Mauritania is a country located in North-western Africa. The nation is known for how 90% of the nation is covered by the Sahara Desert, and unfortunately its poverty. Mauritania shares borders with Algeria, Mali and Senegal, with the Atlantic Ocean to the west of the country. Mauritania has a very warm climate – with its summers especially hot. The nation is large, and the 11th biggest in Africa. The population of the nation is approximately 4,300,000. There is a lot to see and do in the country. Overall, Mauritania is a nation well worth visiting, helping to form this edition of ‘UniEel Experiencing’.
Land Mass: 400,000 square miles
Mauritania has an interesting history. It is known for being part of the French Empire, with France taking over the nation by the end of the 19th century. While attempts were made to outlaw slavery around this time, unbelievably, it is believed slavery is still a part of contemporary Mauritania. It was legally abolished in 1981 – the last country in the world to do so. The nation gained independence from France in 1960. However, the nation became a one-party state, which included several uncontested elections. This ended in 1978 due to a coup. The Sahel droughts wrecked havoc in the nation during the 1970s. Mauritania would come under the control of Maaouya Taya, who led the nation for over twenty years. In this time, some diplomatic relationships were improved, though a dispute arose between Mauritania and Senegal. A unsuccessful coup happened in 2003, though Taya’s rule would end in 2005 via a successful military coup took place. Presidential elections took place in 2007, before another coup took place in 2008 – which again was successful. In recent years there has been some stability.
Things to Do and See:
Mauritania features many different things to see! The Sahara desert is obviously vast, but just seeing some of the long swathes of desert can be interesting! The Richat structure is a desert structure well-known around the world. The capital city Nouakchott is the most populated area in Mauritania, and hosts the usual amenities one would expect from a capital city. One of the most well-known tourist sites is the Chinguetti Mosque – a place of worship that has a remarkable history. Mauritania also hosts a wide array of birds. There are two well known parks that offer tourists the chance to see many different types – Banc d’Arguin National Park and Arguin are worth seeing. There are also various museums too. The coastal areas of Mauritania are popular with tourists, especially given the warm weather! Mauritania is predominantly covered by desert, so sticking to Nouakchott is largely recommended. It should be noted to thoroughly check advice guides for Mauritania, as the country has been known to be difficult for tourists to navigate safely.
Mauritania is a nation well worth visiting. As shown in this article, Mauritania certainly is an interesting country that offers a lot to its visitors. This short guide should provide you with key information regarding Mauritania, complete with ideas of things to do. Look out for more countries being analysed in our ‘Experiencing’ series. For more information on Mauritania, consult the UK’s Travel Advice for Mauritania at this link. Happy travelling!