At Young Pioneer Tours we have more than a passing interest in unrecognized countries, with my passion running so deep that I even spent a month living in Transnistria literally for no other reason than the sheer sake of it. We run tours to almost all of the unrecognized or partially-recognized states in the world, so it was only a matter of time before we got to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (Western Sahara), aka Sahrawi Republic, or as the cool kids call it, the SADR!
Western Sahara (as it is also known) was formerly part of Spanish Sahara, before the Spaniards decided to give it up and leave it to Morocco and Mauritania to fight over, pretty much ignoring the locals and their interests. Mauritania thus took a bit of the land and so did Morocco, whilst the independence-seeking Polisario Front saw things a little differently.
Western Sahara: the history of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic was proclaimed in 1976 and fighting continued until 1991, which now means that there is a semi-independent Western Sahara as well as a Moroccan-occupied part.
In 2008 the capital city of Western Sahara was moved to Tifariti. As well as being the current capital city of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Tifariti is also known as the cool little oasis town located in the North-East of Western Sahara, run by the Polisario Front.
As capital cities of countries go, Tifariti is certainly one of the most compact you will ever visit — only 3000 people call it home.
Traveling to Tifariti is not simple but definitely not impossible, and something our team at Young Pioneer Tours is very much looking to include into our tours to Western Sahara and the Sahrawi Republic.
If you’d like to see Western Sahara for yourself, upfront and personal, join us in the next Young Pioneer Tours trip to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic!