Nouakchott Journals

Mauritania Sahara Fun

A February 1998 trip to Nouakchott by kdieng

Mauritanian veil Photo, Nouakchott, Mauritania More Photos
Quote: I visited Nouakchott, Mauritania, with three friends while living in Dakar, Senegal. Great short trip, VERY friendly city residents, good foreign experience and great places to shop.

Mauritania Sahara Fun

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Market women Photo, Nouakchott, Mauritania
Quote:
The best places to visit are the artisianal villages, the markets and the beach. Also, schwarma, like a gyro sandwich, is wonderful here, always sold in small Lebanese restaurants. You'll often find small women's craft sales, where you'll find great souvenirs at cheap prices while at the same time supporting women enterprises.Quick Tips: Try to dress modestly, meaning no shorts and swimsuits. Do not wear flashy jewelry on the streets. Be open to new experiences. Strangers offered us rides in their cars, brought us to their homes for free meals and helped us arrange cheap hotel rooms and cheap market buys. Everything was an honest attempt to be helpful, no scams. Try to connect wit...Read More

Hotel Oasis

Hotel

Quote:
Kind of expensive compared to similarly priced places, but clean, friendly staff, flexible check in and check out times and no hassles for non-married opposite sex friends staying together (can be a problem at other hotels).

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 6, 2001

Hotel Oasis
BP4
Nouakchott, Mauritania
52011

Prince

Restaurant | "El Prince"

Quote:
Great Lebanese restaurant, like many in West Africa. Casual and friendly environment. Serves burgers, falafal, grilled chicken and kebabs. You could tell them something and they'll likely make it. Their schwarma, like a gyro sandwich, is WONDERFUL -don't forget to have them put sauce on it. Good environment for a group of friends, out of the hot sun.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 6, 2001

Prince
Capitale Area
Nouakchott, Mauritania

Street Food

Restaurant

Quote:
The food on the streets is usually safe and clean. You can buy nuts and tea, local versions of donuts and cooked meat. It's most fun to go out at night and buy food along the streets, watching as it's prepared. You can ask about food without being harassed to buy it.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 6, 2001

Street Food
City Center
Nouakchott, Mauritania

Center Artisanal

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Attraction

Center Artisanal Photo, Nouakchott, Mauritania
Quote:
Not too crowded or loud, like many African markets. Friendly sellers and fair prices. You'll need a local man to translate for you, as women mostly speak Hassanya, rarely French, and most venders are women. You'll find jewelry of different price levels, wonderful local clothing, rugs, teapots, African wares and more. Mostly local cultural stuff. Still not too touristy and you won't be harassed.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 6, 2001

Center Artisanal
Downtown Center
Nouakchott, Mauritania

Weekend

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

View of camels Photo, Nouakchott, Mauritania
Quote:
I went with two girlfriends and one male friend. We LOVED Mauritania. The trip there via public transport via Senegal was long AND hot, but well worth it. We had some problems at the border, as my friend tried to bring in local currency we bought in Senegal, which is illegal. So we had to pay some bribes. Be careful of locals trying to be "friends" with you and offering help while crossing the river, as they're likely to try to scam you. You take a car into the capital city and will be dropped off at a gare routiere. Finding accomodations is easy if married or alone, but a group of friends (male and female, not married), can be a problem, as some hotels won't let you share a room together. Throughout ...Read More

Wedding

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Mauritanian veil Photo, Nouakchott, Mauritania
Quote:
While in the market a teenage boy offered to help us get good prices; we were suspicious, but he was friendly and did prove helpful. Afterwards he invited us home for lunch and we enjoyed lunch with him and three of his friends. During the lunch he promised us that a friend of his was getting married and that we were invited. We agreed to meet up later that night at out hotel. That night the 4 guys met us at our hotel, told us there was a change of plans due to a car accident involving the bride-to-be, and we went to another wedding, the wedding of the richest man in Mauritania. One boy's father, a policeman providing security, snuck us in. AMAZING. The men and women were separate. Long tables of food...Read More

Americans in Mauritania

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Believe it or not, many Mauritanians do not know that "America" or the United States exists. An odd person may have traveled to the US or watched CNN, but that's about it. No stereotypes, no preconceived notions of wealth. No one wants something from you, because they assume you don't have more than they do. If you say you're American, they say, "Hmmm, where is that? Across the ocean, huh? That's interesting." Bedouin/Muslim hospitality is in high gear in Mauritania, and you're quickly and easily welcomed into people's homes. If more people visit Mauritania, this may change, but for now it's a welcome break from the typical experience traveling as an American across much of the globe. A ...Read More

About the Writer

kdieng

kdieng
Silver Spring, Maryland

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