Tidjikja is neither the largest city near the Tagant Plateau (Moudjeria) nor the most beautiful one (Tichitt). It is also not a former capital of a former great empire (Aoudaghost) and does not have distinctive ruins (Ksar el Barka). No rock paintings can be found here (Akreijit) and also no crocodiles (Guelta Matmata), but: Who wants to get to know the south of Mauritania, will hardly get around Tidjikja. As the capital of the Tagant region, it is the base for all the destinations mentioned above. It does not matter whether travelers come from Atar or Nouakchott. Founded in the 17th century, the city of 11,000 inhabitants quickly developed into the center of the region thanks to its date cultivation. Today, the sweet fruit is still harvested in the area, more than anywhere else in the country. The date season from June to August is the highlight of the year. Besides the date oases, the architecturally interesting old town including market and old mosque are worth seeing for visitors. The landscape surrounding Tidjikja is also beautiful. The paved road starting in Nouakchott and dividing in Sangrave ends in its northern branch in Tidjikja. Tichitt, Akreijit and Oualata are only accessible offroad from there. Tidjikja is also the last regularly filled gas station on the way east. We recommend a one-day stay.
Tidjikja is one of the most important cities in Mauritania because of its location and history. Surrounded by the stony plateaus of the Tagant Plateau, the city is located in the Dār Tichitt, a significant cultural region of the Neolithic period.
Despite thousands of years of settlement as evidenced by massive rock engravings, the city was not founded until the 17th century by a branch of the Sufi Tijaniya order, the Idaw Ali. It is said that nowhere else in the country do dates taste as sweet as in the area around Tidjikja. It should therefore come as no surprise that the place quickly became important as a cultivation and trading area for dates. Three centuries later: The French conquest of Mauritania took place from Senegal. Here, in Tidjikja, it took the French three years at the beginning of the 20th century to break the resistance of the south. This then shifted to the more northern Adrar region. The city was developed by the colonial administration into the administrative center of Tagant; a function it has held ever since. French military posts and forts are still easily visible and visitable in the city today.
Tidjikja is still of enormous importance for date production. Its countless groves are almost without equal in Mauritania. Once a year, between June and August, the harvest is brought in - reason enough for a festival lasting several weeks, the Guetna. At this time, a visit is particularly worthwhile, but there are good reasons to come in winter. The region is considered the hottest in the world and can easily reach 55 ° C in summer. Tidjikja is divided by an ouad, which becomes a fertile lake during the rainy season. North of it is the old town, which is worth seeing. We can spend the night both inside and outside of Tidjikja. As mentioned above, the city can serve as a starting point for many short trips. The ruins of Ksar el Barka, for example, or the crocodile guelta Matmata. By the way: There is also a temporary gas station in Tichitt. However, one should not be under the misapprehension that it would be filled at all times. Therefore, refueling in Tidjikja would be appropriate. The next reliable gas station in Néma is 630 km away.