Between rock inscriptions, ruins and camels - two weeks in the Adrar
The classic cities, the most beautiful oases and finally the ride on the train
The fantastic journey into the heart of Mauritania. Boat, camel, four-wheel drive - in this tour no transport possibility remains unused. On this two-week trip you will not only experience beautiful natural phenomena like Ben Amera and Guilb er Richat, not only oases and desert towns, no: on the program are also French forts, prehistoric rock paintings, picturesque sand dunes and an adventurous twelve-hour train ride on the iron ore train. By the way, we visit the two largest Mauritanian cities Nouakchott and Nouadhibou. We leave nothing out, so the best variety for your trip to the desert is guaranteed.
*Who likes traveling alone? Groups of 2 or more visitors save significantly with ChingiTours.
Fort Bir Ziri
Fort El Ghallaouiya
Ruins of Agouedir
Chinguetti (incl. Camel trekking)
Film set Fort Saganne
Ben Amira (Monolith)
Total distance: 2600 km
Our trip starts in Nouakchott. After pickup from the airport, we offer you, normally the next day, the complete city program. The fishing port (Port de pêche), for example, offers a fascinating picture in the afternoon sun with its artistically painted dugout canoes. The huge camel market in Toujounine, on the other hand, also serves as a selling place for goats, cattle and donkeys. Never have you seen more dromedaries than here. The Saudi Mosque (eig. Medina Mosque) is the most imposing religious building in the city. A stroll through the city on the Marché Capitale practically gives itself, a trip to the nearby city garden will show you the green diversity that is otherwise missing in Nouakchott.
Needless to say, you will be drinking Mauritanian tea quite often during the two weeks on the road - how about preparing the first glass in the evening on the beach of the capital?
Day 2Terjit - Atar
The next day we drive to the oasis Terjit, which is one of the most popular destinations in the country. In addition to the year-round flowing stream, the numerous dates and swimming in the natural pool, a delicious Mauritanian-style lunch awaits you, dates included, of course. Not far away is the regional capital Atar, which itself has little to offer in terms of tourism, but can serve as a starting point and shopping opportunity for all further trips. Little does not mean nothing: the local market in Atar is worth a visit, and July is the peak of the Guetna Festival, celebrating the two-month harvest of dates. By the way, Atar is set in gorgeous countryside.
Day 3Azougui - Jraif
The third day begins with a trip to Azougui, which is only a stone's throw away from Atar. Not only are there enchanting sand dunes in Azougui, no, the scattered village has also come to world importance as the former capital of the Almoravids. After a opulent lunch we leave familiar paths behind and avoid the asphalt road for quite a while. Because our goal is neither Chinguetti nor Ouadane yet. Our goal is the northern bypass of the entire Adrar plateau. The first stop: Jraif (also: Jurayf), 70 km away. Jraif is no more than a village in the desert, yet regionally esteemed for its religious school. Arabic manuscripts can also be examined there.
Day 4Sebkha Chemchane - El Beyyed
After a night in the tent and breakfast outside, we continue our journey. To get to El Beyyed, which is 140 km away, we have to cross the Sebkha Chemchane. A sebkha (Arab. Sabḫa) is a lake basin filled only occasionally with water. The hardened subsoil allows us to make fast progress. Finally arrived in El Beyyed, a small Mauritanian-style prehistoric museum awaits us. Arrowheads, mortars and bifaces can be marveled at. There is also a well in El Beyyed, the basis of all nomadic life. A few kilometers away is a green valley where a guelta feeds nomads and herds of animals. We spend the night in beautiful scenery.
Day 5Bir Ziri - El Ghallaouiya
We have to drive just under 60 km east to see the first of the three forts planned for the trip. The French colonial forts of Bir Ziri and El Ghallaouiya are still well preserved today, the latter was even used by the Mauritanian army until the 2000s. Near El Ghallaouiya, prehistoric drawings and tombs from pre-Islamic times can be discovered. If time permits, we will drive to the mountain pass of Trig Choauil on the fifth day and have a look at the rock engravings there.
Day 6Trig Chouali
Since the rock paintings are distributed in different places around the Trig Chouail, we do not leave any time unused and take the morning for a look at those still unknown to us. Afterwards, we make our way to Guilb er Richat. This, however, is more than 115 km away, moreover, soft sand roads and difficult terrain await us on the way. So the trip may take longer.
