The Islamic Republic of Mauritania is one place that is not visited by too many tourists or travelers and there is no reason as such as why people should visit it. It is covered mostly by desert and here women only make their eyes visible. There is no nightlife and these are some of the reasons that make people stay away from this country. However, this place has much more to offer than just that and hidden in the country is a unique culture, warm and hospitable people and various other things that make Mauritania a must visit for all travelers. Here are 5 reasons to take vacation in Mauritania:
Crossing the Western Sahara
Western Sahara located just below Morocco is one place that you need to cross if you want to enter Mauritania and the drive through the desert is something that you will always remember. Gone are the days when people were forced to drive their cars along the beach and dig up their cars after every half kilometer. There is a recently built highway that is smooth and beautiful. After crossing the Saharan border, you will be in a no-man’s land that has remnants of minefields and makes sure to follow the tire tracks left by taxis and other cars. This is an experience that you will always remember.
Ride the Iron Ore Train to Choum
Once you enter through the Mauritanian border, you will land in Nouadhibou, a city full of donkey carts, camels and dead fish. Stay here for a day or two and explore the place and then take the iron ore train to a place called Choum. It is one of the longest and heaviest trains measuring 3 km in length. On the way to Choum, you can ride in this train free of cost as the carts are empty. Enjoy tea and tagine offered by the locals in the train as well along with the beautiful starry desert sky.
This is yet another thing that you can experience in Mauritania. Once in Choum, take a truck to Atar and then take a taxi to Chinguetti. Here you can hire a guide or pay a local who knows the desert for a camel ride along the desert as long as you want for an experience you will cherish forever.
Chingeutti is an old city and after completing your desert trek, exploring the city is something that you will enjoy. There is sandstone village and there are also age old mosques and few libraries here. This city would give you a Jerusalem feel.
Nouakchott is the capital city and once here, you will be back to civilization. It is a little more beautiful than Nouadhibou but it is not London or Paris. Alcohol is not available and the only thing that you can try here is hookah.
Mauritanians are warm and nice people and lead a very simple kind of life. You will have a different kind of experience here but enjoy your stay to the fullest.