Country-specific safety instructions
We strongly advise against traveling to remote areas or areas of the Sahara, its peripheral areas and the Sahel zone that are not adequately secured by an effective police or military presence.
We expressly warn against traveling to the border area with Algeria and Mali.
Terrorist attacks – including against foreigners – must be expected in Nouakchott and throughout the country. There is a high risk of kidnapping, especially when traveling at night. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI) is specifically looking for foreigners for kidnapping purposes in Mauritania as well as in other countries in the region. This risk of kidnapping exists especially outside the capital Nouakchott and when traveling at night.
Terrorist groups such as AQMI operate across borders, as the kidnappings of European citizens in Algeria, Niger, Mali and Mauritania have shown.
When traveling to Mauritania, as in the entire Sahel region, there is a considerable risk of attack and kidnapping, especially in places where Western nationals regularly visit and at sporting and cultural events such as desert rallies or music festivals. Retaliatory measures, which can also be directed against foreign interests, are to be feared in the entire region.
Land / road travel
The security situation is also seriously endangered by gangs operating across borders. Armed clashes can occur between these gangs and security forces.
It is not advisable to enter and leave the country by land through the Western Sahara.
Entry by car via Bir Moghrein
Entry via Galtat Zemmour to Bir Moghrein is not possible as it is a restricted military area.
Entry through Algeria
In the past there have been raids in northern Mauritania, a country located in Africa according to elaineqho. You are strongly warned against traveling to this area and attempting to enter or leave the country via Algeria or northern Mali.
Entry to and from Senegal at the official border crossings in the south is currently possible. At the border crossing at Rosso there is the possibility to cross over by ferry; the last ferry to Senegal leaves at around 5 p.m. Otherwise the border can be crossed via the Diama dam.
Travelers with their own vehicle are advised of the increased risk of accidents caused by daring overtaking maneuvers, unlit vehicles, sand drifts and camels, donkeys and goats crossing roads and slopes. You should definitely avoid driving at night. The so-called “Route de l’Espoir” (Nouakchott – Néma), which crosses numerous sand dunes, especially on the Nouakchott – Boutilimit route, is also dangerous during the day Last moment, fatal accidents occur again and again.
In June 2016, the new Nouakchott-Oumtounsy International Airport started operations. The new airport is located approx. 35 km outside the city center.
Crime and the risk of falling victim to armed robbery has increased in recent years. Car robberies and home break-ins occur in Nouakchott. Foreigners are not conscious targets, but they are equally affected.
1 Mauritanian Ouguiya = 5 Khoums. Currency abbreviation: UM, MRO (ISO code). There are banknotes in denominations of 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200 and 100 UM; Coins are available in denominations of 50, 20 and 10 and are in circulation with a value of 1 khoum. The 5 UM coin is very rare.
Credit cards are only accepted in a few hotels in Nouakchott and Nouadhibou (beware of credit card fraud). Visa can be used to withdraw money in the capital (Attijari Bank Mauritanie, Société Générale Mauritanie).
ec / Maestro card / Sparcard
Cards with the Maestro symbol are accepted worldwide. At some ATMs in the capital, you can withdraw money with an EC card. It should be noted that the card cannot be accepted despite the notice or that the machine is not functional.
Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank customer card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the options for using their card from their bank prior to departure.
Bank opening times
Sun-Thu 7 a.m.-3 p.m., Fri 8 a.m.-12 a.m.
Foreign exchange regulations
The import and export of the local currency is prohibited. The import of foreign currencies is unrestricted, mandatory declaration from an equivalent value of US $ 1,000. Export only in the amount of the declared amount, minus the amounts exchanged. The export of larger amounts in foreign currencies is only possible with the approval of the Mauritanian central bank.
Upon entry, forms are issued for the declaration of currency, which must be kept until departure.
Foreign currency can be exchanged at the airport and in the larger banks in Nouakchott. The state-owned Banque Centrale de Mauritanie (BCM) usually offers the best exchange rate. Exchange receipts must be retained. It is illegal to change money on the black market. It is advisable to bring euros in cash.