Guelta Metraucha

Also known as: Guelta Matraucha

After a While, Crocodile

The Guelta Metraucha is one of the few places in Mauritania where you can find the rare West African crocodiles. For decades, they were considered extinct in the country, and it was not until 1999 that they were rediscovered. According to estimates, only 300 specimens live in all of Mauritania today. 70 km east of Kiffa is the village of Foum el Cherat, in the immediate vicinity of which Tamourt Bougari becomes a lake and ecosystem every year after the rainy season. 5 km away from it is the Guelta Metraucha. Many gueltas are only filled in the rainy season, but the Guelta Metraucha never runs dry, as it is additionally fed by local springs. This and its rocky environment allow for extensive biodiversity. Besides crocodiles, rodents such as the rare Senegal gundis, klipsheep, jackals and numerous baboons live there. Since the Guelta Metraucha carries water permanently, there are even a few species of fish in it. It is also used as a drinking water reservoir for herds of camels and cattle. A trip to the Tamourt Bougari and the Guelta Metraucha is offered on our two southern tours. The crocodiles are considered to be shy and mostly disappear in the water as soon as people approach. Therefore we recommend to observe the Guelta from a higher rock plateau. It is also possible to camp nearby without any problems.


  • Flora & Fauna
  • West African Crocodile
  • Tamourt Bougari (in proximity)
  • Kiffa (in proximity)

 Tours including Guelta Metraucha

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 Metraucha

Are the crocodiles in the Guelta dangerous to humans?
Well, first of all, crocodiles are always dangerous. Careless actions should therefore be avoided. In the Guelta Metraucha, however, no incidents with people are known, the animals behave rather shy when people arrive.
Will I definitely get to see crocodiles?
The crocodiles live in the Guelta all year round. If you have enough waiting time and don't attract too much attention, you will definitely see the West African crocodiles and with luck you will be able to approach them up to a few - safe! - meters.
How much offroad distance do you have to take to reach the Guelta?
From the village of Foum el Cherat it is only 5 km to the Guelta. The asphalted Route de l'Espoir leads to the village.
Which guelta is larger? Metraucha or Matmata?
The Matmata guelta is larger.
What should you avoid at all costs as a visitor to the Guelta?
Take your garbage with you when leaving, don't jump into the water and don't annoy the baboons. Then there should be no problems.