Traveling to Mauritania can come with many surprises for the unprepared traveler. We’ll break down some of the most important things you need to know when planning your trip.
There are two major airlines that you can use to arrange travel to Mauritania.
- Air Morocco
Most cost-effective choice, but can sometimes experience delays
- Air France
Slightly more expensive but also more reliable
Passport and travel visa are required. Visas can be obtained upon arrival at any point of entry. Visas cost about $65 USD (~€55 EUR), and can only be purchased in these specific currencies (USD or Euro) in the form of cash and exact change — they will not provide change if you do not have smaller notes.
Payment Method and Exchanges
Cash is the only accepted form of payment from businesses in Mauritania; they will not accept credit cards. Cash machines (ATMs) only accept Mastercard and Visa card types, and this can only be done in the capital of Nouakchott.
If you need to make currency exchanges, this should always be done in Nouakchott, as the exchange rate goes up drastically once outside the city.
Currency exchange rates
(and COVID-19 Requirements)
At this time there are no required vaccinations for visiting Mauritania. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is recommended that you get a negative PCR test dated within 3-4 days prior to your arrival. You will be required to have a face mask, and hand sanitizer with you. Your temperature will be taken upon arrival. If you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, you may be required to get tested again on-site (rapid test). Upon a positive test, quarantine and treatment will be enforced.
Climate and Seasonality
Sidi Tours organizes tours all year long. Peak heat is in July and August, and this can be unbearable for some travelers. Mauritania has arid heat, so these high temperatures will not feel damp, and are easier to tolerate.
If you are looking for a cooler time to visit, December and January will be your best opening.
European migratory birds flock to the Atlantic coastline beginning in November and ending in early March, so if you are looking to catch some bird watching, the winter season is the best time to visit.
What to Bring
- Basic first aid kit (bandages, antibiotics, anti-diarrhea, laxatives, pain relievers, etc)
- Bug repellent
- Sun screen
- Clothing for hot and cold weather (it will get chilly at night!)
- Open-toed shoes with a strong sole that provides support — like sandals with secure straps, not flip-flops
- Lighters (for destroying bio waste)
- Sleeping bag
- Canteen or reusable water container (we will provide the water) – do not bring disposable water containers