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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 12 Dec 2011
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Mauritanian visas

Afternoon everybody,

Has anybody ridden/driven through Mauritania recently ( either direction) between Western Sahara to Senegal? Are transit visas being issued, and if so, where did you get yours, and how much did it cost please? Can we get one en route? The reason for asking is because according to the French Embassy in London, the only transit visa now available is for air passengers who don't leave the airport, have a confirmed hotel reservation, and is valid for 24 hours only. According to their website, you can now only get a tourist visa ( single entry) for £132.00, and then only if you produce a whole load of odd paperwork including a letter from employers, three recent wages slips, proof of retirement funds, and marriage certs. All we want to do is ride through the place; suerly there must be a transit option?

Thanks

Belle
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  #2  
Old 13 Dec 2011
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I'm pretty sure you can get it in Rabat and i'd guess it would be a little more laid back with the paperwork, gamble thou!
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  #3  
Old 21 Dec 2011
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Visa for Mauritania

Belle

We just completed trans Africa Latest news / About us - Langebaan Sunset - Stonehenge UK to Cape Town SA - 2010/11

We got the Mauri visa in Rabat no problems. They are not very helpful and the form is in French but its a simple process.

You do need a visa to get into Mauritania - when we passed there last year you had to have the visa. One guy on a motorbike rocked up thinking he could wing it..... he could not and had to fly back to Rabat via West Sahara....... get the visa is my advice.

When you exit Mauritania (am not sure of your route) try to avoid Rosso into Senegal...you can read about it on our Blog. If you have to cross at Rosso go early in the day and be patient, confident and try to do it with at least one other person to watch your gear. Insist they stamp your Carnet .....push for it as it saves a trip to Dakar!!

Good luck

Nick
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  #4  
Old 16 Jan 2012
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Morning everybody,

An update on the Mauritanian visa query -we got ours last week in Brussels - very simple and civilsed process, took four days. No transit visas any more apparently, so we got the Tourist version. We tried Brussels rather than Rabat because there are a gang of us heading that way (Scooters in the Sahara) in March and based on others' previous experience, Rabat is a visa hassle to be avoided if possible, particularly as a group.

So this is the score:

Directions
  • Embassy is at 6 Rue de Colombie, Brussels, but it doesn't look like an Embassy.
  • One half of the building is For Sale. BUT the left hand side of the building as you look at it is open and is the Embassy, the entrance is at the side.
  • You can park easily and safely (for free) outside
  • Opens 1000hrs Monday - Friday inclusive. Ring the bell.
Documents etc:
  • Passport
  • two passport photos - identical (and of the passport holder!)
  • fill in one request form twice (no photocopier so you have to write it out twice AND they want two copies) Get these at the Embassy.
  • Use the new bilingual French/Arabic form which you get from them - don't use old ones as they won't accept them.
  • 62.50 euros for single entry, 93.75 euros for double entry PAYABLE IN EXACT CASH ONLY, no receipt given.
  • Yellow Fever Cert - if you have it, take it. The lady said it wasn't crucial - probably, but if you have it, it helps. If not, tell them you have one lined up for next week or whatever.
Timing:
Takes five week days. You can't get them on the day, they won't post/courier them to you even if you offer 'a bonus', and they speak very little English so if unless you can speak Arabic, try French - that helped greatly, even with my poor grammar and odd phrases.

ALSO -VERY IMPORTANT-when you get your visa, check it carefully. We got three, and one was double entry but had been marked single entry only, and the single entry fee written in, although we had paid for double entry. Take it back immediately and point out the error. It was a genuine mistake and the lady was very apologetic and altered and restamped it, but as you don't get a receipt, the only recourse you have is to deal with it there and then, and make sure they restamp over any alterations or the border people are likely to refurse it. Also check the dates correspond to when you plan to be there.

And lastly, if you're based in the UK, be aware - they will take your passport off you so you won't get back into Blighty however much you argue and plead with Customs. We forgot that bit......so be prepared to stay!
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  #5  
Old 16 Jan 2012
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Many years ago I used a London based visa agency to get a Mauri visa. Yes it cost a bit for their services but cheaper than having to spend a week in Brussels.
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Old 16 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
Many years ago I used a London based visa agency to get a Mauri visa. Yes it cost a bit for their services but cheaper than having to spend a week in Brussels.
But not for 13 of you I would suggest !

Whilst it undoubtably works out more expensive than collecting en-route at Rabat. If you have the time before hand, it not only saves time whilst on the trip but is a far more civilised process altogether. The scrummage of the Rabat Embassy is fine if you are on your own and need some extra adventure but civilised it is not.

It also give far more flexibility on routing down through Morocco which was one of my prime considerations in this case... and we had a lovely week in Brussels on our C90s
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  #7  
Old 17 Jan 2012
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Originally Posted by Belle View Post
... And lastly, if you're based in the UK, be aware - they will take your passport off you so you won't get back into Blighty however much you argue and plead with Customs. We forgot that bit......so be prepared to stay!


When are you going, Belle?
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  #8  
Old 31 Jan 2012
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Hi Paul,

March. Then Mongolia in May. I'm all mended now and hopefully will stay that way!

Belle
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  #9  
Old 1 Feb 2012
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Update on the Mauritanian visa escapade.........rode back to Brussels on Monday (in the snow) having submitted paperwork, ten more passports and many euros for ten visas the previous Monday. Everything was accepted and approved, money paid ( cash -they won't take cheques/cards/ bottle tops or football cards and WON'T issue a receipt however much you plead) and was told to return for collection this Monday at 1130am. HOWEVER, when I appeared as directed, the bloke was nowhere to be found and when eventually they phoned him, he denied ever having had the passports or the money. Crap. What now? I had to really make a fuss, bang the table and yell loudly in French - not my preferred approach at all but necessary in the circumstances. This attracted the attention of the only woman who works there and whom I'd seen on my previous visits - nice lady, only speaks French (or Arabic, which I don't) and seems to be in charge. Explained what had happened and she made him come back then gave him a right bollocking in Arabic before making him get the passports and issue the visas. There was no mistake here - he'd clearly nicked the money and he was very embarrassed at being caught. Not quite sure how this could have been avoided but the day was saved by the lady who had seen me on my previous two visits, and fortunatley, I checked everything while she was still there - he flung the passports at me ( got told off again for that) and had also missed a visa out of one passport, ( she really laid into him for that). So I guess the moral is make sure somebody else sees you at the Embassy and realises why you're there, and call on them if you need to, be prepared to stand your ground, and DO NOT LEAVE THE BUILDING UNTIL YOU HAVE CHECKED EVERYTHING and got all of your property back.
BUT despite the stress and the fag of going there, for multiple applications, it was relatively civilised and ended well - but not for that thieving git.
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