Wander Across Mauritania

Only 1 spots left!
Jan 15 — Jan 28, 2025
14 days
11/12 spots booked
BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: To reserve your spot on a tour, a $500 deposit will be required. However, you can book with complete peace of mind as this deposit will be refundable - minus a 3% transaction fee - for 30 days. [*If the deposit is paid within 90 days of the tour start date, the deposit is non-refundable once paid.]
Join us on an extraordinary adventure across little-known Mauritania where surreal nature, remote villages, a deep history and endless cultural activities await!
Witness the stunning beauty of the Azouega Dunes under the glow of sunset
Navigate the pulsating streets and camel markets of Nouakchott
Discover the ancient libraries and cultural treasures of Chinguetti
Spend a night camping under the stars inside of a meteor crater
Explore the lush surroundings and refreshing waters of the Terjit Oasis
Visit the awe-inspiring Richat Structure, a geological wonder visible from space
Marvel at the shifting desert landscapes, all so magical in their own ways
Immerse yourself in the rich traditions of local Bedouin communities

Get ready for an unforgettable off-the-beaten-path journey to Mauritania, where few have traveled! Our adventure will unveil a land of profound beauty and mystery, echoing with the whispers of ancient civilizations across vast deserts and traditional communities. From the bustling streets of the capital to the tranquility of the desert under a canopy of stars, Mauritania will gift us an unparalleled blend of history, culture and natural splendor.

Our carefully crafted itinerary will take us on a captivating route through Mauritania’s most remarkable landscapes, towns and villages. Starting in Nouakchott, we’ll dive into the city’s lively atmosphere before venturing into the heart of the desert to witness the majestic Azoueiga Dunes. The journey continues to genuine oasis villages and ancient settlements, each with its own story. From the serene Terjit Oasis to the historical depths of Chinguetti and Ouadane, you’ll experience the full spectrum of Mauritania’s heritage and natural beauty.

We’ll spend two nights camping under the stars. One night we’ll be next to the largest sand dunes in the country and the other will be spent inside of a meteor crater! There will also be an optional night on the iron ore train – an adventure like no other. We’ll be treated to delicious home-cooked meals throughout and we’ll engage deeply with local communities, offering a genuine insight into their traditions and ways of life.

This tour is an invitation to an authentic and surreal travel experience in one of the most remote places on Earth, an experience that so few will ever enjoy!

