Country Nr 5 – Mauritania – a sandstorm in Nouakchott

Country 5/196: Mauritania
Destination: Nouakchott

Things to see and things to do

For us, Mauritania was a country of ups and downs. It all started with long interrogations about why we came to Mauritania as if we were the first tourists to visit their country (which, as we have heard, is a common procedure, btw, so be prepared 😉 ). Then we met some incredibly kind and welcoming people who made us forget about the initial inconveniences. On the next day, we went sightseeing but didn’t get to see anything due to a sandstorm. 🙁 In the afternoon the weather got better so we visited the beach and the edge of the desert, which was really nice. 😉
We loved the people, their traditional clothing, the food, and the fact that Mauritania comes to life at night. All in all a great experience! 🙂

Ps: The photos are very foggy and orange due to the sandstorm! 🙁

Nouakchott is the capital and largest city in Mauritania. It’s not one of the most popular tourist destinations in Northwestern Africa. In fact, Atar, Chinguettinonetheless, Nouadhibou, Terjit, and Ouadane tend to be higher on ‘Mauritania’s top destinations’ list. Nonetheless, the dusty capital does have some very charming features and offers interesting activities.

  • Go to the beach
  • Visit the desert
  • Visit the lively fish market
  • Appreciate the city’s architecture – check out Mosqué Saudique, Mosque Marocaine, and Ibn Abbas Mosque
  • Visit the Galerie Zeinart art gallery

Where to stay

We were staying in the wonderful Nouakchott hotel. The room was very nice and comfortable, the food was superb, and the people were incredibly friendly.

Are you planning a trip to Nouakchott? Here you can get a room with a 10% discount! 🙂


The average traveler spends MRO15,278 (43 USD/37 EUR) a day in Mauritania. The average accommodation price for a couple is approximately 23 USD/20 EUR and food prices are very affordable as well (5 USD/4 EUR a day). Public transportation is very limited in Mauritania, therefore most people take a taxi to travel from one part of the country to the other. Do your best to negotiate the fare beforehand, otherwise, even a relatively short journey may cost you more than the accommodation.

Best time to visit

Summer months can be very hot in Mauritania. In addition, sandstorms are very common this time of year. Therefore, it may be best to visit the country during the cool winter months (from November to March).

Environmental issues

Deforestation caused by slash-and-burn agriculture and the population’s growing need for firewood and construction materials is a major concern in Mauritania. In fact, only 00.26% of the country is covered by forests. Deforestation, severe soil erosion, and prolonged droughts due to limited rainfall are contributing to the expansion of the desert into agricultural lands. Mauritania has limited natural fresh water resources away from the Senegal, which is the only perennial river in the country. Water pollution caused by spills of petroleum, industrial waste, and untreated sewage is another serious problem.

Romance and adventure

Visiting such a non-crowded, non-touristy, and exotic country is an adventure in itself. Exploring the country’s vast desert and its ancient sites must be a truly unforgettable experience, however, traversing the sandy streets of the capital is also a pleasant activity.


Found lots of LOVE in Mauritania. 😉 ♥

Honeymoon rating of the visited destinations: ♥♥♥♡♡♡

* Note: This is NOT a general rating of the country, it is merely our personal opinion of the mentioned site(s) as honeymoon destinations, based on the level of tourism development, the number and quality of romantic and adventurous activities and sites it offers, and safety. We strongly believe that every country is beautiful in its own way, they may simply be more or less honeymoon oriented/friendly.

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