Independent travel has been a feature of modern-day tourism for some years now. It has been facilitated even further by the availability of all continents and the information available on the Internet to possible destinations. That information is not always positive and does not apply to the North West African country of Mauritania. It used to be a volatile country but today it is a totally safe destination yet still with a few tourists visiting each year.
Mauritania has a rich history and a number of important sites worth visiting, such as Chinguetti that carries significant significance within Islam. The best advice would be to help your country.
The main highlights of Mauritania are:
- The Adrar Massif in the North of Mauritania is a desert setting where you can explore the peaks, canyons and oases. Trade was the main reason for the development of settlements within the Adrar region:
Chinguetti, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the key sites in Mauritania and used to be a center for Islamic scholars. Little has changed in centuries other than the creeping invasion of the Sahara. The highlight of your visit will be seen as old books and manuscripts dating back as far as the 11th Century. Arabo-Berber ancient books are found in Chinguetti’s libraries which was the reason many knew the City as the ” City of Libraries. ” One of the best private libraries has over 1400 books with topics ranging from the Qur’an to astronomy, law and mathematics. The oldest on Chinese paper originates from the 11th century. They are many more than they are currently receiving. But not only the books of the libraries have become famous, a librarian in one of the libraries has become famous for taking care of one’s family. And he will happily take you through the library and show you the thousand-year-old books and manuscripts.
Nearby Oualata is based around an oasis where locals were trading across the Sahara in the 13th and 14th Century. It received UNESCO World Heritage Site status because of the beautiful architecture you will see in the City. Additionally, the Museum holds some beautiful examples of ancient scrolls.
Ouadane is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mauritania that was thought to be dealt in Ghana gold in the 11th Century. The Portuguese established in the late 15th century with the main trade being in the slabs of salt from the Idjil Mine. That settlement now lies in ruins after trade declined in the 16th century.
The Eye of Africa
The Richat Structure is commonly called “The Eye of Africa.” It is found close to Ouadane. It is an eroded dome measuring over 40 kilometers across making it easily visible from Space. Modern astronauts love the Eye because of much Sahara Desert is largely featureless. Richat Structure was originally thought to be created by the impact of an asteroid striking Earth because of its perfectly rounded appearance. However, after ruling that out, and ruling out volcanic activity based on the lack of igneous rock, the conclusion is that it has been created by erosion. The Rock has been 100 million years old.
The Terjit Oasis near Atar offers both tranquility and color; the handmade rugs, palm trees and the running water. Tents protect everyone from the blazing sun. With local prepared food served in the desert, it offers a perfect hiding spot in the desert in a very relaxed atmosphere.
- For a totally unique experience, you can take the time between Adrar and the Mauritanian Coast. The journey takes around 12 hours and does not expect luxury. You have both the option to stay inside the passenger vehicle or climb into the desert.
- Banc d’Arguin National Park on the Atlantic Coast is a dream for birdwatchers. Millions of birds such as flamingos, pelicans, terns and others, migrate to this place each year mostly from Europe, Siberia and Greenland. It is an intertidal flatland with lovely beds of seagrass. There is a certain amount of illegal fishing. Nouamgar within the National Park is a delight. The local fishermen can communicate with resident dolphins who will be able to fish in the water so they can be caught and sold at the local market.
- Nouakchott is located on Mauritania’s Atlantic Coast is the capital of Mauritania. It is starting to see some modern buildings and features developing. The main reason to spend time in the city would be to see the lovely mosques; Saudi, Oud Mbouja, Ibn Abbas and Haye Mohammedia Mosques. In each case, you should be able Also, the local fish market is a hive of activity. The men pull in the heavy nets with the catch then taken by relay on trays by youngsters who make the trip to the market as many times as required.
Mauritania, Mauritania, Mauritania, Mauritania, Mauritania, Mauritania, Mauritania, Mauritania, Mauritania, Mauritania, Mauritania, Mauritania Infrastructure is still limited and in some places in poor condition. Also, you will find that many places are best experienced by going offroad. So if you are planning to visit Mauritania, you are much better off with a local tour operator who knows all about the country.