West Africa has a major list of attractions – one of them being Mauritania, with its World Heritage historic sites and beautiful countrysides. Those going here will likely be impressed with some of Mauritania's grandest scenery. The Adrar region is one of them, with its epic sand dunes and plateaus, as well as green oases. Ben Amera, the biggest monolith in Africa can also be found here, making it a natural wonder to look forward to seeing.
Culturally speaking, Mauritania is also a marvel to study. Its population is currently a mix of Moors of Arab-Berber descent and native black Africans. The meshing of Muslim faith and traditional beliefs makes it exciting to interact with the people living here. Although poor and facing several human rights' issues, tourists will find the people leading a relaxed way of life that can be pleasant to emulate.
Where to go
When it comes to the Sahara, one of the places to visit is Mauritania. The ancient towns of Chinguetti and Ouadane are featured with sand dunes that look as if they were sculpted by the wind. Add to that are the vast rocky plateaus and the date palms fringing the oases, which make entrancing sights for desert lovers. From here, one can visit the World Heritage-listed Parc National du Banc d'Arguin. It is famous for birdwatching, as the area is an important stopover and breeding ground for various types of birds flying between Europe and southern Africa. Those venturing here can also settle at official campsites with traditional tents.
Those venturing to other areas in Mauritania can check out Parc National Diawling. Close to Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary in Senegal on the opposite side of the border, this park in Mauritania features mangrove and acacia forests with large coastal dunes. Those in 4WD will find it fun to look out for the birdlife. From here, tourists can go on a sojourn to the beaches by the Atlantic Coast. Known for its tranquil beauty, those going here will find a beautiful environment nearby the Parc National du Banc d'Arguin.
Marrakesh, one of the historic cities of Morocco, is a charming place to be in. About five hours away from Nouakchott, tourists going here will find a traditional and vibrant Muslim city. The Saadian tombs are a major attraction here, which showcase Italian Carrara marble and honeycomb muqarnas gilding or decorative plasterwork made from pure gold. This glorious mausoleum makes a sight to behold, from its pillars to various resting places of ancient figures.
Those looking for a spot of green can turn to Jardin Majorelle, a gift from Yves Saint Laurent to the city of Marrakesh. The garden, nurtured carefully for years, thrives with about 300 plants from five continents. One will also find the nearby Berber Art Museum here, which displays some 600 artefacts, traditional dress, carpets, and more. From here, there is Djemaa el-Fna to see, which is well known for its open-air theatrical entertainment. A former site for public executions around 1050 CE, the place then became a centre for daily performances, from various artists such as snake charmers, henna tattoo artists, and even storytellers who paved the way to make the square become a World Heritage site in 2001.
Uganda, located below South Sudan in East Africa, makes a destination to add to the list. Within reach by 17 hours or so, those going here can find a number of wildlife viewing opportunities. There are also several breathtaking natural wonders here, such as in Murchison Falls National Park, where the raging waters tumbling down makes a sight to behold. Tourists can also get a chance to glimpse some of the species living here, which are unfortunately more spooked due to the threats of poaching and hunting. Oil drilling also adds to the apprehension, making this part of Uganda a beautiful park that can possibly get endangered in the coming years.
Those on the lookout for more ecotourist activities can turn to Kidepo Valley National Park. Located on the extreme northeast of Uganda, the place features a rolling short-grass savannah ringed by mountains and rocky ridges. One can also look for elephants, zebras, buffaloes, and other species.
How to get out
When out to visit different parts of the world from Mauritania, tourists can schedule connecting flights from Nouakchott International Airport. Airlines serving here include Air Algerie, Air Cote d'Ivoire, Air France, CanaryFly, Mauritania Airlines International, Royal Air Maroc, Senegal Airlines, Tunisair, Turkish Airlines, and Ukraine International Airlines.
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