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  #1  
Old 16 Jan 2008
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Mauritania

Hello All.
I am just bout to head accross to Tanger from Spain. Last night we spoke to a Scot who had just got back from a trip with Kudu. They had ridden down to Dakar and he told me that he thinks the Mauritanian border is about to close to all non-Africans. Can anyone confirm whether this is wrong or not? He also said that they met a guy who had been robbed 3 times in one day by border guards and beggars at the Maritania/W Sahara border. Is this common. Which roads should we be taking/ignoring and which is the best place to cross Morrocco-western Sahara-Mauritania-Senegal. He also mentioned Roso is a terrible place to cross!

Didn't sleep too well last night!

any help would be appreciated.

Ed
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  #2  
Old 16 Jan 2008
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Hi Ed,

we spent October in Mauritania and friends just left Mauri two days ago to Mali.
I don’t think there is a big probability that they will close the boarder to Non Africans.

Do you talk about theft or cheating at the boarder?

We and a couple of friends had no problems at all if you consider the semi official 3000 Ouguiya custom fee as realistic. The procedures are pretty straight forward for an African boarder but you are never sure that somebody will not take the chance. Generally they guys got quite a good instinct who is an easy prey.

Don’t let you scare off.

Best regards
Bernd
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  #3  
Old 16 Jan 2008
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There was some talk of the boarder closing to French nationals on the French Saharian’s forum (Le site de rencontre des Sahariens,) a week or so ago but it has been so far been dismissed on that forum as a rumour due to people crossing the boarder freely up until a few days ago.

The only legal (and safe!) place to cross from Western Sahara to Mauritania remains firmly at Guerguarat / Nouadhibou.

Never heard of anyone being robbed at the boarder. Ripped off by all and sundry in a thousand different scams yes, but not actually robbed yet

Going into Senegal – Rosso has a bad reputation and Diama is a bit quieter. Personally I don’t think either are particularly bad – just very “West African” - with humour, patience and smiling negotiation its an entertaining day out… OK maybe I’m a little warped but neither are worth losing sleep over.
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  #4  
Old 16 Jan 2008
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In the most deceased forums spirits the craziest rumors over Mauretania around.

That the mauretanian boarder would be closed for foreigner based on the past incidents.

On my mail inquiry in the German abassy in Nouakschott, I got just now a call from Mr. Lambrecht at NKC with the message that this is in no way the case.

The boarder-situation in Mauretania is normal - so like always!

Naturally was referred to the safety tips of the german foreign-office.
The general situation is sure entirely normal like always!
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  #5  
Old 20 Jan 2008
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Update

I crossed mauritania a few days ago.
There are a huge number of police on the roads- check points galore so have heaps of 'fiches'
Also army guys have been pulled in to patrol - you recognise them as they have new uniforms.
Hassle endlessly for money 'cadeaux' - whatever you do, don't pay as it sets a really bad precedent. They all ask, some more bullish than others.

Kiffa was a very uncomfortable passage- one policeman took our 3 passports, commandered an vehicle and drove off- I had to stick to him like glue- Not a good time was had in a military building with some 'official' in a djellaba and a cheich covering virtually his whole face fiddled endlessly with passports- despite requests, no information or identifcation was given aside from 'new procedure'.
Then another mad dash accross town to the 'director's ' house- a private abode where the said 'director' was in bed! ... WTF?? passports were held there and eventually written into and signed and stamped -very tense moments were experienced and most officials were quite bullish- verging on agressive.

Money requests 'pour aider le passage' were constant.
We were glad to see the minefield crossing again
remain calm, be polite but be assertive and stand your ground- they smell 'weak' people a mile off...and opportunity then knocks...
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  #6  
Old 21 Jan 2008
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It is true that most of people willing to visit Mouritania are not allowed to enter this country.Some 2 landies from France were not allowed to enter Mouritania this week according to a friend of mine who guided them today Monday in the region of Merzouga.But to confirm this myslef,I canot .Hope you 'll get some more info about this subject.
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  #7  
Old 24 Jan 2008
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The border is open. If you ever have doubts about borders, check the foreign office website at Home*Foreign & Commonwealth Office for up-to-date information.
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  #8  
Old 24 Jan 2008
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Visa from Rabat

We just applied for a visa in Rabat and were told we would get ours tomorrow so it looks like alls well with the border crossing at the moment.
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  #9  
Old 29 Jan 2008
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In Rabat now

Just been to the embassy in Rabat and have applied for our visas which arrive tomorrow. I asked about the situation at the border and as far as the officials here are concerned the border is open with no restrictions.

Once we are through i will confirm how everything went for you, inshallah!

Ben & Luke
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  #10  
Old 1 Feb 2008
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Fresh round of violence.

The israeli embassy in Nouakchott came under gunfire in the early hours this morning. News reports seem to give different numbers of attackers and injured but it did all only happen four hours ago.

Gunmen attack Israeli embassy in Mauritania, 3 hurt | Reuters

BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Mauritania gunmen target embassy
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  #11  
Old 19 Jan 2009
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i just returned from a trip through Mauritania and it was the easiet border I crossed. the country seems quite safe. you are more likely to get ripped off by the sengal border agents
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Old 19 Jan 2009
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I was there a week or so ago. the Africa Race was passing through at the time, which was what the police checkpoints were for. I had no general problems, other than lack of fuel in Kiffa.
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