DestinationsExperiencesTravel Guides

The most important and best advice when traveling to Mauritania

Here are some important tips and advice for traveling to Mauritania:

  1. Obtain the necessary visas and permits: Visitors to Mauritania should obtain the necessary visas and permits before traveling to the country. Check with your embassy or consulate for the latest information on visa requirements.
  2. Be aware of the security situation: Mauritania has experienced security concerns in the past, including terrorism and kidnapping. Visitors should stay informed about the current security situation and take appropriate precautions.
  3. Respect local customs and traditions: Mauritania is a predominantly Muslim country, and visitors should be respectful of local customs and traditions. This includes dressing modestly and avoiding public displays of affection.
  4. Be prepared for the weather: Mauritania has a hot and dry climate, with temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Visitors should be prepared for the weather by wearing lightweight clothing and staying hydrated.
  5. Be respectful of local privacy: In Mauritanian culture, privacy is highly valued. Visitors should be respectful of local privacy and avoid taking photographs or video of people without their permission.
  6. Learn some Arabic: Arabic is the official language of Mauritania, and learning some basic Arabic phrases can be helpful when interacting with locals.
  7. Be aware of the risk of diseases: Mauritania is a country with a high risk of diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. Visitors should take appropriate precautions, such as using insect repellent and getting vaccinated before traveling.
  8. Be respectful of local customs around food: In Mauritanian culture, sharing food is an important part of social events and gatherings. Visitors should be respectful of local customs around food, including not wasting food and trying new dishes.
  9. Be prepared for limited infrastructure: Mauritania has limited infrastructure, especially outside of the main urban areas. Visitors should be prepared for this and consider bringing essential items like a flashlight and extra batteries.
  10. Respect local customs around religion: Islam is an important part of Mauritanian culture, and visitors should be respectful of local customs around religion, including respecting local mosques and places of worship.

By following these tips and being respectful of local customs, visitors to Mauritania can have a safe and enjoyable trip while experiencing the unique culture and natural beauty of this African nation.

  1. Be respectful of local elders: In Mauritanian culture, respect for elders is important. Visitors should show respect to older people they encounter and seek their advice and guidance when appropriate.
  2. Be aware of the risk of sandstorms: Mauritania is a desert country, and sandstorms can occur, especially during the dry season. Visitors should be prepared for this by bringing appropriate clothing and protective gear.
  3. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian music: Mauritania has a rich tradition of music, including traditional instruments like the ardine and tidinit. Visitors can learn about this music by attending local performances and festivals.
  4. Be respectful of local customs around gender roles: In Mauritanian culture, there are traditional gender roles for men and women. Visitors should be respectful of these roles and avoid making assumptions or judgments based on Western standards.
  5. Be prepared for limited internet access: Mauritania has limited internet access, especially outside of the main urban areas. Visitors should be prepared for this and consider purchasing a local SIM card for their phone.
  6. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian handicrafts: Mauritania has a rich tradition of handicrafts, including weaving, embroidery, and leatherwork. Visitors can learn about these crafts and even take classes to learn how to make them.
  7. Be respectful of local customs around personal space: In Mauritanian culture, personal space is important, and visitors should be respectful of local customs around personal space and avoid standing too close to others.
  8. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian clothing: Mauritanian clothing is known for its colorful fabrics and intricate designs. Visitors can learn about these clothes by visiting local markets or attending cultural events.
  9. Be respectful of local customs around time: In Mauritanian culture, time is viewed differently than in Western cultures. Visitors should be respectful of local customs around time and avoid being overly punctual or rushing others.
  10. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian cuisine: Mauritanian cuisine is known for its unique flavors and use of spices like saffron and ginger. Visitors can learn about this cuisine by trying local dishes or taking a cooking class.

By following these tips and being respectful of local customs, visitors to Mauritania can have a safe and enjoyable trip while experiencing the unique culture and natural beauty of this African nation.

