Cycle Guide Mauritania

More desert than life, Mauritania can be a pity. But it’s also pleasing to see the transition from the Sahara in the North to a little bit of green in the South. The history of the North African country isn’t very flamboyant, with several recent coups. But for now, like other Western African countries, there is a time of peace and prosperity.


You need a visa to visit Mauritania. You can get it on the border with Morocco and Senegal.

Morocco, Border

iOverlander / OSM

  • 1 month, single entry, €55
Senegal, Border

iOverlander / OSM

  • 1 month, single entry, €55

Quick facts


Language French, local languages 
Currency Ouguiya (2019: €1 = MRO 41) 
Religion Islam
Climate Sahelian
SIM card Mauritel
GDP-rank #162 (of 192 countries)

Border crossings


Warning: Between Morocco and Mauritania is a no mans land, claimed by Polisario. Between the 2 borders, you shouldn’t go off the gravel road. The gravel road itself is no problem, as many cars and people pass it.

  • Rosso, known as a corrupt crossing, better to avoid it. (OSM)
  • Diama, the road on Mauritanian side sucks, but the crossing is easy. (OSM)

See & Do

Train hitchhike

iOverlander / OSM

Experience how it is to be an iron ore by hopping on one of the largest trains in the world. The train will bring you from Zouerat to Nouadhibou or otherwise. Plan wisely, because you don’t want to burned alive as the temperatures inland increase a lot.



By far the largest city in the otherwise quite desolated country. It’s a nice pitstop after cycling in the Sahara, or a good place to charge before entering it.


Wild camping

It is possible. Just get off the main road and find a place in the dessert. 

Formal Camping

A great way of meeting locals and sleeping in your own comfortable bed. Ask anyone in a village and they will search a spot for you.


Some places have accomodation, but it’s expensive. Think about 300-800 MRO for the cheapest price.


Not very common, only big cities offer CS hosts.


Bike shops

 Unknown, but the best chances are somewhere in Nouakchott.

Food & Drinks
  • Onroad: Bread with jam 
  • Local food: Thieboudienne
  • Local drink: Tea (liquid sugar…), baobab juice

Generally safe to cycle, be cautious in big cities.

  • Morocco to Senegal (gpx)



#09 – Hellish Mauritania

Being paralyzed Just about 200 m behind my tent ran a train track which is used by the second longest train in the world! With a big noise, I heard the mineral transporting train passing two times. It is possible to hop on the train and travel more land inwards, […]

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