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About Nouakchott

Nouakchott is the thriving capital city of Mauritania in the Sahara. Nouakchott backpacking tours offer a glimpse into the cultures and highlights of this interesting fishing town.

AIDS

Nouakchott HIV/AIDS precautions include the following:
•Don't ever share needles or syringes
•Practice safe sex at all times
•Equipment should be sterilized
•If you require self-administered injections, take an adequate supply of your own needles
•Avoid tattoos, acupuncture treatment or body piercing

Airports

Nouakchott major airports include:
•Nouakchott International Airport

Birdlife

Nouakchott birdlife mostly consists of seabirds, with a large number of gulls to be found. The nearby Banc d'Arguin National Park offers a rich coastal habitat for a large number of bird species, supporting more than 2 million migratory waders and other seabirds. There are no endemic or even near-endemic species within the country, but a large number of migratory species can be found across the city and surrounding key areas.

Conservation

Nouakchott conservation efforts largely include the nearby Banc d'Arguin National Park, which supports a large number of species including seals, fish, and over a million migrating waders. With environmental hazards spanning from desertification to over-fishing, over-grazing, land abuse, lack of fresh water and pollution, conservation efforts are key in preserving the cities remaining ecosystems.

Culture

Nouakchott cultures include the following:
•Food and drink plays a key role in social gatherings
•Art and jewellery is an important cultural heritage
•Music has progressed from traditional to a more modern approach
•Traditions and customs have a strong Islamic influence
•Literature includes oral storytelling and poetry

Customs

Nouakchott allows for free import of the following for travelers of 18 years:
•200 cigarettes, 5 cigars or 1 lb. of tobacco
•50g of perfume and 1/4 liter of eau-de-Cologne
•1 still camera, 1 cine camera and 1 wireless set
•1 projector

Health

As a third world city situated within a large expanse of desert, Nouakchott health care is very below standard and travellers are advised to take basic health precautions to ensure a healthy and risk-free travel experience. Travel insurance is essential, and a first aid box with basic medicine and supplies is highly recommended.

Innoculations

Nouakchott inoculations include the following:
•Hepatitis A & B
•Typhoid
•Yellow fever
•Meningococcus
•Polio
•Rabies
•Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
•Tetanus-diphtheria

Languages

Nouakchott languages include:
•Arabic (official)
•Wolof (official)
•Pulaar
•Soninke
•French

Malaria

Nouakchott malaria medication includes the following:
•Mefloquine (Lariam)
•Doxycycline
•Atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone)

Money

Nouakchott money and banking information is as follows:
•Mauritania Ouguiya (MRO) and khoums is the official currency in the country
•Banks include Bank of Mauritania, HSBC Bank and Mauritanian Commercial Bank
•Foreign currencies and travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and airports
•ATMs do not accept local currency so you will not be able to draw cash, be prepared and bring currency to exchange such as US Dollars

People

Nouakchott people include the following groups:
•Mixed Moor/Black
•Moor
•Black
•French

Phrase

Nouakchott local phrases in Arabic include the following:
•Greeting (peace be with you) - As-salām alaykom
•How are you - Inta shadÄ«d? (men) Inti shadÄ«da? (women)
•I am well (praise God) - al-Hamdo lillāh
•How is the family? - KÄ“f al-usra?
•Yes - Ay

Plants

Being a desert location with very little rainfall or fresh water sources, Nouakchott plants are very sparse. Occasional dry scrub can be seen, mostly near the marshlands and coastal areas, however most of the city and its surrounding areas are extremely dry and arid.

Religion

Nouakchott religion includes the following groups:
•Sunni Muslim 99.84%
•Christian 1.6%

Safety Tips


•Avoid walking on the beaches after dark, especially if you are a woman
•The seas are very dangerous, with strong currents, swimming is not advised
•Crime is fairly low in Nouakchott, however take basic precautions and keep valuables out of sight and safe
•Avoid large crowds or demonstrations which may turn violent
•Roads can be very bad and driving is aggressive, be careful when walking or driving on the roads

Transport

Nouakchott local transport options include:
•Car
•Train
•Bus
•Taxi

Travel Books

Nouakchott recommended travel books include:
•Two Against the Sahara: On Camelback from Nouakchott to the Nile by Michael Asher and Mariantonietta Peru
•Mauritania: Cultures of the World by Ettagale Blauer and Jason Laure
•Mauritania: A Country Study by Robert E. Handloff
•Sahara: The Extraordinary History of the World's Largest Desert by Marq de Villiers and Sheila Hirtle
•The Conquest of the Sahara by Douglas Porch

Visa Requirements

Nouakchott visa requirements are as follows:
•All foreign nationals require a visa to visit Mauritania
•Tourist 2 month single entry visa costs £56.00
•A valid passport of 6 months minimum is required
•Reference letter from company or person you are staying with is needed
•Proof of return flights, hotel booking or group travel is required

What To Buy


•Sleeping bag and camping mattress if you are on an overlanding tour
•Backpack plus a good quality moneybag to keep valuables
•Mauritania travel guide plus a French phrase book and a good city map
•First aid kit with basic supplies and malaria medication
•Travel pack with wet wipes, toilet roll and waterless hand wash

What To Pack

Camera, batteries and spare film or memory as well as binoculars
•Long-sleeve, loose, lightweight clothing with skirts and t-shirts covering shoulders for women as well as headscarves
•Comfortable walking shoes and sandals
•Sunglasses, sunscreen, sunhat, swimming costume and sarong for women
•Warm jacket for cooler months

When To Go


•The best time to visit Mauritania is from November to March
•Temperatures during these months average 13°C and 29°C
•Between April and October temperatures average 40°C - 50°C
•August and September are the wettest months
•The driest months are January to June

Wildlife

With large desert habitats as well as key coastal habitats, Nouakchott wildlife is fairly diverse. A number of marine animals include large seal colonies can be found within the nearby Banc d'Arguin National Park, while other species include desert-dwelling creatures such as fox, sand cat, snakes, lizards and other reptiles.

 

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