  1. Be respectful of local customs around prayer times: In Mauritanian culture, prayer times are important, and visitors should be respectful of local customs around prayer times, including avoiding loud or boisterous behavior during these times.
  2. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian architecture: Mauritania has a unique style of architecture, including traditional mud-brick houses and modern concrete structures. Visitors can learn about these styles by visiting local villages or attending cultural events.
  3. Be aware of the risk of dehydration: Mauritania has a hot and dry climate, and visitors should be aware of the risk of dehydration. It is important to drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  4. Respect local customs around bargaining: Bargaining is a common practice in Mauritania, especially in markets and souks. Visitors should be respectful of local customs around bargaining and avoid being overly aggressive or confrontational.
  5. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian dance: Mauritania has a rich tradition of dance, including the popular dance style called the “Guedra.” Visitors can learn about this dance by attending local performances and festivals.
  6. Be respectful of local customs around social hierarchy: In Mauritanian culture, social hierarchy is important, and visitors should be respectful of local customs around social hierarchy and avoid disrespectful behavior towards those in positions of authority.
  7. Be aware of the risk of road accidents: Road accidents are common in Mauritania, especially outside of the main urban areas. Visitors should be cautious when traveling by road and avoid traveling at night.
  8. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian poetry: Mauritania has a rich tradition of poetry, including the popular form called “bardic poetry.” Visitors can learn about this poetry by attending local poetry recitations and festivals.
  9. Be respectful of local customs around gift-giving: In Mauritanian culture, gift-giving is an important tradition. Visitors should be respectful of this custom and consider bringing small gifts to give to their hosts or tour guides.
  10. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian jewelry: Mauritanian jewelry is known for its intricate designs and use of precious metals and gems. Visitors can learn about this jewelry by visiting local markets or attending cultural events.

By following these tips and being respectful of local customs, visitors to Mauritania can have a safe and enjoyable trip while experiencing the unique culture and natural beauty of this African nation.

  1. Be respectful of local customs around public displays of affection: In Mauritanian culture, public displays of affection are not common and can be seen as inappropriate. Visitors should be respectful of local customs and avoid public displays of affection.
  2. Be aware of the risk of pickpocketing and theft: Petty crime, including pickpocketing and theft, can occur in Mauritania, especially in crowded areas and markets. Visitors should take appropriate precautions, such as keeping valuables out of sight and being aware of their surroundings.
  3. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian art: Mauritania has a rich tradition of art, including calligraphy, painting, and sculpture. Visitors can learn about this art by visiting local galleries and museums.
  4. Be respectful of local customs around photography: In Mauritanian culture, photography can be seen as intrusive. Visitors should be respectful of local customs and ask for permission before taking photographs of people or places.
  5. Be aware of the risk of food-borne illnesses: Mauritania has a diverse cuisine, but visitors should be aware of the risk of food-borne illnesses, such as traveler’s diarrhea. It is important to only eat food that has been cooked thoroughly and drink bottled water.
  6. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian sports: Mauritania has a rich tradition of sports, including traditional games like tug-of-war and stick-fighting. Visitors can learn about these sports by attending local competitions and events.
  7. Be respectful of local customs around hospitality: In Mauritanian culture, hospitality is highly valued, and visitors may be invited into people’s homes for tea or a meal. Visitors should be respectful of this hospitality and express gratitude for any invitations they receive.
  8. Be aware of the risk of heat stroke: Mauritania has a hot and dry climate, and visitors should be aware of the risk of heat stroke. It is important to take breaks in the shade, wear lightweight clothing, and drink plenty of water.
  9. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian medicine: Mauritania has a rich tradition of traditional medicine, including herbal remedies and spiritual healing. Visitors can learn about these practices by visiting local healers or attending cultural events.
  10. Be respectful of local customs around music: In Mauritanian culture, music is an important part of social events and gatherings. Visitors should be respectful of local customs around music and avoid playing loud music in public places.

