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Discovering Mauritania: 10 Fascinating Things to Explore in North West Africa

Mauritania is a country located in North West Africa, with a unique blend of African and Arab culture. It is known for its vast desert, ancient cities, and historic sites. Here are the ten most interesting things about Mauritania:

Atar, The Gateway to the Desert

Atar, The Gateway to the Desert

Atar is a small city located at the edge of the Sahara Desert. It is often referred to as the “Gateway to the Desert.” Visitors can experience traditional Mauritanian culture, sample local cuisine, and explore ancient ruins.

The Iron Ore Train

The Iron Ore Train

The Iron Ore Train is one of the longest trains in the world, stretching over two kilometers long. It transports iron ore from the mines in the interior of Mauritania to the coastal town of Nouadhibou, passing through the Sahara Desert.

Banc d’Arguin National Park

Banc d'Arguin National Park

Banc d’Arguin National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site located on the Atlantic coast of Mauritania. The park is home to a diverse array of marine and birdlife, including flamingos, pelicans, and dolphins.

The Ancient City of Chinguetti

The Ancient City of Chinguetti

Chinguetti is an ancient city located in the Adrar region of Mauritania. It was once an important center for Islamic learning and contains several historic mosques and libraries.

The Richat Structure

The Richat Structure

The Richat Structure, also known as the Eye of the Sahara, is a circular geological formation located in the Sahara Desert. It is visible from space and has become a popular destination for tourists and researchers alike.

Mauritanian Cuisine

Mauritanian Cuisine

Mauritanian cuisine is a blend of African and Arab flavors. It is known for its use of spices, couscous, and grilled meats. Popular dishes include thieboudienne, a fish and rice dish, and mechoui, a roasted lamb.

The Oasis Town of Terjit

The Oasis Town of Terjit

Terjit is a small oasis town located in the Adrar region of Mauritania. It is known for its natural hot springs and palm groves, which provide a welcome respite from the surrounding desert.

The Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert covers over 90% of Mauritania’s land area. It is the largest hot desert in the world and is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including gazelles, desert foxes, and fennec foxes.

The Beaches of Nouakchott

The Beaches of Nouakchott

Nouakchott is the capital city of Mauritania and is located on the Atlantic coast. It has several beautiful beaches, including Plage de Nouakchott and Plage de Tevragh-Zeina, which are popular with locals and tourists alike.

The Mauritanian People

The Mauritanian People

The Mauritanian people are a diverse blend of Arab and African cultures. They are known for their hospitality, kindness, and love of music and dance. Visitors to Mauritania will be warmly welcomed by the locals and will have the opportunity to learn about their unique way of life.

In conclusion, Mauritania is a fascinating country with a rich history, unique culture, and stunning natural beauty. Whether you are interested in ancient ruins, desert landscapes, or delicious cuisine, Mauritania has something for everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore this hidden gem in North West Africa.

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