Nouakchott–Oumtounsy International Airportis the base for Mauritania Airlines International which flies to Bamako, Dakar, Abidjan and Nouadhibou. It also receives flights from Algiers on Air Algérie and from Paris on Air France. Other connections include Casablanca, Istanbul, Tunis and Gran Canaria.
From/to Nouadhibou (470 km, ca. 6 hours): the most comfortable option, a Mercedes taking 4 passengers, costs from 4000 ougiya. Sept-places are also available. It is also possible to arrange direct transport from Dakhla in Western Sahara. Ask in Hotel Sahara. The duration of the trip depends mostly on border formalities.
From/to Rosso: cars to Rosso (border with Senegal) depart from Garage Rosso south of town (taxi from the centre - ca. 500 oug). The journey takes approx. 3 hours and costs about 3000 oug in a Mercedes.
Normal fare in a shared taxi is 100 oug, but taxis around town
for non-set routes can cost up to 300 oug per person. There are mainly shared taxis running in the city, but if you want to ride alone, you need to pay for all the seats (600 oug).
For an empty taxi from the fishing port to city center and vice versa be prepared to pay 1500 oug, otherwise 100 per person should suffice if you find one with people in it.
- Head to the bustling fishing wharf 'port de peche' for a firsthand look at Mauritania's artisanal fishing industry. At evenings one can see teams of fishermen bring in the day's catch on brightly painted sea-canoes. The catch is sold on the sport and loaded onto donkey carts or ancient Renault 12's to be resold in town.
The Nouakchottois go to the beaches on weekend evenings (especially in the hot season). Swimming in the sea at Nouakchott can be dangerous due to the treacherous and strong current.
- Franco-Mauritanian Cultural Center: movies, concerts, exhibits etc.
- Stade Olympique: run laps at the stade Olympique, or watch a soccer match.
Unfortunately many items for sale in Nouakchott are of shoddy workmanship. Be prepared for some determined tracking down to find a quality piece. Dakar, Senegal is also a good place to purchase jewelry from Moorish silversmiths. There is a small collection of artisans selling quality good on Autoroute Rosso, away from the airport, but it is hard to find. Sometimes referred to as the Aritsian's Market or the Zoo. Most prices given to you can usually be haggled down to about a third of the given price, so don't be afraid to walk away!
- Markets: the Marche Capitale and Marche Sixieme are the most interesting for purchasing local specialities and souvenirs. The Camel Market on the outskirts of town on the road to Boutilimit makes an interesting visit.
- There is a string of restaurants on the road from the Stade Olympique to the French Embassy. Good ones include Pizza Lina, Cafe Liban, and Le Petit Cafe.
- The Sahara Cafe, on the other side of the stadium, is also a good place for pizza, sandwiches or Lebanese, and has some of the best reasonably-priced food in town. Come by late at night for some an excellent evening of hooka and hummus! Open late.
- Nearby is also The Sun House, which depending on availability, will also so have alcohol if you're a westerner.
- On Ave du Palais des Congres there's Chickandy, which is halal fried chicken as well as Pizza Italia, one of the better pizza shops in town.
- Near Marche Capitale, there is a street of sandwich shops that offer near-identical menus, the best of which is the Prince (which taxi drivers know by name).
- New-Rest, a guest house hidden behind a wall and unmarked near the stadium, has great ambiance and allows you to get away from the crowds. It has a well lit pool and tasty Nims and spaghetti.
If you wish to cook, there are many large markets to be found, including Deja-Vu, located next to Ta-ta on Du Gaulle, which specializes in American products.
Monotel - Run by a Spanish father and son, this local gets busy at around two in the morning and regularly plays hosts to Senegalese DJs. Decent restaurant and bar by day, is a fairly reliable source for whiskey.
Naf's Cafe - Located behind Friso's will also have beer, whisky rum and vodka.
Cafe in the American Embassy will also have drinks during the day.
If you're feeling bold, simply start asking around if anyone knows where to get drinks. Several people will sell it here and there, smuggled from Senegal, but don't expect anything top shelf. A small bottle should run you around 6,000-10,000 each.
Hotel Mercure Marhabaphone: +222 5295050address: 160, Avenue Gamal Abder Nasser
Hotel Tfeilaphone: +222 45257400address: Avenue Charles de GaulleThe former Novotel hotel, which is still is referred to sometimes.
Hotel Halimaaddress: Rue de I Hotel Halima
In central Nouakchott, the Hotel Houda and Atlas are not bad options. Other mid-range hotels include Park Hotel and Amane on Ave Nasser and Hotel Mouna north of the Novotel/Tfeila.
Auberge MenataOwner speaks English. Help with renting a car and a guide. High reputation with former guests. Dorms with shared facilities from 2500 ougiya per person, tent from 1500 ougiya.
- Auberge JMC, behind the Novotel, - rooms start from 10,000 oug. WiFi available. It's not signposted - look for flowers on the front fence.
- Residence Zahra, opposite Hotel Halima and the Russian embassy, has clean and spacious rooms with ac, bathrooms, TV and wireless internet from 12000 oug.
- There is also a hotel out at the beach with "hut" rooms and a big dining room overlooking the water.
There are also a couple of camping places not far away.
Embassies & Consulates
- phone: +222 45 29 96 99address: Rue Ahmed Ould Mohamed, Quartier de Tevragh-Zeina, B.P. 231, Nouakchott
Greecephone: +222 529-0127address: Quartier des Ambassades, B.P. 4156, Nouakchott, Mauritanie
- phone: +222 525-2660, +222 525-1141, +222 525-3038address: US Embassy, B.P. 222, Nouakchott.
One can get from Nouakchott to the most parts of Mauritania.
Nouadhibou - Two buses per day depart from Gare routiére du Atar to Nouadhibou at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Though probably more convenient option is shared taxis.
Atar - to get to Atar, go to Gare routiére du Atar. Plenty of bus companies depart from there, though all seem to have the same time of departure. The first group of buses tends to depart every day at 7 a.m., but actually you have to wait till 8 a.m. and the second at 4 p.m. the Bus ticket should cost no more than 4000 oug except for Teissir voyage (5000 oug) which is reputable among locals as the safest company and therefore requires reservation at least one day in prior.
Rosso - Plenty of buses depart from Gare routiére du Nouakchott to Rosso. The bus ticket costs 3000 oug and takes you about 500 meters away from the border.