By following these tips and being respectful of local customs, visitors to Mauritania can have a safe and enjoyable trip while experiencing the unique culture and natural beauty of this African nation.

  1. Be respectful of local customs around smoking: In Mauritanian culture, smoking is not common and can be seen as inappropriate. Visitors should be respectful of local customs and avoid smoking in public places.
  2. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian storytelling: Mauritania has a rich tradition of storytelling, including the popular form called “hassaniya.” Visitors can learn about this storytelling by attending local storytelling events and festivals.
  3. Be aware of the risk of animal attacks: Mauritania has a diverse wildlife, including snakes and scorpions. Visitors should be cautious when exploring the outdoors and avoid touching or handling any animals they encounter.
  4. Be respectful of local customs around body language: In Mauritanian culture, body language is important, and visitors should be respectful of local customs around body language and avoid any actions that may be seen as disrespectful.
  5. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian education: Mauritania has a unique educational system, including traditional Islamic schools called “mahadras.” Visitors can learn about this education system by visiting local schools or attending cultural events.
  6. Be respectful of local customs around silence: In Mauritanian culture, silence is valued, and visitors should be respectful of local customs around silence and avoid being overly talkative or boisterous in public places.
  7. Be aware of the risk of sunburn: Mauritania has a hot and dry climate, and visitors should be aware of the risk of sunburn. It is important to wear sunscreen and protective clothing when spending time outdoors.
  8. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian festivals: Mauritania has a rich tradition of festivals, including the popular “Nouakchott International Festival” and the “Festival of the Sahara.” Visitors can learn about these festivals by attending local events and celebrations.
  9. Be respectful of local customs around education: Education is highly valued in Mauritanian culture, and visitors should be respectful of this value and avoid making assumptions or judgments based on Western standards.
  10. Be aware of the risk of political instability: Mauritania has experienced political instability in the past, and visitors should stay informed about the current political situation and take appropriate precautions.

By following these tips and being respectful of local customs, visitors to Mauritania can have a safe and enjoyable trip while experiencing the unique culture and natural beauty of this African nation.

  1. Be respectful of local customs around dress: Mauritania is a conservative country, and visitors should be respectful of local customs around dress, especially in public places. It is recommended to dress modestly and avoid revealing clothing.
  2. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian literature: Mauritania has a rich tradition of literature, including poetry, novels, and short stories. Visitors can learn about this literature by visiting local bookstores or attending literary events.
  3. Be aware of the risk of malaria: Mauritania is a malaria-endemic country, especially during the rainy season. Visitors should take appropriate precautions, such as taking antimalarial medication and using mosquito repellent.
  4. Be respectful of local customs around greetings: In Mauritanian culture, greetings are important, and visitors should be respectful of local customs around greetings, including shaking hands and using appropriate titles.
  5. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian games: Mauritania has a rich tradition of games, including the popular game called “awal√©.” Visitors can learn about these games by visiting local markets or attending cultural events.
  6. Be aware of the risk of sandflies: Mauritania has a risk of sandflies, which can transmit diseases like leishmaniasis. Visitors should take appropriate precautions, such as wearing long sleeves and pants and using insect repellent.
  7. Be respectful of local customs around the family: In Mauritanian culture, the family is highly valued, and visitors should be respectful of this value and avoid any actions that may be seen as disrespectful.
  8. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian dance: Mauritania has a rich tradition of dance, including the popular dance style called “razzouk.” Visitors can learn about this dance by attending local performances and festivals.
  9. Be aware of the risk of terrorism: Mauritania has experienced terrorism in the past, and visitors should stay informed about the current security situation and take appropriate precautions.
  10. Be respectful of local customs around religious practices: Mauritania is a predominantly Muslim country, and visitors should be respectful of local customs around religious practices, including dress and behavior in mosques.

By following these tips and being respectful of local customs, visitors to Mauritania can have a safe and enjoyable trip while experiencing the unique culture and natural beauty of this African nation.

