Mauritania is a unique country, and a rich ethnic mosaic that reflects its history as a crossroads territory that attracted Arab-Berber peoples, who arrived from the north, and Sub-Saharan African peoples, who came from the south. Their confluence makes the whole wealth and originality of Mauritanian culture. For centuries, Mauritania was essentially a country of nomads until the late 1960s and early 1970s, when severe droughts and creeping desertification drove vast numbers of nomads from rural areas into rapidly growing towns and cities.
Although there has been a significant increase in tourism from Europe in recent years, Mauritania is largely waiting to be discovered by American tourists. To date, foreign tourists have been drawn by Mauritania 's dual jewels of "ecotourism," such as the coastal wildlife sanctuary of "Banc d'Arguin," and its cultural/historical sites, such as Chinguetti, the 7th holiest city of Islam. Chinguetti, Ouadane, Oualata and Tichitt are ancient cities that welcomed caravans crossing North Africa and, collectively, are registered on UNESCO's world heritage list as one site.
No one can introduce this wondrous country better than Mauritanian themselves. The following text, substantially written by the Mauritanian Embassy in Ottawa, describes several tourism highlights here. We hope you discover Mauritania soon!