Mauritania small group holiday
Description of Mauritania small group holiday
Welcome to the ancient Berber kingdom of Mauritania on the coast of northwest Africa where desert dunes and dust-filled towns provide travellers on this 10 day small group holiday with an eye opening introduction to those living a nomadic existence amongst the ancient folds of the Sahara.
Goat hair tents offer protection for travelling nomadic herders whilst visiting coastal communities along the Atlantic allows travellers to learn more about the relationship between man and beast as they visit Imragen villages and hear about the symbiotic existence of fishermen and dolphins.
Inland the capital, Nouakchott, creates an exciting start point for this ten day Mauritania holiday with the bird species of Banc d’Arguin National and monk seals at Cap Blanc creating wildlife watching encounters way off the traditional stomping ground of binocular wielding twitchers.
The Atlantic shoreline, around Nouadhibou, is devastatingly beautiful with the wrecks of ships catching the imagination of travellers prior to heading inland towards the world’s third largest monolith, Ben Amera, which casts shade over the desert like a gigantic ancient sun dial.
There’s no let ups in the memorable moments as this Mauritania small group holiday reaches a climax with the former trans-Saharan trading towns of Ouadane and Chinguetti providing a quintessentially ancient Saharan ambience amongst the ruined walls and sand-filled alleys.
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1 Reviews of Mauritania small group holiday
Reviewed on 09 Jan 2019 by Richard Hicks
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The cold that first night. The sandstorm. Racing across the desert at 100 km/h. The Nouakchott fish market.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Don’t bring contact lenses and do bring a sleeping bag. Consider bringing helpful gifts for the locals, e.g. small solar lights.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Local people definitely benefited from our spending on hotels, restaurants & souvenirs.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
A couple of hiccups which were to be expected; otherwise FABULOUS.
PlanetThis tour travels visits some very remote regions, which has barely been touched by the presence of humans, and we strongly believe in maintaining its pristine nature. The nature of this trip means that most nights are spent camping. We strive to ensure that we leave these areas as we find them and our team have been trained in strict no litter policies, meaning that we take all refuse to either be recycled or properly disposed of back in Nouakchott. Washing of dishes is carried out well away from any water sources so as not to contaminate them.
Where there are tracks, we stick to them – not always possible as there are few tracks in this area.
Our travellers are specifically briefed on not to buy souvenirs made from endangered species – people in remote parts of Mauritania do not always have the same respect towards wildlife as most travellers will have, and can sometimes offer such things for sale.
PeopleAs with many of the trips that we offer, this tour has a strong focus on local culture and different ethnic groups. Where possible we try to ensure that local people benefit from our presence.
We are careful not to disrupt the traditional way of life of the people that we meet. As a way to say thank you for allowing us to visit, we bring traditional gifts, such as sugar, tea and so on – we do not bring modern accoutrements that may change their way of life as we feel that it is important for all tribal groups that any move towards a more ‘modern’ lifestyle is made on their own terms and not imposed upon them. We give gifts to the elders of the villages who will then ensure that they are distributed appropriately, rather than just giving them to individuals, which can cause problems, jealousy and fights within small communities.
These are very traditional areas with certain codes of behaviour, and the people here are not that accustomed to outsiders. We ensure that our travellers are appropriately briefed in order so as not to offend local sensibilities.
We buy supplies from local people where this is feasible – usually meat and other foodstuffs, and try to have a positive economic impact upon the communities we visit.
We work with Mauritanian drivers and guides, and at the end of each tour encourage our travellers to leave unwanted clothes that they can then distribute to their extended families. We do not encourage travellers to leave these for the nomads as we feel it is important that they are able to maintain their traditional lifestyles, which have generally served them well throughout the centuries in often difficult environments. We do not feel that the emulation of western culture, of which western clothing is just the start, would be wholly beneficial for the local people.
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