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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Old 13 May 2003
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Santa Barbara, Ca--USA
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First trip to Mauritania

Hello--

I am planning a trip to Mauritania this August/September and was seeking any and all advice. I am not traveling with my own transport, but am planning on going into Mauritania from Morrocco via public transport or other. How reasonable is this approach?? If I did want to meet up with people who were driving their own vehicle where would be the best place and what might be my best approach (offer money for petrol??).
Once I am in Mauritania, how reasonable is it for me to assume I can move around in the country without my own transport?? Any suggestions as to prefered methods of local/public transport.
How difficult are border formalities and where might I get a visa since the Embassy in the US seems unwilling to respond to me???I have heard you must be a round trip ticket to Nouk and then get a visa in Casablanca and then cancel the ticket. Is this the only way???
Also, I am tolerably competant in Classical Arabic, how far can I expect this to get me in mauritania where they speak Hassanya Arabic???

I have traveled in Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, Nepal, Thailand, Peru, etc. before, so I am not as green as I perhaps seem---but any suggestions and/or info on Mauritania and the route into it through the Western Shara would be greatly appreciated.

--jacob
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Old 13 May 2003
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Hi Jacob,

Since you have to be in Casablanca for the visa anyway, just go to the campsite near the Mauritanian embassy, lots of overlanders/ car sellers there who probably are willing to take you with them. Or simply try at the embassy itself since everybody has to wait for the visa plenty of time to find a car. If this doesn’t work out try Daklha In the Western Sahara.
The airplane ticket is no longer needed last December we just had to be at nine in the morning at the embassy fill out the forms pay 100 dirham (approx. 10 euro) and collect the visa in the afternoon.
The border formalities are no problem if you don’t have your own transportation.
There is a train running from Nouadihbou to (I think)Atar and you can also take a taxi from Nouadhibou direct to Nouakchott. There are plenty of possibilities to travel in Mori without your own transport but this is hear say so I can’t give you any detailed info about this subject. French does it for my in Mauritania don’t know anything about the type of Arabic spoken over there.
Good luck and maybe see you somewhere over there, I plan to go mid September with a friend, will be travelling with two old cars which are to be sold in Gambia or Senegal (if they make it over there!).

Vincent
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