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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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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 26 May 2010
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Mauritania visa and security questions

If applying for an Mauritanian visa in Madrid you have to fill a very long application form and there is a question which asks ' Nom et Prénom de la personne en charge de l’accueil' (surname and name of the person responsible for your accommodation) at the end of the form it is written in Spanish that you have to write his/her Mauritanian ID number.
If I go to Mauritania I will not have a fixed plan.
Will there be a problem if I leave it blank?
ambarimmadrid (click on 'cargar el formulario' to see the form)

How dangerous (risk of robbery and kidnapping) is it to travel alone in a old Spanish registered car during daylight hours? (not a 4x4)

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Old 26 May 2010
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I got my mauritanian visa in one week at their embassy in Madrid with no problem; I did not answer that question. You can fill the form at the embassy and you have to leave there your passport till the visa is ready.

My advice is drive the whole country from Morocco to Senegal in one day and take with you enough petrol from Morocco. I run out gas 220 km north from Nouakchot and was not funny feeling there. No good vibrations. Do not tell people you are Spanish. All of them know how much money could be your ransom. Better saying you are argentinian.

Nouadhibu and Nouakchott are safe enough but do not expect friendly people. If you have to sleep in Nouakchot, go to Auberge Sahara in the main street; is run by western people. It is a safe place. If going to Senegal, better take the Diama piste instead of the Rosso ferry. It is not too sandy to drive by car, it os quieter and you will end up 25 km far from Saint Louis, where you can drink all the you will be craving for.

Good luck.

viajes de invierno. Barcelona-Dakar
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Old 26 May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miquel-Silvestre View Post
I got my mauritanian visa in one week at their embassy in Madrid with no problem; I did not answer that question. You can fill the form at the embassy and you have to leave there your passport till the visa is ready.

My advice is drive the whole country from Morocco to Senegal in one day and take with you enough petrol from Morocco. I run out gas 220 km north from Nouakchot and was not funny feeling there. No good vibrations. Do not tell people you are Spanish. All of them know how much money could be your ransom. Better saying you are argentinian.

Nouadhibu and Nouakchott are safe enough but do not expect friendly people. If you have to sleep in Nouakchot, go to Auberge Sahara in the main street; is run by western people. It is a safe place. If going to Senegal, better take the Diama piste instead of the Rosso ferry. It is not too sandy to drive by car, it os quieter and you will end up 25 km far from Saint Louis, where you can drink all the you will be craving for.

Good luck.

viajes de invierno. Barcelona-Dakar
Seems the situation is really dangerous. Maybe better I leave Atar and Chinguetti for the next time (I planned to spend about 10 days in Mauritania).
Actually I look like a Moroccan and a friend of mine in Morocco gave me a 'touareg' blue overall cloth (the one that most of the faux guides in Morocco wear). Maybe by putting this, a blue turban and sunglasses it is going to be less dangerous.
Are Mauritanians really so unfriendly?(everybody says it)

Of course that I will take the Diama crossing, I am not a masochist.

I also have a Bulgarian passport, maybe it better to use it instead? I hope that they know that Bulgaria is technically bankrupt and will not pay a single cent. But in this case I will have to carry both passports to enter Senegal and Gambia visa free.

Edit: It seems that you also visited Azerbaijan. I had many problems with the people there. They had a really nasty attitude towards foreigners. Is Mauritania the same or worse?
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Old 26 May 2010
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I passed through Mauri in January, spending five days. Had a jolly good time with both white and black. Met the boss of Iwik (small village on the coast), had dried camel meat and tea in his tent, and I told him of the fear westerners had after the kidnappings. "Don't say it is dangerous" he said, "because it is not true!"
And he was right. A very few incidents with many thousands passing through doesn't make the country peligroso. OTOH I decided to save Atar and Chinguetti for another year, after things cool down some.
The Maures can be a little stiff but I wouldn't call them unfriendly. Even the police were mostly correct this trip.
The country should have more tourists, not less. Just don't move around unnecessarily at night, use common sense and you'll be ok.
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Old 27 May 2010
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We were in Mauretania for 4-5 days in Januari and passed through in Mars. No problems. As Priffe said, don't drive at night and you'll be fine.

I don't think it's more likely that you'll get robbed than Mauretania in Europe...

We got our visas in Rabat, got it in the evening the same day.
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