The one minute summary on Mauritania

Mauritania photo

Photo by geezaweezer

This is it: one minute to the best info on Mauritania. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Mauritania, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.

Independent from France in 1960, Mauritania annexed the southern third of the former Spanish Sahara (now Western Sahara) in 1976 but relinquished it after three years of raids by the Polisario guerrilla front seeking independence for the territory. Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed TAYA seized power in a coup in 1984 and ruled Mauritania with a heavy hand for more than two decades.

A series of presidential elections that he held were widely seen as flawed. A bloodless coup in August 2005 deposed President TAYA and ushered in a military council that oversaw a transition to democratic rule. Independent candidate Sidi Ould Cheikh ABDALLAHI was inaugurated in April 2007 as Mauritania’s first freely and fairly elected president.

His term ended prematurely in August 2008 when a military junta led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ deposed him and installed a military council government. AZIZ was subsequently elected president in July 2009 and sworn in the following month. AZIZ sustained injuries from an accidental shooting by his own troops in October 2012 but has continued to maintain his authority. The country continues to experience ethnic tensions among its black population (Afro-Mauritanians) and white and black Moor (Arab-Berber) communities, and confronts a terrorism threat by al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

That was it. I promised one minute.

For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.

  1. Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in  Mauritania
  2. Does my current phone work in  Mauritania ? Tips to cell phone usage in  Mauritania
  3. Local food you should try in  Mauritania and No miss drinks in  Mauritania

Now, cheers to the most Mauritania aware person at the cocktail party.

What are the key history moments for Mauritania?

The one minute summary for Mauritania geography

Best places to see in Mauritania

The Adrar massif in the north is full of stunning desert scenery. Take a 4×4 off-piste across rocky terrain and through narrow canyons to explore the lush, hidden oases which have provided water and refuge to traders crossing the Sahara for centuries. The Adrar contains two of the countries magnificent historical cities. Chinguetti was once a trading center and center of Islamic scholarship whose architecture remains unchanged in nearly a millenium.

Mauritania photo

Photo by Trodel

Along with Ouadane and a few other small towns, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And don’t forget not to miss the world’s longest train either just for a glimpse or to hop into an iron ore car filled with Mauritanians for the 12-hour ride from the Adrar to the coast. The remains of the Almoravid capital Azoughui as well as rock paintings are also draws of the Adrar. Much of the central coastline is part of Parc National du Banc d’Arguin—home to millions of migrating birds each year. At Nouamgar, you can watch the unique spectacle of local tribesmen communicating with dolphins to round up teams of fish into shallow waters for them to be netted.

In the southeast, the oasis city of Oualata was the southern end of most trans-Sahara trading routes in the 13th & 14th centuries. The city boasts colourful buildings, many of which feature intricate geometric designs. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also boasts a manuscript museum with examples of ancient scrolls in fine calligraphy