Mauritania: Oasis and Desert

A mild but intense 10-day expedition through Mauritania, a vanguard safe itinerary that joins real adventure during the day and cozy hotels in the evening. Venture from ocean to desert, discovering ancient sites, prehistoric rock art and timeless landscapes.

An incredible journey in which we will discover more about the local population, its customs and traditions with nomadic local encounters and camel rides to fully enjoy the desert experience.

 

  • If you wish to live a fantastic in-depth journey of Mauritania you can also join our 21-day expedition, which we organize only once per year. Next confirmed departure ➡️ 30/11/2024 🟢 starting from 5.978€ per person. Contact us for more information.

 

10 days
all year round
all accommodated

PRICES STARTING FROM: 2.484€ per person*

Book your spot

For more info or private requests send us an email or chat with us!

Services included:

  • Transfer from airport upon arrival (day 1) and departure (day 10): taxi, minibus or 4×4
  • Tour and excursions in 4WD vehicles, sailing boat and camels
  • English-speaking local guide
  • Tours and visits as per the programme
  • Accommodation in standard rooms, as per itinerary
  • All meals as described: B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner
  • One bottle of mineral water each participant, each day during the visits
  • Entrance fees to parks, concessions, protected areas and cultural sites and scheduled events
  • First Aid box
  • All service charges and taxes

 

Services excluded:

  • International flights
  • Earlier (prior day 1) and/or later (after day 10) transfers from and to airport
  • Visa fees
  • Any meals or sightseeing tours other than those specified in the program
  • Mineral water and drinks at meals
  • Porterage
  • Fees for personal photos and videos
  • Personal and holiday insurance (compulsory)
  • Tips for drivers, guides and hotel staff
  • Costs relating to delayed or lost luggage and flights.
  • Any item of personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc.
  • Whatever is not mentioned as included

 

*Price per person considering a shared double/twin room in a group of 6 or more passengers (from 2 to 5 pax. a small supplement is required).

Day 1: Nouakchott - Arrival

Arrival in Nouakchott and transfer to the hotel.

Meal plan
  • No meals included
Accommodation
Al Salam Resort 5 stars or similar
Day 2: Nouakchott - Banc d’Arguin

Early departure. Left Nouakchott along a spectacular road through the dunes. We will leave the asphalt to find the tracks leading to the Banc d’Arguin.

Banc d’Arguin National Park is a World Heritage Site. Two million birds make this bird and wildlife sanctuary one of the three most important breeding sites for migratory birds on the planet. Pelicans, flamingos and broad-billed sandpipers are common…
Thanks to the mild climate, to a scarce human presence and to the rich fishy ocean, migratory birds winter here from Greenland, Siberia, Ireland, Scotland… making the largest water bird colony in the African continent.

Most of the afternoon will be spent in an exciting sailing. On a wooden local felucca, between sand banks in the shallow water of the ocean, we discover a multitude of birds. Return to our base.

Meal plan
  • All meals included
Accommodation
Overnight in a Iwik, a Mauritanian-style permanent camp
Day 3: Banc d’Arguin - Akjoujt

After leaving the Banc d’Arguin along a path through the sands and visiting the interesting “Orientation Centre” that explain the different flora and fauna of the region, we will find a new paved road that we will leave again for a track and again for a road. We arrive to the small mining town of Akjoujt and visit of the local market

Meal plan
  • All meals included
Accommodation
Hotel du Sahara or similar
Day 4: Akjoujt - Chinguetti

Early departure for a long and intense day dedicated to crossing one of the Mauritania’s most spectacular landscapes. Erg Amatlich is a vast dune basin trapped between the Adrar mountains. In addition to endless dunes, the region gathers a great variety of Saharan landscapes such as canyons, tiny cultivable oasis and palm groves. Discover prehistoric stone arrowheads, earthenware shards, silent witness of people who lived in these sites thousands of years ago, when this region was a green land crossed by large rivers. Arrival at the nomadic camps, Moorish camel herders that will invite us in their tents as guests to the tea ceremony to experience the legendary hospitality of the desert tribes. Tifoujar Pass dominates a vast and steep gorge, remain of an ancient river ending in the Oued el Abiod or White Valley.

Mountains, dark brown and red rock peaks and hidden clay villages will follow, voices, joyful cries of women and children welcome us into remote settlements to experience intense human encounters after the silence of the Sahara.

Evening arrival in Chinguetti at the cozy guest-house that will be our base for two nights.

Meal plan
  • All meals included
Accommodation
La Gueila - Guest House
Day 5: Chinguetti

Full day at the oasis, short walks, drives and camel ride. Chinguetti was an ancient caravan terminal and major trading point between north and sub-Saharan Africa. We will discover the remains of the French colonial times as the former Foreign Legion fort, the tribunal and a tall water tower: interesting samples of Neo-Sudanese architecture.