  1. Be respectful of local customs around gender roles: Gender roles are important in Mauritanian culture, and visitors should be respectful of local customs around gender roles, including dress and behavior in public places.
  2. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian crafts: Mauritania has a rich tradition of crafts, including pottery, weaving, and embroidery. Visitors can learn about these crafts by visiting local markets or attending cultural events.
  3. Be aware of the risk of cholera: Mauritania has experienced cholera outbreaks in the past, especially during the rainy season. Visitors should take appropriate precautions, such as drinking only bottled or boiled water and avoiding raw or undercooked food.
  4. Be respectful of local customs around time: In Mauritanian culture, time is valued, and visitors should be respectful of local customs around time, including punctuality and scheduling.
  5. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian cuisine: Mauritania has a diverse cuisine, including dishes like “thi√©boudienne” (fish and rice) and “mbawsi” (millet porridge). Visitors can learn about this cuisine by visiting local restaurants or attending food festivals.
  6. Be aware of the risk of desertification: Mauritania is a country that is heavily impacted by desertification, and visitors should be aware of the environmental impact of their activities and take appropriate precautions to minimize their impact.
  7. Be respectful of local customs around privacy: In Mauritanian culture, privacy is important, and visitors should be respectful of local customs around privacy, including avoiding intrusive questions or behavior.
  8. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian music: Mauritania has a rich tradition of music, including the popular music style called “medh.” Visitors can learn about this music by attending local performances and festivals.
  9. Be aware of the risk of waterborne illnesses: Mauritania has a limited access to safe drinking water, and visitors should take appropriate precautions, such as drinking only bottled or boiled water and avoiding ice cubes.
  10. Be respectful of local customs around cultural heritage: Mauritania has a rich cultural heritage, and visitors should be respectful of this heritage and avoid damaging or disrespecting cultural sites or artifacts.

By following these tips and being respectful of local customs, visitors to Mauritania can have a safe and enjoyable trip while experiencing the unique culture and natural beauty of this African nation.

  1. Be respectful of local customs around haggling: In Mauritanian culture, haggling is a common practice in markets and shops. Visitors should be respectful of this practice and avoid being overly aggressive in negotiations.
  2. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian architecture: Mauritania has a unique architecture, including the popular style called “Saharan architecture.” Visitors can learn about this architecture by visiting local buildings and landmarks.
  3. Be aware of the risk of road accidents: Mauritania has a high rate of road accidents, and visitors should take appropriate precautions, such as wearing seat belts and avoiding driving at night.
  4. Be respectful of local customs around social hierarchy: In Mauritanian culture, social hierarchy is important, and visitors should be respectful of local customs around social status and avoid any actions that may be seen as disrespectful.
  5. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian jewelry: Mauritania has a rich tradition of jewelry, including the popular style called “Ergoba.” Visitors can learn about this jewelry by visiting local markets or attending cultural events.
  6. Be aware of the risk of kidnapping: Mauritania has experienced incidents of kidnapping in the past, and visitors should stay informed about the current security situation and take appropriate precautions.
  7. Be respectful of local customs around gift-giving: In Mauritanian culture, gift-giving is a common practice, especially during social gatherings. Visitors should be respectful of this practice and avoid giving inappropriate or offensive gifts.
  8. Learn about the traditional Mauritanian agriculture: Mauritania has a unique agricultural system, including the popular practice called “taghazout.” Visitors can learn about this agriculture by visiting local farms and markets.
  9. Be aware of the risk of sandstorms: Mauritania has a risk of sandstorms, especially during the dry season. Visitors should take appropriate precautions, such as wearing protective clothing and staying indoors during sandstorms.
  10. Be respectful of local customs around body language: In Mauritanian culture, body language is important, and visitors should be respectful of local customs around body language and avoid any actions that may be seen as disrespectful or offensive.

By following these tips and being respectful of local customs, visitors to Mauritania can have a safe and enjoyable trip while experiencing the unique culture and natural beauty of this African nation.

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