Hello HUBB. First post here from new HUBB members travelling from Denmark to Ghana on two KLR650's.
We referred to this thread quite a bit before leaving, but it has been quiet for a while, so we wanted to post an update based on our experience on June 2, 2013. Since January, it seems that the process for obtaining a Mauritania visa has been significantly improved. We posted a more details version of our experience here (Mauritania visa in Rabat | Holt and Melton Constable
) but the main points are:
* The application includes: a form that is handed out around 8:45am (it has both a front and a back, and you must use this form since it is now signed and dated by the embassy), one photocopy of your passport (black and white is fine), two passport photos, and your passport.
* Applications are accepted starting at 9am. Pick-up is the same day at 3pm.
* You can line up before 9am, but note that this line will be disbanded later. We arrived at 7am to wait in line, and we were around #7 (our line established numbers since there's no official numbering system). The people in front of us seemed to have slept in their cars the night before, and even some of the people who slept in their cars went into line behind us. It was relatively calm and organized. At around 8:45am, someone from the embassy will open the door and hand out applications, which are now dated and signed (you can NOT fill out the application ahead of time). Then, the original line disbanded and essentially meant nothing. The real line starts once you have the application form and have filled it out (you have to get back in line).
* There are two lines: one for men (right side of the door behind the red and white railing) and one for women (left side of the door). The order theoretically goes: 1 man, 1 woman, 1 man, 1 woman, etc. (although sometimes they let all the women go first since there aren't that many women there). This is true for both applying for the visas and for picking up your passports. Since we are traveling as a couple, we could take advantage of the line for women and we got our application in and picked up our passports very quickly.
* There doesn't appear to be a limit on the number of visas handed out, or at this point of the year they don't appear to be reaching this limit. We met someone who got his application in at 11am (he was the last application that day because they stop accepting applications at 11am, not because of an application limit)
* The embassy has cracked down on hawkers – there were only two guys there who mostly were helping people fill in the form if they didn’t understand it. You need to get an application form from the embassy yourself because each form is signed and dated.
* It seems that one person = one passport now.
In summary, the process for getting a Mauritanian visa in Rabat seems to be much easier and more reliable than it was in January 2013. We don’t know if this is because it is low season or Ramadan is approaching, but we’re going to credit the Mauritanian Embassy with cleaning up the visa application process significantly. It was a relatively painless and straightforward process and can be accomplished in the same day.