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Sahara Travel ForumTopics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Just passed through Mauri theres no problem can get mauri and mali visas on border
Only problem is no petrol between Aleg and Kiffa Or Accomadation about 240 kms
Good Aurberge about 3 km Before Kiffa on right.
Decent Auberge 2 km after Ayoun on road to Nema on right side Easy to miss set 50 yards of the road Once in Mali tarmac has no potholes
No accomadation in first town in Mali but Bank Africa ATM in very small town centre easy to find
Hotel 80 kms on in next town hard to find ask the locals its in suberbs we had a chap on a push bike show us
ATM in Marroc, Mauri and Mali now everywhere
Hi, we were also spooked by the AUS travel warnings about Mauritania but it was absolutely fine. Nouakchott was friendly and laid back, very little hassle at all in Mauri after unpleasant Morocco (bit more hassle here in Mali). It's mainly the northern areas that are of concern, we saw no sign of trouble where we went.
In case you don't know, there is a bit of piste between Morocco and Mauri - just stick to the tracks (there are many!) and watch out for sand. It only goes about 3km but can be confusing. Change your money on the Mauri border (nothing on Moroccan side).
We went straight to Nouadhibou after the border. There is a good highway down to Nouakchott but long hot trip (sandy and windy too!). Next to Aleg (there is a hotel but it's a bit out of the way!!), then to Ayoun to the auberge noted elsewhere in this thread. We have a 36 litre tank so petrol not too much problem, although we carried extra for the Noaudhibou-Nouakchott leg (there was one big station halfway along the route).
From Ayoun to Nioro in Mali - make sure you get your customs stamps done in Kobeni, 20km before the border! We had no idea and got stamped ut of Mauri and reached Mali. They were fine about us going back for the carnet stamp. You end up doing all your customs stamps and insurance and money changing in Nioro. There IS a hotel in Nioro but it's hard to find - it's called Hotel Jamana on the road towards Kayes.
Good luck! We are now worrying about the warnings for Nigeria....
I think we need to be a little careful about writing off the security warnings for RIM, as per the post above. I am sure you will have no problems, but there is a theme of instability in the country, which sensible travellers will consider.
Without reciting government advisories, there was the death of four French tourists in Aleg in Dec 07. 2008 saw the shooting up of several nightclubs and the Israeli embassy in Nouakchott, along with a shootout in NKT between police and an escaped suspect of Al-Qaeda in the Magreb. 2009 has seen a bloodless coup, along with shooting of an American teacher and an attack on the French embassy in NKT. There has also been longstanding instability on the border zone with Mali, albeit this is usually some distance from the tarmac road via Nema.
Whilst there are rumours that the Dakar rally was relocated in 2008 due to commercial pressure, there was clearly instability in the region which no doubt contributed to ASO's decision to relocate.
Having been to RIM several times in the last few years, little of this is noticeable on the streets on Nouadhibou, Nouakchott or Atar, but the fact remains that these risks exist. If you walk past the Israeli embassy (or linger via the Senegalese embassy on the other side of the road) you will be quickly ushered away, which is a remnant of the previous attack on the embassy.
The basic premise being that Mauritania is generally a peaceful and rewarding country, but recent events in the last three years have created some issues. The vast majority of travellers will not be affected by these, but I think it would be remiss of this forum not to consider them and make people aware that parts of the country are potentially unstable.
Thanks for your thoughts Matt.
I think you've made some fair points.
We would not be inclined to completely discount security warnings and as always discretion and awareness are advised when travelling.
At the same time, between your comments and other points made here, I think we can have enough confidence to travel through Mauritania.
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