Mauritania Guide

Mauritania Guide

Mauritania – country information

Country name Mauritania
Official name Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Capital Nouakchott
Continent Africa
Area 1,025,520 km2
Population 3,461,041 (2013)
Foundation of a state 28/11/1960
The highest mountains Kediat Idjil 917 m
State system a republic with a bicameral parliament
The biggest cities Nouakchott (capital) 600,000, Nouadhibou 75,000
Official language Arabic, French
Ethnicity/National Composition Moors 70%, black groups 30%
Religious affiliation Sunni Muslims 99.4%, Christians 0.4%, others 0.2%
Currency 1 Mauritanian oukiya (MRO) = 5 chums
gross domestic product (GDP) US$2,096 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 53.12 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture and fishing 29.5%, mining 10%, industry 10.5%, services 50%

Mauritania – Neighboring States

State Capital Area Population
Algeria Algiers 2,381,740 km2 38,700,000
They had Bamako 1,240,190 km2 15,302,000
Morocco Rebate 446,550 km2 33,202,300
Senegal Dakar 196,722 km2 13,567,338
Western Sahara Laayoune 266,000 km2 567,000

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Mauritania is located in northwestern Africa on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and belongs to the countries of the Sahel. It borders Western Sahara and Algeria to the north, Senegal to the south and Mali to the southeast.

Country data

Location: North Africa

Time zone: CET – 1 (during summer time: CET – 2)

Total area: 1,030,700 km²

Land area: 1,030,700 km²

Water area: 0 km²

Length of the state border: 5,074 km

Algeria: 463 km
Mali: 2,237 km
Senegal: 813 km
Western Sahara: 1,561 km

Coastline: 754 km

Capital: Nouakchott

Regions: 13
Adrar, Assaba, Brakna, Dakhlet Nouadhibou, Gorgol, Guidimaka, Hodh Ech Chargui, Hodh El Gharbi, Inchiri, Nouakchott, Tagant, Tiris Zemmour, Trarza

Telephone code: 00 222 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Kediet Ijill 915 m


Population: approx. 3.5 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 2.3% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 3

Life expectancy: 60 (male), 65 (female)

Official language: Arabic

Religions: 100% Muslim


Mauritania is divided into three climatically different regions:


Coastal areas:

  • mild temperatures due to the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean
  • Summer: 28-35 ° C
  • Winter: 20-28 ° C
  • high humidity in summer

Inland (Sahara):

  • Desert climate
  • strong temperature fluctuations (day / night)
  • Daytime temperatures often over 40 ° C
  • Rainy season from July to October

Senegal River:

  • tropical climate
  • very warm all year round
  • high humidity

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Ouguiya (MRO)

Classification: 1 Ouguiya = 5 Khoums

ATMs: not available

International credit cards: only accepted in a few hotels in Nouakchott.

Regulations: The import and export of the local currency is not permitted. Foreign currencies can be imported in an unlimited amount. Export is permitted up to the amount of the declared import.

Be sure to keep receipts for all currency exchange and spending. There are sometimes very strict controls when you leave the country!

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500 g tobacco
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Travel advice

Warnings are given against traveling to the border with Algeria and Mali

Travel to the areas of the Sahara and the Sahel is not recommended.

In the border region there are occasional attacks on tourists by armed gangs.

Terrorist attacks can be expected across the country.

Al-Qaeda offshoots are always looking for foreigners with the aim of kidnapping them.

Always carry two wallets with you. One with your travel fund that should be hidden on your body. And one filled with a few small bills that you give out in the event of a robbery in order to satisfy the robbers. This way you won’t lose all of your money right away.

Behavioral advice

You should not leave the paved roads in the Western Sahara area as there are many unmarked minefields.

When choosing your clothing, you should consider that Mauritania is a Muslim country.


Due to the existing long pasture areas, cattle breeding is one of the most important branches of Mauritania’s economy.

Fishing and mining are also very important.

Nevertheless, Mauritania is one of the poorest countries in the world.

The inadequate infrastructure and the uncertain political situation repeatedly prevent major investments from abroad.

Industries: mining of iron ore and gypsum, fishing

Natural resources: iron ores, fish. Plaster of paris, copper, phosphates

Land use:

  • Usable land: 0%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 38%
  • Forests: 4%
  • other: 58%


The most fertile areas in the country are along the Senegal River. There is wide grassland with a few trees.

There are only a few oases within the Sahara.


Although the government has now taken measures to protect the animal population, this has been greatly reduced due to environmental degradation and poaching.

The most common animal species include antelopes, elephants, gazelles, crocodiles, Senegal lions and ostriches.

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