Mauritania is a vast country in north-west Africa, dominated by the Sahara Desert but with a long coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. A land rarely visited by travellers, those that do will likely pass through on overland journeys from Morocco to Senegal and West Africa. Mauritania offers some spectacular desert landscapes, dotted with oases and ancient ksour - medieval cities that grew prosperous due to the Trans-Saharan trade routes, as well as coastal beaches where the desert comes right up to the ocean. Explore in depth highlights of Mauritania.

Travel Information for Mauritania
Time zone:GMT 0 (Greenwich mean time) Daylight savings:    None
Main languages:Arabic
Other languages:Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof, French, Hassaniya
Currency: ouguiyas (MRO)

1 = UM406, $1 = UM364, £1 = UM484

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.mrInternational Dialling Code:    222

For help planning your trip to Mauritania including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Mauritania trip planning page.

Further information on Mauritania

Discover more about Mauritania - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of mauritania

Total area: 1,030,700 sq km (300 sq km under water)

Coastline: 754 km (Atlantic Ocean)

Neighbours (border lengths): Algeria (463km), Mali (2,237km), Senegal (813km), Western Sahara (1,561km)

Climate: Desert climate with hot, dry and dusty conditions. Below the Sahara there is a short rainy season between July and September.

Highest mountain: Kediet Ijill (915m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Mauritania from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldNot Free -
Democracy IndexHybrid regime 112/167
Economic FreedomMostly Unfree 135/179
Press FreedomNoticeable problems 54/179
ILGA LGBT rightsExtreme discrimination -
Corruption PerceptionsMedium corruption 124/174
Overall Ranking:    164/195

Other Data & Links

Full name: Islamic Republic of Mauritania     Status: Independent Country

Population: 3,516,806 (rank: 130/196)     Density: 3.4 people/sq km (rank: 190/196)

Ethnic groups: mixed Moor/black 40%, Moor 30%, black 30%

Religions: Muslim 100%

GDP (PPP): $8.2 billion       GDP per capita: $2,200 (rank: 159/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.