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-   -   Latest update for travelling through Mauritania (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/sahara-travel-forum/latest-update-travelling-through-mauritania-60113)

Aidjay 8 Nov 2011 22:18

Latest update for travelling through Mauritania
Here's an update on travelling through Mauritania which answers a lot of questions we were searching answers for before we started our trip. We're riding motorcycles and are currently in Mali.

1. The route we followed though the country, giving our overnight stops were Nouakchott, Aleg, Kiffa and Ayon El Atrous. Apart from the regular military check points and requests for fiches (take about 50), there was no trouble. We heard about other travellers being warned about not straying too far off the main road, however we weren't offer this advice and came accross no hostilities other than kids and the odd adult screaming for a cadeau.

2. Petrol, or "Essance" was available in all the towns listed in at least one filling station in each town. There may have been petrol available in other towns, but we never looked as we didn't need to.

3. All the roads were good EXCEPT between Kiffa and Alyon. It started out excellent for a few kilometres then we were diverted to a gravel road since they are still completing the resurfacing. This was for about 20km. When we were back on the "old" road, this was a pot-holed mess all the way to Alyon. It was slow going and the entire distance of just over 200km between Kiffa and Alyon took us over 5 hours, with a few breaks thrown in.

4. The border crossing on the road from Alyon to Nioro in Mali took under 2 hours and was empty. The Mauritanian border guard that stamped us out requested a 10 Euro tax but he didn't persist when we asked for a receipt. No money changed hands on both the Mauritanian side or Malian side. There is a tiny booth on the Malian side where you can buy your 3rd party Carte Brune insurance. He appears to be open to negotiation and got a better deal than was listed on his tarrif sheet. Respect the (non existent) stop sign when you leave the border post. We got a bollocking and managed to escape a fine. The stop sign is safely stored in the guards little rest area, by the way.

4. Money can be changed in all of the towns we visited, however it is best to change all your money in Nouakchott, where you will get the best rate. Outside of Nouakachott, petrol stations are the best places to try.

Hope this helps any future travellers.

Chris Scott 9 Nov 2011 00:05

Thanks Adrian. Updates like this always welcome here.
What was the fuel price, btw?


florence of arabia 9 Nov 2011 16:21

320 to 328 OUM per litre of diesel in Nouakchott, slowly rising the further you go from the capital

Sam Rutherford 11 Nov 2011 07:39

We're also just back from Mauri.

No problems, very friendly.

Lots of Fiches, we used 32 between Tan Tan and St.Louis...

Travel safe, Sam.

Chris Scott 11 Nov 2011 10:06

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In case anyone's wondering, you can download a fiche template here.


Aidjay 11 Nov 2011 18:03


Originally Posted by Chris Scott (Post 355298)
What was the fuel price, btw?


From memory, the petrol started out at around 380 a litre in Nouakchott, rising to 395 in Alyoun.

sadoblazo 16 Nov 2011 13:51

good news. thanks for the update.
looking to go down the same route myself.

mahsita 21 Nov 2011 09:37

Unleaded Petrol and Mali visa

Thanks for all the info. We are going down the same route in a few weeks and were wondering about a few things:

- Is there any unleaded benzin to find in Mauritania and Mali or we are better off taking out the catalytic converter from the bike?

- Could we get easily the visa for Mali at the Mauri border? Which border would that be? I´ve read the one in Noiro only.

-Any chance to get the Mauri visa at the border with Morocco? I´ve been told it´s not possible any longer.

Thanks a lot and have a great trip

Chris Scott 21 Nov 2011 10:17


- Is there any unleaded benzin to find in Mauritania and Mali or we are better off taking out the catalytic converter from the bike?
According to these 2011 UN maps of fuel in Africa:
North Africa
all of Africa except [south] Algeria has been unleaded for many years. I was surprised to hear this, but the whole cat removal thing (as suggested in AMH) could be unnecessary. More common might be low octane fuel - normale - in remote places but which some efi bikes can handle better than old ones.

For Mali, see sub-Saharan forum.

No Mori visas at the WS/Mori border. Get it in Rabat.


florence of arabia 21 Nov 2011 12:26

good water at

1. at N 21 deg 16.765 & W 016 deg 47.646
ask for Mohamed Salem aka el rozo del desierto
he's always there
the water is perfectly potable and very good quality (comes from Bou Lanouar)
small renumeration will be appreciated
and while there, try some vegetables from Moha Salem's bio garden

2. at N 20 deg 03.125 & W 015 deg 55.261
gas station & Epicerie du Nord (not very friendly folks, but there are two taps on the north wall with very good water from Chami well, it's for free

Aidjay 21 Nov 2011 13:55


There is NO unleaded fuel in Mauritania, so if your vehicle requires unleaded to run properly, I would suggest making the necessary changes before you leave.

You need to get all your visas in advance, no visas are issued at the borders. Don't risk it, its a long way back!
You can get both the Mauri and Mali visas in Rabat. Mauri takes 2 days so apply on either a Mon, Tues or Wed to avoid added delay of staying over a weekend.
I heard the Mali visa can be got in Rabat in 1 day, however we got ours in Nouakchott in 1 day.

Hope that helps.

Chris Scott 21 Nov 2011 14:21

I wonder if just because some African bowsers don't have green handles as we have here, it doesn't mean the petrol is leaded. I suspect most petrol that is produced these days does not contain lead, full stop. They found a less toxic way of avoiding detonation. Dont know that for sure, but Mauritania would probably import it anyway.
Algeria produces its own which may explain why it's an exception, though I suspect Libya and Egypt would also produce similar 'basic' petrol (among the cheapest in the world).

This from 2006 - hard to believe such pan-continental co-operation can occur.
UN hails green triumph as leaded petrol is banned throughout Africa - Environment - The Independent


NB: Look like it was all discussed here before. No change it seems.

Whiskey 21 Nov 2011 16:22

As Aidjay wrote, NO unleaded gas in Mauritania. Also hard to find Normal. In Atar just one gas station. I came back from month jourey end of last week. Only update software on BMW gsA for automatic adjust for leaded/unleaded gas. Mauritanian Normal is so bad, that consumption was up to 20% over at app. 105 km/h. Also visa in Rabat not able to get in same day. I tryed with 50 € bank note to get it same day. Got back shiney eyes and big smile with "NO" answer.

kingkurt 11 Oct 2012 13:51

Anyone know its there is any unleaded yet in Mauritania?

We are going as far as Dakhler and thought we might go across to Mauri to see the Eye of the Sahara but are driving a unleaded car

Or if we can take fuel across the border?



container 18 Oct 2012 14:14


Originally Posted by Sam Rutherford (Post 355579)
We're also just back from Mauri.

No problems, very friendly.

Lots of Fiches, we used 32 between Tan Tan and St.Louis...

Travel safe, Sam.

Sam, what kind of paperwork did you have to sort out on Mauri-Senegal border? I'm trying to get some info on wheter I need a 150EUR carnet (CDP) for Senegal or not (for motorcycle:mchappy:)...I've heard of some other some other senegalese version of CDP, costing less
Anyone any ideas on that?


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