Mauritania is situated in western Africa. It stretches eastward from the Atlantic coast into the Sahara. Arabic-speaking people called Moors make up most of the population.
Mauritania was once a colony in French West Africa when it became independent in 1960. Its name in French is Republique Islamique de Mauritanie (Islamic Republic of Mauritania). The name comes from the fact that almost all the people are Muslims. Mauritania has a rich history of ancient civilisations, with several World Heritage sites.
Mauritania’s climate is hot, but temperatures vary greatly. Desert temperatures may fall from over 100 °F (38 °C) during the day to 45 °F (7 °C) at night. The average monthly temperatures at Nouadhibou vary from a 91 °F (33 °C) high in September to a 54 °F (12 °C) low in January. There is little rain in the north. Southern Mauritania receives over 20 inches of rain a year.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
POPULATION: 3.3 million
ELECTRIC CURRENT: 220V, 50Hz. To power any electrical item an international adapter or a two pin plug is required.
COUNTRY DIALLING CODE: +222
TIME ZONE: GMT/UTC +0
Following a military coup on the 6 August 2008, we advise against all but essential travel to Mauritania. We advise travellers nationals to keep a low profile, exercise caution, and avoid all areas where there are large gatherings of people. If a demonstration or disturbance is taking place, you should leave the area as quickly and safely as possible. It is important to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
There is a high threat from terrorism throughout Mauritania. Attacks cannot be ruled out and could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by foreign travellers.
Information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK www.fco.gov.uk