Mauritania guide for expats moving to or living in the country



Located in the West African region, Mauritania is both a desert spring and coastal haven. Much of the geography is left to its natural state, undisturbed by urban infrastructure. Tourism here doesn’t mean big, fancy resorts; it means enjoying what Mauritania was naturally blessed with. Despite the raging conflicts surrounding it, the country maintains its resolve. Take a look at some of the information we’ve collected.

Bareina, Mauritania

Expat Clubs

There are no expat meet up clubs as such in Mauritania and most expats communicate online through websites such as

International Schools 

American International School of Nouakchott

AISN offers an accredited American International education committed to excellence, achieved through a partnership with the AISN community to prepare our students for admission to universities worldwide, transfer to other American/International Schools, and to public or private schools in the USA.

Curriculum: American

Address: US Embassy B.P. 3107 Nouakchott, Mauritania

Tel: +222 4525 2967



Local News in English

AllAfrica – Mauritania

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. They publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons.


Country Information 

Location: Africa

Capital City: Nouakchott

Currency: Ouguiya

Language: Arabic

Calling Code: +222

Internet TLD: .mr

Electricity: The country runs on 220V 50Hz. Mauritania’s sole electricity provider is SOMELEC.


Emergency Numbers:

 Fire: 18

Police: 17

Country Information

Embassy Information

Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Nationals from these countries may enter and stay in the country for 90 days: Algeria[2]

Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Libya, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Syria, Tunisia. Others will need to apply for a visa at a Mauritanian embassy or consulate in their home or host country. In cases where there is no diplomatic representation available, the French embassy can issue visas for Mauritania. The Moroccan border also issues visas. There are three types of visas available: tourists/visitor, diplomatic and official.

Documents Required:
  • ·         A letter of invitation or proof of sponsorship is required.
  • ·         International Certificate of vaccination is required.
  • ·         A passport valid for at least six months.
  • ·         One recent passport size colour photograph with a white background.
  • ·         Visa Application form to be correctly and fully completed.
  • ·         All visitors to the Mauritania must have a return ticket.
  • ·         Copy of confirmed a hotel reservations.
  • ·         For official mission an official letter must be presented

From the Mauritania Embassy in London>>

The US government has issued a travel warning against inessential trips to Mauritania.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Mauritania, and urges those who travel to Mauritania to exercise extreme caution because of activities by terrorist groups in the region, including al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).  AQIM continues to demonstrate its intent and ability to conduct attacks against foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens.  This replaces the Travel Warning for Mauritania, issued May 21, 2013, to update information on security incidents and remind travelers of security concerns.

For more info check the US Passport and International Travel site>>


The capital Nouakchott has become home for other African nationals from neighboring countries. The civil unrest has prompted them seek residence in Mauritania, as most of them are free to enter. Nouakchott is a bustling city, not fully urbanized, retaining essence of desert living. The highlight of living in this city is the vibrant market, especially at the Cinquieme district.

The second largest city in Mauritania is the coastal Nouadhibou. Marine industries thrive in this locale, especially in the residential area of Cansado. The city center, Keran, has most civic service buildings including police stations and customs. Commercial buildings and the central market is also located in this area.

Travel to Mauritania is generally for short-stay and limited, the accommodations most suited for expats are hotels. For extended stays, apartments will be more economical, but they are based in major cities. Rentals are cheap, with 1 bedroom apartments going for $68 to $172 per month.

Driving License

An international driving license is recommended to drive legally in Mauritania. However due to the rebel conflict and terrorism threats, it is not advisable to travel extensively across the country especially to the rural provinces. Additionally, the road infrastructure is limited and conditions are poor. 


The facilities in the country are very limited to the major cities and towns. Medication supply is also scarce; counterfeit products are also known to be circulating. Expats are advised to stock up on prescription medication, as these can be difficult to impossible to obtain. A health insurance that covers medical evacuation is highly recommended.

Insurance Companies

Cigna Global Health Options

Cigna Global Health Options specialise in providing expatriate health plans that are designed to give comprehensive overseas medical cover for people who are living and working abroad. They provide medical evacuation insurance cover.



Clinique Chiva

Address: Tevragh Zeina, Nouakchott, Mauritania

Tel: +222 525 80 80

Fax: +222 525 34 35