Mauritania
in Western Africa
Africa

Location Summary
Currency and Currency Code:
Ouguiya - MRO
Spoken languages:
Arabic, French, Wolof
Local electricity:
220 V - 50 Hz (plugs: C)
Mobile phone / cellular frequencies (MHz):
900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 3G
ISO 2-Letter code:
MR
Internet top level domain:
.mr
Country phone prefix:
+222
Local Time (capital):
Timezone:
UTC/GMT offset: hours
Current travel safety evaluation for Mauritania in Western Africa

Safety Score: 3,9 of 5.0 based on data from 9 authorites. Meaning please reconsider your need to travel to Mauritania.

Travel warnings are updated daily. Source: Travel Warning Mauritania. Last Update: 2019-02-18 09:03:10

Explore Mauritania

Mauritania with its capital is located in Africa (Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean). It covers some 1,030,701 square kilometers (slightly larger than three times the size of New Mexico) with 3,758,570 citizens. Arabic, French and Wolof are the common languages used in Mauritania (consider regional differences). Algeria, Mali, Senegal and Western Sahara are bordering countries.

Mauritania is a country in northwest Africa. Geographically part of the Maghreb, Mauritania borders Algeria, Senegal and Mali, along with the disputed territory of Western Sahara. Mauritania is a land about desert and ocean. It is of course no wonder that the main attractions for most tourists are the desert in Adrar and Tagant areas (around Atar), and the ocean in Banc d'Arguin (a natural reserve with dunes ending in the sea, full of millions of birds and protected by UNESCO). The climate is characterized by extremes in temperature and by meager and irregular rainfall. Annual temperature variations are small, although diurnal variations can be extreme.

Impressions from the Mauritanian capital

Have a look at our dedicated photo collection to get a view of what New Delhi is like. We have selected more pictures from New Delhi on our dedicated gallery page.

Popular Destinations in Mauritania

Administrative regions of Mauritania

About the country

The landscape is mostly barren, flat plains of the Sahara and some central hills. The average density of population is about 4 per km². The climate in Mauritania can be described as desert with constantly hot, dry, dusty. Potential threats by nature are hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind primarily in March and April periodic droughts

To reach someone Mauritania dial +222 prior to a number. The local cellular networks are operated on 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 3G. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".mr". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery chaarger), keep in min the local 220 V - 50 Hz (plugs: C). The sign for the locally used currency Ouguiya is MRO.

Green with a yellow five-pointed star above a yellow, horizontal crescent; the closed side of the crescent is down; the crescent, star, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam; green also represents hope for a bright future; the yellow color stands for the sands of the Sahara.

Flag of Mauritania

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. He was reelected in 2014 to a second and final term as president (according to the present constitution). The country continues to experience ethnic tensions among three major groups: Arabic-speaking descendants of slaves (Haratines), Arabic-speaking "White Moors" (Bidhan), and members of Sub-Saharan ethnic groups mostly originating in the Senegal River valley (Halpulaar, Soninke, and Wolof). Mauritania confronts a terrorism threat by al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb, which launched successful attacks between 2005 and 2011. The activities of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and similar groups, pose a severe security threat to Mauritanians and foreign visitors. AQIM launched a series of attacks in Mauritania between 2005 and 2011, murdering American and foreign tourists and aid workers, attacking diplomatic and government facilities, and ambushing Mauritanian soldiers and gendarmes. A successful strategy against terrorism that combines dialogue with the terrorists and military actions has prevented the country from further terrorist attacks since 2011.

Geography

Area
Total (World Rank: 30) 1,030,700sq km
Land (World Rank: 28) 1,030,700sq km
Forest (World Rank: 40) 38.10%
Comparative slightly larger than three times the size of New Mexico
Coastline
754
Landborder
5002
Elevation
Lowest point (World Rank: 48) -5m
Highest point (World Rank: 171) 915m
Agricultural land
Total (World Rank: 110) 38.50%
Arable (World Rank: 209) 0.40%
Permanent pastures (World Rank: 40) 38.10%
Irrigated land (World Rank: 118) 450sq km
Map reference
Africa
Environment
Issues
  • - and soil erosion aggravated by drought are contributing to desertification
  • - deforestation
  • - limited natural freshwater resources away from the Senegal
  • - locust infestation
  • - overgrazing
  • - which is the only perennial river
Agreement party
  • - Biodiversity
  • - Climate Change
  • - Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
  • - Desertification
  • - Endangered Species
  • - Hazardous Wastes
  • - Law of the Sea
  • - Ozone Layer Protection
  • - Ship Pollution
  • - Wetlands
  • - Whaling
Hazzards
  • - hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind primarily in March and April
  • - periodic droughts
Location
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Senegal and Western Sahara
Climate
desert; constantly hot, dry, dusty
Terrain
mostly barren, flat plains of the Sahara; some central hills