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  • 1
    Jan 15Nouakchott (arrival day)
    Nouakchott (arrival day)
    Highlights: Arrival in Mauritania, welcome dinner
    Included: Dinner
    Upon arrival at the Nouakchott Airport, you will be met by our personal driver and transferred to our hotel in the city center. In the afternoon we'll all gather for an orientation meeting before sitting down for our welcome dinner.
  • 2
    Jan 16Nouakchott
    Nouakchott
    Highlights: Tour of Nouakchott, camel market, beaches
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Today we'll begin our journey with a guided tour of Nouakchott, visiting the local markets and business district, the country's largest camel market (a sight that needs to be seen to be believed!), the main mosque and local workshops where artisans preserve their traditional crafts. We'll enjoy lunch along the way as well as an afternoon rest at the hotel. We'll head out for a dinner nearby before returning to the hotel for an early sleep so that we can begin our drive to the desert early in the morning!
  • 3
    Jan 17Nouakchott » Azouega Dunes
    Nouakchott » Azouega Dunes
    Highlights: Arrival in the Sahara Desert, Azouega Dunes
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Departing from Nouakchott early, we'll drive out of the city, heading East. Today's trip will take approximately 5-6 hours and we'll pass several towns and villages along the way. Part of the drive will be on a paved road and part will be driving straight across the desert landscape. In the afternoon, we'll reach our breathtaking destination - the Azouega Dunes. These sand dunes are the highest dunes in Mauritania's Sahara Desert and the setting is absolutely magical! Once here, we'll settle into our canvas tents (that are already set up for us) before walking among the spectacular dunes and nearby desert oasis. We'll witness sunset from atop the highest dune, overlooking the vast desert that stretches as far as the eye can see. Our guides will prepare dinner for us around the campfire before we enjoy a peaceful sleep in this stunning location!
  • 4
    Jan 18Azouega Dunes » Terjit Oasis
    Azouega Dunes » Terjit Oasis
    Highlights: Drive across the Sahara, Terjit Oasis
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Today's drive is along a bumpy route that few people traverse. It climbs across the rocky desert, offering incredible views of dunes, mountains, valleys and more every step of the way. The trip will take approximately 3.5 hours before we arrive at our first oasis settlement - the Terjit Oasis. This serene desert oasis is surrounded by even more spectacular landscapes and the oasis itself, with its streams, waterfalls, palm trees and rocky cliffs, looks straight out of a movie. We'll have time to visit the oasis, wander through the village and relax at our simple, yet comfortable guesthouse set in a quiet garden.
  • 5
    Jan 19Terjit Oasis » Mheireth Oasis
    Terjit Oasis » Mheireth Oasis
    Highlights: Mheireth Oasis, overnight in a meteor crater
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    After a leisurely breakfast, we'll take a short 2 hour drive to visit the Mheireth Oasis, one of the largest oases in the region. Mheireth is home to a Bedouin community with a rich culture and we'll have time to meet and interact with the villagers, as well as explore the oasis and enjoy a freshly prepared lunch. From here we'll take the short drive to our camping spot for the night, inside of a meteor crater! Our team will set up our tents as we have time to walk around and explore this uniquely formed area before sunset over the desert and dinner. Another peaceful sleep awaits under a star filled sky!
  • 6
    Jan 20Mheireth Oasis » Chinguetti
    Mheireth Oasis » Chinguetti
    Highlights: Chinguetti
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Straight across the fluffy sands of the Sahara we go! Taking a route that is literally some barely visible tracks across the dunes, our destination is the medieval village of Chinguetti, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its ancient libraries and historical significance. This small village is one of the oldest in the country and was once known as an intellectual hub. We'll walk through the beautiful old town, visit the historic libraries and hear stories directly from the people who still maintain these collections of ancient books. In the afternoon, we'll check into our local guesthouse and enjoy some time to rest before another wonderful home-cooked dinner.
  • 7
    Jan 21Chinguetti » Oudane
    Chinguetti » Oudane
    Highlights: Oudane
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Continuing our drive across the desert, we'll soak up the surreal views before reaching the Tenewchert Oasis. We'll make a quick stop here to meet some of the villagers who live in this community, one of the most remote in the country. We'll then continue the trip up and over dunes until we reach the town of Oudane, an 1100 year old caravan town that sits at the edge of the Adrar Plateau. After checking into our guesthouse and having lunch, we'll walk over to the ancient part of town for a full tour of its history, unique structures and sweeping views out over the region. After the tour, we'll return to the guesthouse for a relaxed evening.
  • 8
    Jan 22Oudane » Richat Structure » Oudane
    Oudane » Richat Structure » Oudane
    Highlights: Richat Structure
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    After breakfast, we'll get into our SUVs for a 1 hour drive to one of the most mysterious formations in the world. Sitting in the middle of the desert is the Richat Structure (aka Eye of the Sahara), a unique geological feature that consists of sedimentary rock that appears as concentric rings. These layered rings stretch 40km / 25 miles in diameter, and its existence has confused scientists for generations. Theories of its formation range from a meteor crater to the lost city of Atlantis to the most widely accepted, an eroded volcanic dome. Whatever the true origin, traveling through the Richat Structure is something you won't forget! We'll drive across the structure until we reach the inner core and we'll have a chance to get out right in the middle of it all in order to view the entire series of circles all around us. We'll have time to stop in several locations on the way back as well before returning to our guesthouse in Oudane in time for lunch. The rest of the afternoon will then be free to enjoy as you wish, with some downtime before continuing our adventure the next morning.
  • 9
    Jan 23Oudane » Atar
    Oudane » Atar
    Highlights: Atar
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Heading out of Oudane, we'll drive through the canyons of the Adrar Plateau as we slowly begin to wind back down back to the main desert. En route to the town of Atar, we'll visit some caves that are home to rock paintings, showcasing the ancient history of this region. Upon arrival in the town of Atar, we'll go for a walk through the bustling market, pick up some supplies for the rest of our adventure and settle into our local guesthouse, owned by one of the most entrepreneurial women in the area. After getting settled, we'll take a sunset through the charming community before enjoying one of the best home-cooked meals of the trip!
  • 10
    Jan 24Atar » Ben Amera » Choum » Nouadhibou
    Atar » Ben Amera » Choum » Nouadhibou
    Highlights: Ben Amera monolith, Choum, Iron ore train
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Get ready for a long but another memorable day! Leaving after breakfast, we'll begin driving north until we reach the towering Ben Amera Monolith, the largest monolith in all of Africa, rising 633 meters / 2000 feet above the desert. From Ben Amera, we'll drive 1.5 hours to the town of Choum, where we'll visit the Choum Tunnel, a train tunnel built by the French that is often deemed a 'monument to European stupidity in Africa'. We'll learn exactly why it's earned this label. After lunch in town, we'll head to the train station where Mauritania Railways' iron ore train shall eventually arrive. This freight train was built in order to connect the iron mining operations of Zouérat with the port of Nouadhibou. As the only train that passes through this region, travelers may hop on board as well for the crazy journey! The overnight trip from Choum to Nouadhibou takes approximately 10 hours and there are no passenger cars. You climb up a ladder on the side of a wagon, place a blanket on top of the iron ore and sit on top of the car for the duration of the wild trip! We will ensure that you have everything you need for this experience. **IMPORTANT: This overnight train trip is OPTIONAL. For those who do not wish to ride on the train, we will continue the drive to the coast and spend the night at a hotel in the port town of Nouadhibou.
  • 11
    Jan 25Nouadhibou
    Nouadhibou
    Highlights: Nouadhibou
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    Those who took the train and those who did not will all reunite at breakfast and we'll all enjoy a leisurely morning! In the afternoon, we'll go out for a tour of , Mauritania's second largest city, Nouadhibou. This coastal city is known for its fishing industry and colonial history. We'll visit some of the historical sites, the bustling fishing market where Senegalese and Mauritanian boats dock in order to sell their catch and the main market in the area. After dinner and an optional night out in town, we'll return to our hotel for a restful sleep. - 3* hotel
  • 12
    Jan 26Nouadhibou » Banc d'Arguin National Park » Nouadhibou
    Nouadhibou » Banc d'Arguin National Park » Nouadhibou
    Highlights: Banc d'Arguin National Park
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    It's time to experience a different type of nature as we leave the peninsula of Nouadhibou behind and make the drive south to the Banc d'Arguin National Park. Located right on the Atlantic coast, this vast park consists of sand dunes, swamps and small islands, offering a real contrast to the other desert environments that we have visited. Home to a large variety of birds, as well as sea turtles and dolphins, this is a chance to soak up Mauritania's pristine coastal region. We'll spend a few hours visiting the peaceful park before we continue our drive south, arriving back in Nouakchott in the late evening.
  • 13
    Jan 27Nouakchott
    Nouakchott
    Highlights: White sand beaches, relaxation
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Today is a day to relax, get organized and adjust to normal life out of the extremely remote desert! In the late morning, we'll head over to the white sand beaches where we'll go for a walk along the sand, visit the fish market, interact with many people and settle down for lunch at one of the beachside restaurants. In the afternoon, you'll have a chance to visit a local hammam (traditional spa), purchase any last-minute gifts or go for one last stroll through a capital city that sees so few travelers. We'll then have our farewell dinner at one of the city's best restaurants. - 4* hotel
  • 14
    Jan 28Nouakchott (departure day)
    Nouakchott (departure day)
    Highlights: Departure day
    Included: Breakfast
    You will be picked up at the hotel by our private driver and transferred to the airport in time for your departing flight.

