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Earth : Africa : Sahel : Mauritania : Coastal Mauritania : Nouakchott
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The Central Mosque

Nouakchott is the largest city in and capital of Mauritania.

Get in

By plane

Nouakchott International Airport (IATA: NKC ICAO: GQNN) is the base for Mauritania Airlines International which flies to Paris, Dakar, Abidjan and Nouadhibou. It also receives flights from Algiers on Air Algérie [2] and from Paris on Air France[3]. Other connections include Casablanca, Bamako, Tunis and Las Palmas.

By road

From/to Nouadhibou (470 km, ca. 6 hours): the most comfortable option, a Mercedes taking 4 passengers, costs from 4000 ougiya. Sept-places are also available. It is also possible to arrange direct transport from Dakhla in Western Sahara. Ask in Hotel Sahara. The duration of the trip depends mostly on border formalities.

From/to Rosso: cars to Rosso (border with Senegal) depart from Garage Rosso south of town (taxi from the centre - ca. 500 oug). The journey takes approx. 3 hours and costs about 3000 oug in a Mercedes.

Get around

Taxis around town cost up to 200 oug, to the fishing port west of town (Port de Peche) - 300 oug.


Five kilometers west from central Nouakchott are beaches, the fishing wharf and two seaside hotels.

  • Head to the bustling fishing wharf 'port de peche' for a firsthand look at Mauritania's artisanal fishing industry. At evenings one can see teams of fishermen bring in the day's catch on brightly painted sea-canoes. The catch is sold on the sport and loaded onto donkey carts or ancient Renault 12's to be resold in town.

The Nouakchottois go to the beaches on weekend evenings (especially in the hot season). Swimming in the sea at Nouakchott can be dangerous due to the treacherous and strong current.


  • Franco-Mauritanian Cultural Center: movies, concerts, exhibits etc.
  • Stade Olympique: run laps at the stade Olympique, or watch a soccer match.

Fishing: surf-casting is possible from the beaches near Nouakchott. Bring your own equipment. Some basic fishing supplies can be bought from Lebanese-owned shops in Nouakchott. Travel in groups only for security reasons.


Traditional Mauritanian handicrafts are available in hotels, at the museum, and in shops catering to tourists at the top of Avenue Kennedy. Silver jewelery - such as bracelets and earrings - make popular souvenirs. Rugs made of camel wool can also be purchased. Items from Mauritania's fast-disappearing nomadic lifestyle - camel saddles and wooden chests - can be purchased.

Unfortunately many items for sale in Nouakchott are of shoddy workmanship. Be prepared for some determined tracking down to find a quality piece. Dakar, Senegal is also a good place to purchase jewelery from Moorish silversmiths.

  • Markets: the Marche Capitale and Marche Sixieme are the most interesting for purchasing local specialities and souvenirs. The Camel Market on the outskirts of town on the road to Boutilimit makes an interesting visit.


There is a decent variety of restaurants in Nouakchott with plates from 1000 to 2500 UM. Most restaurants in the capital offer pretty much the same menu - simple pizzas, hamburgers, sandwiches, and salads.

  • There is a string of restaurants on the road from the Stade Olympique to the French Embassy. Good ones include Pizza Lina, Cafe Liban, and Le Petit Cafe.
  • The Sahara Cafe, on the other side of the stadium, is also a good place for pizza, sandwiches or Lebanese, and has some of the best reasonably-priced food in town.
  • Near Marche Capitale, there is a street of sandwich shops that offer near-identical menus, the best of which is the Prince (which taxi drivers know by name).



  • The Novotel (Tfeila) and Hotel Mercure set the standard for nice places to stay, but you will pay European prices.
  • Hotel Halima, just behind the Novotel, is slightly less expensive.
  • In central Nouakchott, the Hotel Houda and Atlas are not bad options. Other mid-range hotels include Park Hotel and Amane on Ave Nasser and Hotel Mouna north of the Novotel/Tfeila.
  • Auberge Menata, [4]. Owner speaks English. Help with renting a car and a guide. High reputation with former guests. Dorms with shared facilities from 2500 ougiya per person, tent from 1500 ougiya.
  • Auberge JMC, behind the Novotel, - rooms start from 10000 oug. WiFi available. It's not signposted - look for flowers on the front fence.

  • Residence Zahra, opposite Hotel Halima and the Russian embassy, has clean and spacious rooms with ac, bathrooms, TV and wireless internet from 12000 oug.
  • There is also a hotel out at the beach with "hut" rooms and a big dining room overlooking the water.

There are also a couple of camping places not far away.

Stay Safe


Embassies & Consulates

  • Gr-flag.png Greece, Quartier des Ambassades, B.P. 4156, Nouakchott, Mauritanie, (222) 529-0127 (, fax: (222)525-9899).
  • Us-flag.png United States, US Embassy B.P. 222, Nouakchott., (222) 525-2660/2663, 525-1141/45, or 525-3038 (ext. 5441) (fax: (222) 525-1592), [1].

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