The old village date back to the XIII century. Whole morning in the magical atmosphere of this stone citadel, considered the jewel of Mauritanian oases, and one of the best preserved in the whole Sahara. Visit of two manuscript collections, including Ould Habott, the largest in Mauritania. The minaret of the white stone mosque is supposed to be the second oldest still in use in the whole Muslim world.

In the afternoon we join the oasis: the palm grove shades the vegetable, this is the right place to start a camel ride in the desert, the best way to enjoy the sunset from the dunes where other tourists don’t arrive.

After dinner we will be guest at a festive celebration in a local courtyard. By the light of the fire, the atmosphere will become vibrant: drum rolls, women’s songs and cadenced dances…
Return to our cozy guest house.

Meal plan
  • All meals included
Accommodation
La Gueila - Guest House
Day 6: Chinguetti - Ouadane

Departure to Ouadane in an absolute “out of any track” itinerary that follows the Ouadi (dry creek).
We reach the tiny oasis of Tanouchert: verdant vegetable gardens, Bedouin tents spread over sand dunes, palm trees… Ouadane, built on a rocky hill, is the remotest oasis of Mauritania, an outpost facing the immensity of the desert, it was founded in 1147. Partially in ruins, the stone houses on the top of the hill are still inhabited. In the ancient days, Ouadane was an active caravan crossroad.
Visit of the ancient quarters and the recently restored original mosque. Arrive at the comfortable hotel that will be our base for two nights.

Meal plan
  • All meals included
Accommodation
Agueidir Hotel
Day 7: Guelb es Richat

Trade in the Ouadane region was so flourishing that in 1487 the Portuguese built a fortified trading post there. Today we visit what is believed to be the remains of this trade point, called Agueidir.

We continue to Guelb er Richât, the “Eye of Africa”: the site, with its prominent circular shape has questioned scientists. Forty kilometres (25 mi) is the circumference of the largest of three concentric circles, with a dome in the centre. Most recent theory believes that it was a giant volcano collapsed and eroded. We will turn our gaze as far as our eyes can reach, feeling small facing this mysterious geological giant, that becomes a landscape reference for the astronauts that call it the Eye of Africa.

Return to our comfortable hotel in Ouadane.

Meal plan
  • All meals included
Accommodation
Agueidir Hotel
Day 8: Ouadane - Atar

Early departure for an intense day. The landscape never ceases to amaze us. Leaving the main track, we will reach a region of spectacular mountains, gorges and canyons. Infinite space dominated by the ochre of the earth and the blue sky. At the horizon we will see the ruins of Fort Saganne, built to set the namesake film: Fort Saganne with Depardieu et Catherine Deneuve. The site of Agrour, located at the top of the Amogjar Pass, hides some ancien Rock Art. Azougui has ben considered the first capital of the Almoravid, a radical islamic brotherhold of Berber tribes that moving from these regions to north, in the 11th centoury founded Marrakech and create a large empire that included Morocco, western part of Algeria, and Andalusia in Spain.

Meal plan
  • All meals included
Accommodation
Hôtel l’Etoile du Nord
Day 9: Atar - Adrar - Akjoujt

Adrar, in the local Arabic language Hassania, the name of the region we are about to explore means mountains. It is a unique landscape: sun-scorched rocky plateaus, wadis with white and ochre sands, steep canyons and green palm groves. Terjit, is one of the most particular and lush oases of Mauritania. After walking through a dense palm grove protected by a gorge and following a tiny stream, We discover a vast rock shelter where spring water gushes out. An unexpected atmosphere disconnected from time and from the harshness of the desert.

The leading expert of the Sahara, the French scholar Théodore Monod, said of El Berbara, “It is difficult to imagine a more secluded place, more unspeakably distant from what we call the world.” The special feature of this site is a vertical escarpment that hides a water basin and palm grove.

Evening arrival at Akjoujt.

Meal plan
  • All meals included
Accommodation
Hotel Sahara or similar
Day 10: Akjoujt - Nouakchott

Visit to the interesting National Museum that displays archaeology, artifacts, costumes and textiles from prehistory to the present day. Unique images taken during excavations at Aoudaghost, the northern trading city and best-preserved site of the legendary Ghanaian Empire. Ghana was the oldest known empire and kingdom in Black Africa. Dating back to the 6th century, the empire was located in what is now southeastern Mauritania.  At that time, the caravan that transported gold to North Africa departed from Aoudaghost.

Lunch in a restaurant managed by women from Ivory Coast, the best occasion to enjoy specialities from Africa.

Hundreds of colorful pirogues on Nouakchott beach will leave us amazed. Our eyes, accustomed to sand and dunes, will be mirrored in tumultuous waters where wind, waves, brightly painted pirogues and sub-Saharan (mostly Senegalese) fishermen sell their abundant catch at the market. Mauritania processes more than 1,800,000 tons of fish each year.

Air-conditioned day-use rooms available before the transfer to the airport.

End of our services.

Meal plan
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation
Rooms in day-use till 18.00 hrs
Departure date
Status
Language
16/02/2024
english
05/04/2024
english
22/11/2024
english
27/12/2024
english
confirmed
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