Tour Essentials

Physical Level: Moderate/High
While the tour itself is not very strenuous, please note that this unique adventure can involve the following: long days, being outside in potentially hot temperatures, extended periods of time in the desert, long bumpy journeys along unpaved roads, a variety of weather conditions, early morning wake-ups, basic accommodation and other potentially challenging scenarios.
Accomodation
This tour uses 3*/4* hotels in the cities as well as local guesthouses and basic camping experiences in tents. There is also an optional night on the iron ore train. All hotels and most guesthouses have private bathrooms. The camping experiences do not have bathrooms. Tents, mattresses and blankets will be provided. Those who book a single room will have their own tent while camping. Please note: At the guesthouses, electricity may not work at certain times and hot water cannot be guaranteed at all times. However, the experience is unforgettable!
Transport
Throughout our tour, we'll navigate Mauritania in private vans and 4x4 SUVs. There will be approximately 3 guests per SUV as we navigate the countryside. There will also be an optional overnight trip on the iron ore train.
Meals
Breakfast every day, 12 lunches and 12 dinners are included. With included meals, some will be served family style and others will involve ordering from a menu. While the food is delicious in Mauritania, please note that variety will be limited in the more remote regions. However, all dietary restrictions can be accommodated.
Sustainability
As with all of our trips, we aim to offer as sustainable an experience as we can. We seek out ways to limit plastic use, trash is recycled where possible and we avoid mass tourism activities that cause harm to the environment and/or do not benefit local communities.
Small Groups
This tour requires a minimum of 8 participants and has a maximum of 12 participants in order to ensure the best small group tour experience. With such a small group, you'll be able to enjoy unique, rewarding activities that would not be accessible with more people. That's the kind of trip we love to offer!

What's included

Included
  • Wandering Earl Tours group leader
  • Small group (maximum 12 participants)
  • 13 nights (3*/4* hotels, local guesthouses, camping and optional overnight train)
  • All transportation within Mauritania (private vans, SUVs and optional overnight train)
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • All mentioned activities and entrance fees
  • Breakfast everyday, 12 lunches and 12 dinners
  • Water throughout the trip
  • Gratuities at hotels/included meals
  • All airport transfers
Not Included
  • Flights to/from Mauritania
  • Passport/visa fees
  • Optional meals and activities
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Gratuities