People

Population
Total (World Rank: 129) 3,758,570
Deathrate (World Rank: 91) 0.79%
Birthrate (World Rank: 37) 3.04%
Growthrate (World Rank: 37) 2.17%
Migration rate (World Rank: 100) -0.08%
Fertility rate (World Rank: 39) 3.86%
Median age
Male (World Rank: 192) 19.50
Female (World Rank: 182) 21.40
Age structure
0 14 male (World Rank: 111) 727,855
0 14 female (World Rank: 110) 721,508
15 24 male (World Rank: 120) 364,570
15 24 female (World Rank: 117) 379,866
25 54 male (World Rank: 139) 578,422
25 54 female (World Rank: 133) 669,628
55 64 male (World Rank: 142) 79,162
55 64 female (World Rank: 138) 96,297
65 x male (World Rank: 141) 59,928
65 x female (World Rank: 140) 81,335
Health
Infant mortality rate (World Rank: 27) 5.19%
Life expectancy total (World Rank: 189) 63years
Life expectancy female (World Rank: 186) 66years
Life expectancy male (World Rank: 191) 61years
Physicians per 1000 (World Rank: 159) 0.13
Hospital bed per 1000 (World Rank: 175) 0.40
Sanitation access total (World Rank: 171) 40.00%
Obesity adult (World Rank: 132) 12.70%
Drinking water access (World Rank: 190) 57.90%

Energy

Electricity
Production (World Rank: 146) 1,191,000,000kWh
Consumption (World Rank: 152) 1,108,000,000kWh
Source fossil (World Rank: 119) 63.80%
Source nuclear (World Rank: 77) 23.50%
Source renew (World Rank: 38) 16.70%
Crude oil
Production (World Rank: 80) 5,000bbl / day
Exports (World Rank: 61) 6,750bbl / day
Proved reserves (World Rank: 85) 20,000,000bbl
Refined products
Consumption (World Rank: 145) 16,000bbl / day
Import (World Rank: 122) 16,390bbl / day
Natural gas
Consumption (World Rank: 127) 25
Carbon footprint
2400000

Nation

Budget
Education (World Rank: 138) 3% of GDP
Military (World Rank: 30) 3% of GDP
Health (World Rank: 165) 4% of GDP
Surplus (World Rank: 68) -2% of GDP
National symbol
star and crescent
National colours
yellow
Adjective
Mauritanian
Noun
Mauritanian(s)
Background
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. He was reelected in 2014 to a second and final term as president (according to the present constitution). The country continues to experience ethnic tensions among three major groups: Arabic-speaking descendants of slaves (Haratines), Arabic-speaking "White Moors" (Bidhan), and members of Sub-Saharan ethnic groups mostly originating in the Senegal River valley (Halpulaar, Soninke, and Wolof). Mauritania confronts a terrorism threat by al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb, which launched successful attacks between 2005 and 2011. The activities of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and similar groups, pose a severe security threat to Mauritanians and foreign visitors. AQIM launched a series of attacks in Mauritania between 2005 and 2011, murdering American and foreign tourists and aid workers, attacking diplomatic and government facilities, and ambushing Mauritanian soldiers and gendarmes. A successful strategy against terrorism that combines dialogue with the terrorists and military actions has prevented the country from further terrorist attacks since 2011.
Flag description
green with a yellow five-pointed star above a yellow, horizontal crescent; the closed side of the crescent is down; the crescent, star, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam; green also represents hope for a bright future; the yellow color stands for the sands of the Sahara

Economy

Gdp
Purchasing power parity (World Rank: 154) 16,450,000,000USD
Real growth rate (World Rank: 149) 1.70%
Per capita purchasing power parity (World Rank: 172) 4,300USD
Source agriculture (World Rank: 41) 21.90%
Source industry (World Rank: 31) 38.40%
Source service (World Rank: 211) 39.70%
Labourforce
Total (World Rank: 139) 1,186,000
In poverty (World Rank: 56) 31.00%
Products
Industries
  • - copper
  • - fish processing
  • - gold
  • - iron ore
  • - mining
  • - oil production
Agriculture
  • - camel
  • - cattle
  • - corn
  • - dates
  • - millet
  • - rice
  • - sheep
  • - sorghum
Exports
  • - copper
  • - crude oil
  • - fish
  • - fish products
  • - gold
  • - iron ore
  • - livestock
Imports
  • - capital goods
  • - consumer goods
  • - equipment
  • - foodstuffs
  • - machinery
  • - petroleum products

Communication

Phone
Landline total (World Rank: 154) 53,191
Landline per 100 (World Rank: 202) 1.00
Mobile per 100 (World Rank: 137) 98.00
Assessment 0
Internet
Users (World Rank: 142) 661,913
Population (World Rank: 192) 18.00%

Transport

Air
Airports paved (World Rank: 123) 9.00
Airports unpaved (World Rank: 102) 21.00
Rail
Total length (World Rank: 100) 728
Road
Total length (World Rank: 133) 10,628
Paved length (World Rank: 115) 3,158
Unpaved length (World Rank: 97) 7,470