Young Pioneer Tours

Mauritania Tours and Travel 2024 – 2025 – the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

Young Pioneer Tours was one of the very first travel companies to operate tours in Mauritania and to pioneer riding the Mauritania Iron Ore train. We’re pleased to announce our Mauritania tours schedule for 2024 – 2025, as well as our Mauritania independent tour packages.

Traditionally inhabited by Berber nomads, the contemporary history of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania has been somewhat interesting. At the start of the 20th century, the country became colonized by France as part of French West Africa, before gaining independence in 1960. Its history since then has involved one-party rule and numerous military coups during the previous conflicts in Western Sahara.

These days, Mauritania is renown as being one of the most stable and safest countries to travel to within the region.

Mauritania Group Tours – Group Tours to Mauritania – 2024 – 2025 

Our group tours to Mauritania are capped at 16 people. This is to ensure you have a great time, but also that safety is maintained. A Mauritania tour is what we like to call very off the beaten track.

And the highlight of a Mauritania tour? Of course, the Iron Ore Train, the longest and heaviest train in the world.

Mauritania Iron Ore Train Tour – January 18th – January 24th 2025 – €1545

Our first Mauritania tour of the year is always popular and in high demand!  Come explore Nouakchott, the capital city known as “place of the winds”. Experience Chinguetti, UNESCO world heritage site often referred to as a holy city of Islam. 

Tour highlights include riding in open carriages through the Saharan desert on Mauritania Iron Ore Train, the longest and heaviest train in the world, where you can experience no light pollution and freely gaze upon the stars!

Finally arriving in Nouadhibou, you will get a chance to freshen up and explore Cape Blanc, a peninsula that is shared between Mauritania and Western Sahara.  The tour concludes in Nouakchott, where we began!

Independent Tours to Mauritania

If our Mauritania tours do not fit your schedule, we can arrange bespoke Mauritania trips to fit around your wants and needs for visiting the country.

YPT arrange every facet for your Independent Mauritania Tours, as well as offering flexibility for our intrepid travellers.

Below is an example Mauritania tour itinerary. This can be done in its entirety, in part, or merged with other places. If you’re not interested in riding the Mauritania Iron Ore train, we can exclude it from your itinerary and give you other great suggestions. To discuss your exact needs for your travels in Mauritania please get in touch.

Day 1 – Nouakchott

  • Arrival at your convenience into Nouakchott – the capital city of Mauritania which is well connected from flights between Algiers, Paris, Casablanca, Istanbul and Tunis.
  • Transfer to the comfortable Hotel Flora
  • Dinner and overnight at hotel

Day 2 – Nouakchott – Tergit – Atar – Chinguetti


  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Depart for Tergit Oasis within the Sahara Desert – Mauritania’s most picturesque location. Located within a gorge this the perfect spot to cool down and relax after our drive as well as getting stunning desert photos.


  • Lunch at a camp in Tergit Oasis
  • 550km later you’ll arrive into Chinguitti via the city of Atar
  • Evening sunset watched from the huge sand dunes of Chinguetti
  • Arrive at Chingguetti Motel
  • Dinner at Nomad Restaurant in the Palms Oasis
  • After dinner you can enjoy local nomads of Chinguitty music and watch a dance made by women nomads
  • Overnight at Chingguetti Motel

Day 3 – Chinguetti – Choum – Mineral Train


  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Drive to the UNESCO world heritage site of Chinguetti – a holy city of Islam. You’ll visit the library and other historical monuments and landmarks including the much-loved Friday Mosque of Chinguetti, the national symbol of Mauritania.


  • Visit Azoughi Oasis and village for a tea stop and experiencing how locals live 
  • On the way you’ll stop at Amogjar pass – look at pre-historic paintings left 5000 years ago as well as incredible lava formation
  • Arrive at the town of Choum – departure city for the Iron Ore Train
  • Prepare for Mauritania Mineral Train – you’ll stop at Atar Market to ensure the group is stocked up on plenty of water, fruits, sandwiches, snacks, face coverings, socks, gloves, cheap warm jackets, jeans, etc.
  • Tour Highlight – Board the world-famous Mauritania Mineral Train – this is the longest and heaviest train in the world. You’ll be sitting inside open top cars so please ensure you have prepared warm clothing and goggles to protect yourself from the sand. Train does not have a fixed departure and can depart anywhere between from 6:00pm to 11:00pm.
  • Overnight on train

Day 4 – Nouadhibou


  • The train pulls up into Mauritania’s second city of Nouadhibou around 8:00am to 11:00am where you will head to the hotel for a shower and rest before heading out to explore the city.


  • Lunch at a local restaurant in town
  • Head to the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Blanc – a peninsula that is shared between Mauritania and Western Sahara. It was this exact spot where the Spanish expanded their fishing presence from the Canary Islands onto the African coast. This is where the biggest ship graveyard used to be located until it was broken down into pieces and the steel sold by Chinese companies in recent years. It is also possible to spot the Mediterranean monk seal colony here.
  • Dinner at Ice NBC, a family restaurant with a wide menu of delicious local dishes.
  • Overnight at Hotel Al Jezira

Day 5 – Nouadhibou – Nouakchott


  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Long drive back to Nouakchott (480km)


  • On the way you will be stopping for breaks, photo opportunities
  • Arrival into Nouakchott and depending on availability do the following sightseeing:
  • Head straight to the lively Atlantic fish market. Every evening hundreds of fishermen bring in the day’s catch on their distinct sea canoes recognized by their colourful hand-painted hulls. The catch is then brought by donkey cart to the city’s markets. You’ll take a walk along the beach here too.
  • Visit the National Museum where artefacts of the history of Mauritania and its ancient cities are on view
  • Visit the local craft market where locals specialise in camel wool rugs
  • Driving tour of the massive embassies of the main players of the region – USA, China, France, and Russia
  • Quick photo stop by the Great Mosque of Nouakchott – funded by Saudi Arabia and built in 1982.
  • Dinner and tour concludes with drop off to airport accordingly to your flight out.

