Mauritania Country Profile

Capital: Nouakchott

Currency: Mauritanian Ouguya (MRU)

Travel Advice: Mauritania Travel Advice

Visas: Mauritania Visa Information

Vaccinations: Mauritania Vaccination Information

Mauritania is located on northwest Africa on the Atlantic coast.

The Berber and Arab travellers occupied the country between the 3rd and 7th centuries. Interestingly the Ghana Empire had set its capital base at the southeastern part of Mauritania between the 9th and 10th centuries.

Mauritania was invaded by Berber Almoravid in 1076 before the Europeans arrived in 1500 and settled in the land. The French gained control of the southern part of the country in 1850 with the Moors becoming loyal to them.

Mauritania gained independence in 1960 with Moktar Ould Daddah as the first president. The country’s military withdrew from Western Sahara after it made peace with Polisario Front and gave up its territorial claims.

In 2014, France instituted permanent military action to hinder Jihadist groups from building refugee camps in the country. He was exiled in a military coup in 1978. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was elected as the president since 2009 and again on 22nd June 2019.

Chinguetti Dunes in the North

As of 2018, the country had a population of 4.403 million and an area of 1.03 million kilometres squared.

The official language is Modern Standard Arabic and a little French.

The ethnic groups in the country include Wolof, Pulaar, Soninke and Bambara.

The predominant religion is Islam.

The education system comprises of a pre-primary level where children from age four to six are motivated to memorize verses in the Koran, free and compulsory primary education from age six to twelve.

The most popular sport is football.

The southern part of the country experiences the Sahelian climate with one rainy season while a larger region on the north experience Saharan climate. The crops planted at the region are millet, sorghum, rice, corn and dates. Fishing is also popular in the country.

The country’s national dish is Thieboudienne which is fish and rice served in red sauce.

Mauritania is bordered by Western Sahara to the northwest, Algeria to the northeast, Mali to the east and southeast, Senegal to the southwest. Its coastline on the Atlantic Ocean stretches from Senegal River delta to Cape Blanco for 435 miles.

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