Guelta Matmata

Also known as: Guelta Metmata

See You Later, Alligator

On the way from Sangrave to Tidjikja, travelers also pass the town of Moudjeria. For the next nearly 150 kilometers, this will be the last major town we reach. About 17 km past Moudjeria is the village of Nbeika, from which a turnoff leads toward Matmata. After another 20 deep sandy off-road kilometers, we finally arrive at the gorge in the middle of the Tagant Plateau. The end of the gorge is our destination - the Guelta Matmata. And all this effort for the rare West African crocodiles, also known as Saharan crocodiles. Once thought to be extinct in Mauritania, they were just rediscovered in 1999. The total number is estimated at a few hundred throughout the country - including the several dozens here, surrounded by the protective cliffs of the Guelta Matmata. The guelta carries water year-round and is home to great species richness apart from the crocodiles. Not only do nomads lead their herds to the Guelta, but also various reptiles such as Nile monitors and the rare rock pythons find their home there. We recommend longer stays and good lenses or binoculars - the crocodiles are camera shy. By the way, overnight stays in the open near Matmatas are possible and popular. In addition, visitors should have sturdy shoes and not be afraid to climb - it's not a must, but creates flexibility in finding the best viewing spots.


  • Flora & Fauna
  • West African crocodiles
  • Nile monitor lizards
  • Ksar el Barka (in proximity)
  • Tidjikja (in proximity)

 Tours including Guelta Matmata

Tagant Aoukar Tour
Between Mali Empire and Almoravids - On the traces of the history of the South
14 Day(s)
16 Destinations
2700 km
3 Languages
Adrar Tagant Aoukar Tour
More than 3000 km of desert, oases, mountains and petroglyphs
14 Day(s)
21 Destinations
3050 km
3 Languages

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Guelta Matmata

Which guelta is bigger: Matmata or Metraucha?
The Matmata guelta is much larger.
Is the Guelta Matmata embedded in all tours that go through the Tagant region?
We offer a total of two tours through the Tagant: the Tagant Aoukar Tour, in which the Guelta Matmata is embedded, and the Adrar Tagant Aoukar Tour. In the latter, it is not directly on the planned route, but can be booked in addition. And, as always, there is an option to organize an individual tour taking your wishes into consideration.
What is there to see away from the wildlife near the Guelta?
Near the Guelta there are petroglyphs, a varied landscape and - a few km away - the ruins of Ksar el Barka.