Day Trips in Nouakchott

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Nouakchottā€™s charmingly eclectic identity is shaped by its massive, virgin sand dunes, breathtaking beaches and fascinating monuments. Here are some ideas for the best day trips that can be taken from the Mauritanian Capital.

Chinguetti

Chinguetti is a quaint Saharan town that is interspersed with several ancient libraries, old mosques and forts and enchanting old streets that wind into bustling open air markets. The locals are extremely friendly and the region hosts several cultural events and sports like camel and donkey racing, and hold your breath- even AK47 shooting in the mighty desert.

Desert Crocodiles

The Tagant region offers visitors a thrilling trek through the dramatic cliffs of the desert to arrive at the ancient remains of an intriguing Neolithic village. Watch out for the fabulous rock paintings, cave sculpture and stone carvings that speak of the innate artistic genius of humans in an erstwhile era. There are several stone-age icons like pestles, axes, shells, arrowheads and fine terracotta figures that have been inscribed on rocks to offer visitors a slice of the rudimentary yet highly ingenious and self-sufficient life of the yesteryear man. The military art and civilization of the pre-historic life is worth witnessing along with hundreds of camels, sheep, goats, nomadic travelers and bright caravans. Visitors can also include the Nbeika Oasis in their itinerary. The must visit in the region is the Matmata canyon for its rare and incredible desert crocodiles.

Tidjikja-Tichit

The twin ancient cities of Mauritania have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO and are one of the most secluded regions in the country. Retrace the steps of a caravan and arrive at the steep sloped Mauritanian deserts and salt lakes in Tichit that pass through imposing sand dunes and vibrant desert caravans. A must visit to experience the mystical desert appeal of the continent.

Ksar el Barka                                                                                                     

Ksar el Barka is a vintage city that is delightfully veiled in the sand dunes of Mauritania and its 17th century traces are still visible in the form of embellished facades, caravan trades and the rich agricultural deposits. There are innumerable other stone structures and shelves along with a host of exquisitely-pillared mosques.

Nouakchott and its surrounding desert regions are an alluring medley of exotic sand locales and ancient settlements that are vestiges of the rustic and uncontrived charm of a simple lifestyle.

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