Independent Mauritania Tour examples

We do not list all of our bespoke Mauritania itineraries, but can offer some examples, such as the following:

  • Mauritania Adventure Tour – YPT can offer a tailored Mauritania tour to meet your adventure needs, including camping in remote picturesque locations and spending overnight on the Mauritania Mineral Train gazing upon the stars. We have in-depth experiences in this region and create a bespoke Mauritania tour for you.
  • Mauritania Team-Building Tour – Our Mauritania Tours can be physically demanding. What YPT can offer to companies is precise and effective team building opportunities, which offer great opportunities for employees to reflect together with their co-workers on the overnight Mauritania Mineral Train.
  • Mauritania Media Tour – YPT can help arrange an itinerary specially designed for the content you need in Mauritania. This includes a local guide who can take you to unique areas within Nouakchott and Nouadhibou to meet genuine local people to make your material stand out from the rest. You can read more about media travel here.
  • Cultural Mauritania Tours – Experience Mauritania cultural heritage and explore the busy markets of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou sampling traditional food prepared by locals including mechoui to thieboudienne. Visit historical landmarks and learn about the French colonisation.
  • Mauritania Road Trip – We can provide everything from 4×4 vehicles to take you out into the desert. YPT can provide first-rate bilingual (English or French) drivers and guide who have in-depth knowledge of the area.
  • Mauritania Photography Tour – YPT can help arrange permits for camera equipment and transport to take you the most scenic destinations within Mauritania, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Chinguetti and the camel market in Nouakchott.
  • Mauritania University Tour – Learn about Mauritania ancient history and visit historical sites taking in recent events. See the impact of French colonisation and experience the local hospitality that Mauritanians offer. YPT can help organise exchange programmes which can be organised with the University of Nouakchott Al Aasriya.

Mauritania Tour Guides

Young Pioneer Tours work with the best Mauritanian tour guides. All are experts in their fields, know what they are talking about and speak English. Should you require a different language for an independent tour to Mauritania please get in touch.

Group tours to Mauritania are escorted by both an expert YPT guide, as well as a local Mauritania tour guide.

Frequently asked questions about Mauritania tours and travel

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about travel to Mauritania. Should your question not be listed, please get in touch to talk to one of our Mauritania travel experts!

How to get a Mauritania Visa

Any nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival issued at the Nouakchott–Oumtounsy International Airport.  However, Syrian passport holders need approval prior to entry. The visa costs either 55 EUR or $65 USD.

Where is Mauritania?

Mauritania is located in Northwest Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Western Sahara to the north and northwest, Algeria to the northeast, Mali to the east and southeast, and Senegal to the southwest.

Mauritania is the 11th-largest country in Africa and the 28th-largest in the world, and 90% of its territory is situated in the Sahara.

Yes, its ethical to visit Mauritania. Despite being the last country in the world to abolish slavery in 1981 the country is making an active effort to enforce this. YPT works closely with our local partners to ensure we don’t support any form of this practice while on tour.

We believe in helping out the local communities and businesses in Mauritania, ensuring genuine people are supported from what little they gain from tourism.
Various government websites advise against all travel to Mauritania, however, only certain regions of the country are considered dangerous. Our tours avoid such regions which are considered unstable and dangerous.
The main religion in Mauritania is Islam, hence the official countries name, The Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Recent census indicated 99% of the Mauritania are practicing Sunni Muslims, the other 1% consists of Shia Muslims, and non-Muslims, mostly Christians and a small group of the Jewish faith.
The sales and consumption of alcohol is against the law in Mauritania; however some restaurants do sell it, discretion is appreciated.
Mauritania monthly temperature stays above 25°C year-round, with the peak 33°C in June and July. Pack loose comfortable clothing and a hat to block out the sun.

During the Iron Ore train ride, where we spend the night exposed to the elements in an open carriage, warm clothing including gloves, thick socks, goggles and even a blanked would make the journey as comfortable as possible.
Mauritania iron ore train does not have a fixed departure and can depart anywhere between from 6:00pm to 11:00pm from Choum. The train pulls up into Nouadhibou, (Mauritania second city) around 8:00am to 11:00am.
Yes, Mauritania is safe for female travellers. Our YPT team consists of female guides and we have taken many female tourists on our trips. However, we advise to respect local customs and avoid wearing tight and revealing clothing. Also wear a headscarf when visiting religious areas.
The laws in Mauritania are based on Sharia. While YPT is an inclusive company and welcomes people from all genders, sexual orientation and identity, we must sadly warn you that homosexuality is illegal in Mauritania.

Behaviour judged to be homosexual can lead to imprisonment. As such, we would kindly ask all our group members to refrain from acting in a way that could lead them to be branded homosexual for the duration of our trip. This is for the safety of the group and no judgment is implied or intended.