your adventure to Atar, a gateway to the stunning Adrar Plateau. Visit the old town of Medina and explore its narrow streets lined with traditional Moorish houses. Don't miss out on the breathtaking rock formations of Terjit Oasis and the awe-inspiring landscapes of the desert.
For Next Visits: 1. Zouérat: If you have already experienced the major cities, head northeast to Zouérat. This mining town is famous for its vast iron ore reserves and offers a unique glimpse into Mauritania's mining industry. Take a tour of the open-pit mines and witness the massive iron ore trains.
2. Kaédi: Explore the vibrant city of Kaédi, situated on the banks of the Senegal River. Embrace the welcoming atmosphere and immerse yourself in the local culture. Take a boat trip on the river, visit the bustling market, and don't forget to taste some delicious Senegalese-influenced cuisine.
3. Rosso: Located at the border with Senegal, Rosso is a lively town known for its river crossings. Take a traditional wooden ferry to experience the Senegal River's importance in the daily life of the locals. Enjoy the colorful markets and interact with the friendly residents for an off-the-beaten-path adventure.
For Experienced Travelers: 1. Nouadhibou: Challenge yourself with a visit to Nouadhibou, Mauritania's second-largest city. Known for its ship graveyard, explore the eerie remnants of abandoned vessels scattered along the coastline. Seek out unique wildlife encounters by venturing to the Banc d'Arguin National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site housing thousands of migratory birds.
2. Tichit: Venture deep into the Sahara Desert and discover the remote town of Tichit. Explore the ancient ruins of this UNESCO World Heritage site, including historical mosques and crumbling houses. Experience the solitude and tranquility of the desert as you camp under the star-filled sky.
3. Ouadane: Conclude your journey with a visit to the ancient city of Ouadane. This UNESCO World Heritage site still showcases the remnants of its glorious past, dating back to the 11th century. Admire its ancient architecture, visit the archaeological museum, and soak in the spiritual atmosphere of this desert town.
Whichever category of traveler you belong to, Mauritania has a diverse range of cities that cater to your interests. From historical wonders to untamed desert landscapes, this country offers an enchanting experience that will leave you with lifelong memories. Embark on this remarkable journey and discover the magic of Mauritania for yourself.