Mauritanian Visa at Moroccan/Mauritanian Border
Favorite thing: I just crossed the border on November 5th, 2010 from Morocco to Mauritania. It is not possible to get visa and they will not stamp your passport without one. I watched two Brits get rejected and met a guy in Rabat who had to come all the way back from the border.
Rich (www.travelyourassoff.com)Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Road Trip
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Favorite thing: Once again, it has to be stressed how important it is to have a good guide when needed, one who knows the terrain, especially here in Mauritania. We took this guide in Nouadhibou for the Banc d'Arguin and out again to Nouakchott over 2 days. The price was 70 euros for the 2 days, with him making his own way back to Nouadhibou. Very good French with a bit of English. Very knowledgable and helpful.
Ely Ould Med Saleh
Tel. 00 222 637 31 34 or 00 222 740 33 01
Fax - 00 222 574 75 19
Mail - brahim.abdy@caramail com
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Kiffa, border formalities
Favorite thing: We bought the visa, we needed for Mauritania in the Mauritanian consulate in the Gambia. You have to pay for every week you intend to stay in the country.
We entered Mauritania from Mali at the small village Ouid Yenjé, where we did our first formalities at the police-post and douane-office. In Kiffa we had to visit the douane-office and the police-post again to obtain the right papers.
The office of the douane was at a dusty road one block south of the main road. Somebody had to show us the way. When we arrived at the office at 10 am, nobody was around. We had to wait till a woman came with a big envelop with all kind of formularies. Luckily she had the ones we needed, the ''carnets de passage'' for the cars. After a man in uniform gave us a stamp and a signature, we were ready to go to the police.
The police-post was at a side-road at the north side of the highway. After our visit there, we were ready to travel legally in the country. All took us about almost one and a half hour.Related to:
- Road Trip
Favorite thing: The local currency in Mauritania is Ouguiya (MRO).
It is a stricly inconvertible currency, it means that it has no value outside the country and it is illegal to leave the country with notes.
They have notes of 100 and 200 in almost hygienic paper (I lost many notes because I placed them in my pocket and they melted with heat and sweat), 500, 1000 and 2000. The last three notes are green and it is very difficult to recognise them.
Be careful when they give you money...
Fondest memory: The value of the Ouguiya is controlled artificially by the central bank. The black market is efficient and hundreds of Mauritanians will ask you for change.
For instance, the official rate in the bank is 260 for one $ but in the street, it is 320. That makes a big difference.
It is not legal to change in the street, however if you don't expose yourself in front of the police, nothing will happen and you will have more for your $$$
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Mauritania, 80% Sahara
Favorite thing: Mauritania or the so-called Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is with 80% almost totally a part of the Sahara. Only a strip along the Senegal River in the south isn't part of the desert.
From Europe to Gambia we flew over Mauritania, It was not the first time for me to see those endless desert landscapes without any vegetation from the plane. But this time it was different, because I knew, that within a few days we should drive there deep down with our tiny 4WDS. Yes we were on our way to tropical Africa to make my first transsahara crossing from the south to the north back to Europe.Related to:
Alvise Ca' da Mosto Venetian explorer
Fondest memory: Alvise Ca' da Mosto
born 1432, Venice
died July 18, 1488, Venice
Ca' da Mosto also spelled Cadamosto Venetian explorer and trader who wrote one of the earliest known accounts of western Africa and Mauritania.
Retained by Prince Henry the Navigator, he set sail on March 22, 1455, visited Madeira and the Canary Islands, and coasted along Africa past the mouth of the Senegal River.
Cadamosto's narrative, which was first published in 1507, gave valuable information about the caravan routes of the interior, from Mali via Ouadane to Morocco, from Mali via Timbuktu to Gao eastward, and from Timbuktu via Taghaza to Morocco and Tunis, and also described the trade, especially in gold and salt. G. R. Crone (1937) commented that Cadamosto's "is the first original account to have survived of a voyage into the regions opened up by European enterprise at the dawn of modern overseas expansion, and reflects the spirit of openminded enquiry characteristic of the new age."
The weddings of desert and sea
Favorite thing: In Mauritania you have the second most fishy sea in the world and you have the wonderful Sahara. You can tread the same sand of the ancient caravans, few things are changed around. The time here has stopped, like in the ruins of Cinguetti and Oudane. Islam here is tollerant, some people are mistic belonging to Sufism.
Favorite thing: Maouya Ould Sidi Ahmed Taya became army chief of staff in 1980, and in 1981 he became prime minister. Taya lead a bloodless coup later that year. In 1992 he was elected president amidst protests of fraudulent election practices.
Economic reforms provoked violent protests, and ethnic clashes between those of sub-Saharan descent and those of North African descent have produced tension within Mauritania and with neighboring Senegal, where nearly 200,000 Mauritanian refugees reside.
Later this last year the some president won the election and before the election ended he put his oppositor in jail saying he was going to make a civil war inside the country after the elections were over. I think the guy come out from prision now.
Favorite thing: Mauritania, formerly part of French West Africa, achieved full independence on 28 November 1960 (having become a self-governing member of the French Community two years earlier).
