Area: 1,030,700 sq km
Climate: desert; constantly hot, dry, dusty
Population: 3,281,634 (July 2011 est.)
Languages: Arabic (official and national), Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof (all national languages), French, Hassaniya
Government type: military junta
Independence Day: 28 November 1960 (from France)
Currency: Ouguiya (MRO)
GDP: $6.8 billion (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $2,100 (2010 est.)
Information for Foreign Students in Mauritania
Obtaining a Visa
We recommend travellers to check visa requirements contacting the Paraguayan Embassy in their home country or going on its website.
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in the USA: www.mauritania-usa.org
Consulate of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in France: Tel: +33 1 4548 2388.
Hotel accommodation is very limited and expensive in Mauritania and visitors are advised to book well in advance.
Link for hotels: http://www.africastay.com/mauritania
Medical facilities are very limited. Nouakchott boasts the country's best medical facilities with many doctors, most in private practices or clinics, and plenty of chemists stocking most existing French medicines.Health insurance, to include cover for emergency repatriation, is essential.
Cash machines are rare and you cannot use credit cards everywhere, only in a few hotels in major cities such as Nouakchott and Nouadhibou. Mauritanian Ouguiya is divided in 5 units called khoums and the import and export of local currency is prohibited.
It is possible to rent a car in Nouakchott, Nouâdhibou and Atâr. 4-wheel drive vehicles with a driver can be hired and are recommended, but they are expensive. There are a lot of Taxis but very expensive in the towns (Nouakchott and Nouadhibou). Fares are set, not metered, and a small tip is expected.
Keeping in touch
For internet, there are several Internet cafes in Nouakchott. Regarding mobile phones, roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone operators. Coverage is limited to urban areas. Outgoing international calls must go through the operator.