Day 7Richat Structure - Ruins of Fort Agouedir - Ouadane
Once arrived in the Guilb er Richat, the huge geological structure also known as the "eye of the Sahara", we take the opportunity for a stay of several hours including food. By the way, the Guilb er Richat is as clearly visible from the moon as unclear in its origin. Scientific theories between meteorite impact and volcanic eruption have not been able to reach a research consensus so far. Before heading to Ouadane, we take a look at the remains of the Portuguese fort of Agouedir, located near south of the Guilb. The 15th century fort is now only in ruins, but it's worth the short detour just for the handmade crafts on offer there. To end the day: the trip to Ouadane and the overnight stay in the local auberge
Day 8Tanouchert oasis - Chinguetti
Ouadane (meaning two valleys) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, as a Berber foundation, was once an important part of trans-Saharan trade. Besides that, it functioned as a starting point for pilgrimages and, along with Chinguetti, the religious and spiritual center of the region. A ksar (from Arab. qaṣr - castle, fortress), refers to a fortified trading post. The extensive ruins of that very ksar can be literally walked through in Ouadane. The visit of the enormous old town built along the hill with its old - meanwhile partly restored - mosque is certainly one of the highlights of the whole tour. A knowledgeable guide answers all questions as we stroll along the main street of the old town, Rue de 40 Savants. After visiting the old town, the modern city and the date oasis at the foot of the slope, we set out to see the next World Heritage Site - Chinguetti. Once again, we will avoid the asphalt road, so that we can see the enchanting oasis of Tanouchert on the way. We will spend evening and night in Chinguetti.
Day 9Entkemkemt oasis
The ninth day is also dedicated to Chinguetti. After breakfast, we take a look at what once made the Ksar famous: the old town with its mosque and minaret. Chinguetti's minaret is considered Mauritania's landmark and can be found in miniature not only on the ChingiTours logo, but also in countless stone replicas for adornment. The city has 12 libraries that house a treasure treasure of knowledge that is largely neither copied nor digitized. Here, too, we will look at selected ones. After lunch, a camel tour is on the agenda. The possible destinations range from oases like Entkemkent to the remote original Chinguetti. Actually there are three Chinguettis, but more about that in due course.
Day 10Mhaïreth oasis
After another night in Chinguetti we drive to Mhaireth (also: Mheireth), 150 km away, this time for a change on the road - at least at the beginning. On the way, we pass two places that justify a stop. Very close to the Amogjar pass is the nearly 700 m high hill Agrour, where there are some rock paintings to see. The illustrations of lions and giraffes prove the former abundance of mammals in the country. Even dancing scenes were drawn. Just a stone's throw away is Fort Saganne, built in the early 1980s especially for the movie of the same name. The film set looks deceptively real and the tour is well worth it. But our real destination is still Mhaireth, part of the municipality of Maaden. There, not only a diverse oasis natural landscape between sand dunes, lakes and rocks is waiting for you, but also lunch at the pool. Nearby, by the way, there are also worthwhile rock paintings.
Day 11Ben Amera - Choum
When the day begins in Mhaireth and you have had a hearty breakfast, we will leave for the north. The last great natural phenomenon of our trip is waiting for us. We drive to Ben Amira (son of the princess), about 180 km away, the last part of it offroad. On the way, we will have another opportunity to fill up supplies in Atar. Ben Amira is the largest monolith in Africa and number 2 worldwide. Only a few kilometers away is the smaller Ben Aisha (engl. Son of Aisha, the living), that, however, has international artworks and rock sculptures to offer since 1999. Once we have seen everything, we continue to Choum, which is 70 km away. Not it is waiting for a train. The iron ore train doesn't always make it on time, but it comes. Promised! And it takes us on an adventurous journey to Nouadhibou.
The surely craziest night of the trip lies behind you. Depending on the departure in Choum, the train arrives in the port city of Nouadhibou between 8 and 12 a.m. There you will be picked up and provided with what you need most: A shower and an opulent breakfast. The fishing port Port Artisanal is the most interesting sight in Nouadhibou. After we have had a good look at it, you have the choice: return with us to Nouakchott or go directly to Morocco? Either way, we will assist you with planning and implementation.
This 2-week tour will let you understand and get to know Mauritania. The tour itinerary we have outlined offers only a small reflection of what you can experience on a tour. Spontaneous invitations for tea or dinner, alternative routes, still unknown sights and above all: many, many good conversations and impressions. If you have any destination requests, would like to skip a place or extend your stay, just let us know. Your tour with us will be designed according to your individual ideas.