Moktar Ould Daddah, leader of the Parti du regroupement mauritanien (PRM) and Prime Minister since June 1959 became Head of State at independence, and was elected President in August 1961.
After independence all parties merged with the PRM to form the Parti du peuple mauritanien (PPM), with Ould Daddah as Secretary-General, and Mauritania became a one-party state in 1964. The country moved away from the French sphere of influence and towards closer relations with Arab nations.
Under a tripartite agreement of November 1975, Spain ceded Spanish Sahara to Mauritania and Morocco, to be apportioned between them. The agreement took effect in February 1976, when Mauritania occupied the southern portion of the territory.
Guerrilla fighting ensued, with Moroccan and Mauritanian troops in action against the forces of the Polisario Front, which sought independence for Western Sahara.
Attacks within Mauritania by Polisario forces proved highly damaging to the economy. Diplomatic links with Algeria, which was supporting Polisario bases within its borders, were severed in March 1976.
It´s really difficult to...
It´s really difficult to choose the best recommended site to visit in Mauritania. Probably the best places were:
Nouakchott fishers arrival
Banc de Argüin ,and
Anyway (i did not arrive at this village) it is highly recommended to go to Oulata.
1.- Dunes around Chingetti (the Sahara you expect to find):
2.- Oasis of Terjit (magical landscape)
3.- Fish market at Nuakchott (coulouful)
4.- Sahel lanscape (contrast of dunes and coast:
5.- People in general:
The warriors (hassani) and the religious leaders (zawaya), dominate Maure society.
The zenaga tend to be ethnically and culturally more Berber than the hassani and zawaya.
Artisans and Entertainers
The two most prominent occupational castes in Maure society are skilled craftsmen (or artisans) and entertainers (or storytellers)
The Toucouleur live along the Senegal River in Mauritania and Senegal. The Toucouleur speak Fulfulde.
The Fulbe of Mauritania are part of the larger Fulbe population that inhabits scattered areas across the African savanna from Senegal to Sudan.
The Soninké in Mauritania are the westernmost branch of the large and widely dispersed Soninké people (also called the Sarakolé.
A relatively small number of Wolof live in Mauritania. Most live in Senegal, where they are the dominant group.
Only a small number of Bambara live in Mauritania; most reside in Mali. They are thought to be descended from the founders of the thirteenth-century kingdom of Mali.
see this excellent document
Go to the desert, which is not...
Favorite thing: Go to the desert, which is not difficult, it is everywhere. Then sit down, look and listen, and meet the people.
Fondest memory: In a few days, I was just able to touch the soul of this country, the purest place of human hospitality. Desert is full of people. You never cross a car or see a tent without stopping and having tea. I sat down alone in the dunes at 6 a.m. waiting the magic moment when the sun is raising in one time like an orange. I sat down alone during the night, listening to the incredible silence, looking to the moon on top of my head and to the unbelievable show of 360 grades stars around me. I went in a tent, where I was offered tea in the middle of nowhere. That is the way to feel Mauritania.
Eat with a Mauritanian family...
Favorite thing: Eat with a Mauritanian family and really enjoy not using silverware. If you manage to eat with a family you will of course be expected to stay for the three customary rounds of tea. The tea is exceptionally refreshing even during mid-day.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Mauritania was watching the sun descend into the vast desert, leaving a beautiful star field overhead. At night I was soothed to sleep by the bellows of donkeys and goats and wild dogs. I have never seen a sunset amazing as the one I watched in Nouadhibou.
We hired a jeep and we had to...
Favorite thing: We hired a jeep and we had to bargain a lot for the price.Finally we got it.On the way back from our excursion he invited us to sleep at his place ,after having dinner and a tea.
Hospitaliy is a must, even after a hard bargaining session.
.Don´t refuse it they'll get upset.
His place was a jaima in the middle of nowhere ,We sat on cushions and talk half Arabic and half French.He was delighted I could talk alittle Arabic.
Fondest memory: Please do a trip on a camel at least for one day and a night to enjoy the starry nights.There is nowhere else starrier than the desert.
gather some information about...
Favorite thing: gather some information about the country since you are entering another world.
Here are some data:
Population: 2,667,859 (July 2000 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 78.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 50.76 years
male: 48.7 years
female: 52.87 years (2000 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 37.7%
female: 26.3% (1995 est.)
Population below poverty line: 57% (1990 est.)
For more info: The World Factbook 2000
Don't travel to Mauritania...
Favorite thing: Don't travel to Mauritania unless you have an adress to stay or you know somebody in the country. It's a beautiful country, but the culture is very different from any western country. If you speak french or arabic it will be easier to meet people. But most people are islamic and there is still a form of 'slavery'.
I worked in Nouadiboe for 4 months. I have very nice memories of the place, but I'm not sure i would have traveled to Mauritania as a tourist.
Avenue de Nouadhibou 2e carrefour, BP 3176, Nouakchott, BP 3176, Mauritania
Good for: Business
Cite de la Concorde (sebkha), Nouakchott, Mauritania
Good for: Couples
10 Rue Mamadou Konate, Nouakchott, 5219, Mauritania
Good for: Business
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