I don't anticipate I'll get as much of a response to this one as a trip to Europe but figured it's worth a shot. :) I'll be crossing the border from Western Sahara into Mauritania, and staying for about three weeks. Two questions: 1) What is the safest way to go overland from Western Sahara into Mauritania? 2) What are the best places to visit right now outside of the capital? I'd like to avoid anything to the far east. Thanks in advance!
Trip Plan Details
- Le PrinceRue Alioune
- Auberge Sahararoute de Nouadibou, Nouakchott B P 23 43, Mauritaniarecommended Auberge SaharaIf you're looking for an easy-to-find budget option, this is a pretty good place. You can get a room or just take advantage of their rooftop beds. They have a kitchen and wi-fi and a great tent out ... read morefront where you can enjoy a cool soda.
recommended NouakchottIt's small and dusty for "the big city" but you'll find a colorful fish market, a blend of cultures, and a few modern conveniences here.Summer Wilms
Unfortunately, there were security concerns in Mauritania when I visited and the entirety of my stay there involved a hurried army escort to the Malian border. That is, with the exception of a three-day stay in Nouakchott, which gave me a little taste of the unique culture of the country. I think that my favorite thing there was the fish market. We met some interesting people, had some great conversations, and bought some tasty fish to fry up back at the Auberge.
We traveled overland from Western Sahara. If I remember correctly, it wasn't a really difficult border, but it was time-consuming. You fill out 2 forms at police table, take the passports into police office, your vehicle gets x-rayed (make sure you have no alcohol as it is illegal in Mauritania). Passports get handed back to you (office wants to see everyone in your party individually). Customs charges €10 fee. Then, there is a confusing, 8km section of No-Mans'- Land between the borders. There will be guides who want to show you the way. Just be prepared that they will want to charge you for the service.
In contrast to the Western Sahara/ Morocco side, the Mauritania border is very-low tech and everything is hand written. We spent the night camping at the border because it was taking them so long to process our passports.
commented on this trip
So to get the ball rolling, it seems the three largest cities in Mauritania are all to the west: Nouadhibou (about 70 km from the Mauritania-WS border), Nouakchott, and Rosso. Sticking to these seems like the best idea right now...