A not so popular tourist destination and less visited place due to some issues of its safety, but there are a lot of things Mauritania has to offer to tourists who really wishes to come over. One of the best spots is the UNESCO world heritage site, the TBanc D’Arguin National Park that is famous for its bird watching activity. If desert like the Sahara is what you want, Mauritania has a lot of deserts to display. The capital offers a bountiful harvest of fishes and other seafood making it one of the best destinations for people who just love to experience a sumptuous seafood meal.
Important and Interesting Facts About Mauritania
- Two-thirds of Mauritania is covered by desert, which expands southward every year.
- Nouahchott, which means “place of the winds,” was designated as the country’s capital only in 1960 and is therefore one of the world’s newest capitals.
- Mauritania is the world’s 29th largest country after Bolivia.
- Ben Amera is a 400m black granite monolith, located in Mauritania, is variously described as the world’s third largest.
- At Chinguetti, you will find something that is claimed to be the second oldest of its kind in continuous use anywhere in the world – a minaret. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Mauritania, three times the size of Arizona, is situated in northwest Africa with about 350 mi (592 km) of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Morocco on the north, Algeria and Mali on the east, and Senegal on the south. The country is mostly desert, with the exception of the fertile Senegal River valley in the south and grazing land in the north.
- Terjit is an oasis (in the proper sense: a well in a dry area), popular with Mauritania’s few tourists. It nestles in a cut on the edge of an arid plateau, and stretches a few hundred metres alongside a stream that emerges from the rock. There is a modest fee to enter and tourists can pay to stay in tents in the palm grove. It is often used for tourism for its charm and fresh water and includes a petting zoo for camels at its entrance.
- The National Museum of Mauritania is a national museum in Nouakchott, Mauritania. It is located just to the southwest of Hotel Mercure Marhaba, west of Hotel de Ville, northwest of Parc Deydouh and northeast of Mosque Ould Abas. It has notable archaeological and ethnographical collections. There are two galleries that showcase collections of sherds, arrowheads, and local costumes.
- Port de Peche is a harbor located by the sea, extent of water or river and booked boats or fishing vessels . Through its infrastructure, it enables and facilitates the landing of their cargo.
- Not too far from the intense activity of the SNIM in the industrial harbour, there is a small harbour for local fishermen, still using traditional methods. Although Mauritanians were not used to fish some years ago, the intervention of some foreign aids and the presence of big fishing companies from abroad thought them the use of fishes.
Cool, Fun, and Funny Facts About Mauritania
- One of the longest trains in the world is found in Mauritania. It measures almost three kilometers long.
- If you look at Mauritania from space, you can see a clear bullseye-like image called the Eye of Africa. Nobody knows yet for sure what created this gigantic ground sculpture.
- Mauritania attracts many tourists for sports fishing off the Atlantic coast.
- The people of the fishing village of Nouamghar use dolphins to drive shoals of migrating fish towards the shore and their nets.
- Ancient rock paintings in Mauritania show giraffes, cattle and other grazing animals which all lived in the region before the desert took over.
- Apart from iron ore, Mauritania’s other natural resources include gold, gypsum, phosphate, diamonds, copper and oil.
- The coastline of Mauritania offers excellent opportunities for those who would wish to explore the beach, surf, swim or fish in the sea.
- Forty percent of the exports from Mauritania are of iron ore, owing to its abundant availability in the region.
- Mauritania has hundreds of kilometres of Atlantic shoreline. The coastal waters of Mauritania are among the richest fishing areas in the world.
- Mauritania’s tallest mountain, the 915-meter-tall Mount Ijill, is made almost entirely of magnetite, a form of iron ore.
Historical and Cultural Facts About Mauritania
- Offshore oil was discovered in Mauritania in 2001.
- In 2007, Messaoud Ould Boulkheir, a former slave, was elected as president of Mauritania’s National Assembly.
- In Mauritania, it is said that the size of a woman indicates the amount of space she occupies in her husband’s heart. That is why a young Mauritanian girl be forced into a daily diet of 2kg of millet and 20 liters of camel’s milk to make her more attractive for marriage in a country that prizes plumpness.
- In 1986 Mauritania’s deep-water port was opened near Nouakchott.
- The history of Mauritania dates back to the 3rd century AD. The migration of Berber tribes between the 3rd and 7th slowly removed all traces of the Bafours people, the original settlers of Mauritania.
- Many houses have colorful traditional pillows and mats, teapots, trays, and carpets. Mattresses are placed along the walls with traditional pillows. Houses are crowded because of strong family bonds. An urban house normally is open to relatives and friends.
- Couples are allowed to divorce twice, and the third divorce is final. If divorce is the fault of the man, the wife keeps the brideprice. According to tradition, children follow the father, but small ones remain with the mother and the husband is obliged to support her and the children until they grow up.
- In this extremely traditional society, belonging to a group is very important, and the larger the group, the better. People use clan names rather than family names.
- Each brotherhood has a founder who acts as a spiritual medium and is venerated and considered to have healing powers. People can receive a blessing through spiritual contact with these spiritual leaders. The founders’ power increases with their age. Traditional spiritual medicine men and women have an authority based on the local experience and value system.
- People believe that disease is caused by destiny, bad magic or breaking taboos and seek help from traditional and Islamic healers who combine modern medicine with traditional methods.