Four wheel drive adventure in the Sahara Desert, Mauritania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Chinguetti, Mauritania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Back to Morocco on January 31st.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

More detail about our trip to Mauritania

Yesterday was a rain day here in Morocco, so now is a good time to tell you a little more about our upcoming trip to The Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

Mauritania is one of the least visited countries in the world. That's actually one of the reasons I wanted to go there! 

Mauritania’s tourism is yet to gain a foothold due to its negative stigma being an unsafe destination. This is due to its past issues on killings and kidnappings from decades ago and the fact that most embassy websites still advise travelers against travel to the country. Adventure tourists, however continue to visit this destination and witnessing its safety first hand, the world is slowly hearing about Mauritania as a safe and rising tourist gem.

The Canadian government says AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL. Well, if we want to visit, then the travel is essential, isn't it? Besides, if we listened to government travel advisories, we would have missed out on some of our best travel experiences!

Tomorrow morning we will drive to Casablanca airport and get Max set up at the secure airport parking. We fly from Casablanca to the Mauritania capital city of Nouakchott Friday (tomorrow) night at 9:30pm.

Before booking this trip, I had never even heard of Nouakchott, and I'm betting you hadn't either. Yet it's a bustling capital city of 1.2 million people. 

We're flying on Mauritania Airlines. They have a total of six planes in their fleet. Back in November when I booked this, I couldn't get their website to accept my credit card. I also couldn't get them to respond to any of my emails or messages. So I booked through a third party website (which I never do!) which promptly went bankrupt a month later. Fortunately I already had our e-tickets by that point, so it shouldn't matter.

We arrive three hours later at 11:30pm, although I have read that Mauritania Airlines rarely depart on time. Once we get through customs and immigration (we need to pay €55 each for a visa) a driver will meet us and take us in to our hotel in the center of the city.

Most of the rest of the tour group arrive on Saturday or Saturday evening. I think they are all coming in from Paris, which is the only city in Europe with a direct flight to Nouakchott.

Sunday we do a group tour of Nouakchott including the fish market. Then a group dinner, followed by one last sleep in civilization before heading out into the Sahara Desert.

Monday we drive 5 or 6 hours inland to the Terjit Oasis where we'll have tented accommodation and dinner under the stars.

The Terjit Oasis in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

Tuesday is a busy day visiting the White Valley, Tifoujar mountain pass, Oasis of Toungad, Mhairett Oasis, and the ruins at the Ancient Dynasty of Azougui. Then back to our tented accommodation for the night. 

Wednesday is another busy day touring. The Rupestrian Paintings in Agrour Cave (dating back THOUSANDS of years), then Fort Sangenne, then the UNESCO site of Chinguetti where we sleep in tents just outside the town itself.

Thursday is the big day! This is the highlight of the trip! Riding 400 kms (250 miles) through the night on the longest train in the world. The train itself is almost 3 kms (1.8 miles) long and carries iron ore from the mines in the interior to the port at the coast. When it stops, we hop on top of one of the iron ore cars. No tickets, no conductor, no comfort. But traveling through the Sahara under the stars will be epic!

Next Friday we arrive in the port city of Nouadhibou where whatever is left of the rest of the day is open. Friday night in a hotel, and then next Saturday bus back to Nouakchott. Ruth and I have two extra days in Nouakchott, then we fly back to Casablanca on the 31st where Max will be waiting for us at the secure airport parking.

It's going to be an adventure! 

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Record low deal on this Snow Joe Electric Snowblower.

And in Canada...

1 comment:

  1. At what speed will the train be traveling ?

    ReplyDelete

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