Nouadhibou, city Northern Mauritania border with Moroccan Western Sahara

Nouadhibou its the first city after the border with Moroccan Western Sahara. From here arrive by land hundreds of stolen vehicles, man slavering and all kind of goods, even vegetables can be passed illegally at the border.

Nouadhibou is a place never constructed to fit the needs of tourists.

What to say a bout this city…what to say about Mauritania in general… its indeed a different country from whatever you’ve been used to. Its full of poverty, racial conflicts, garbage and worldwide mafia.

There’s this huge worldwide terrorist organization that is very active in this city, more than in the capital which the presidential control is bigger. This organization which i don’t have the need to write the name is very powerful here in Nouadhibou and takes control of almost every single facility related to Islam. Huge and good quality mosques (Mauritanian speaking of course) are visible and you even notice the leaders mansions near by with grand cars BMW and big expensive SUVs 4 wheel drive cars at their door, in a country that the normal salary is not more than 15000 UM, about 40- 45 euros, which usually 6000 go to pay the monthly rent of a single room no electricity and proper toilet facilities.
Specially here in Nouadhibou, various organized mafia groups and underground organizations find refuge to make business. Korean, Russian, Chinese, Nigerian, Senegalese and also White Moors underground organizations are settled here with their business of drugs, prostitution, car export, fish export, guns and even man slavery working at day light.

Nouadhibou North mauritania

There is much to see inside the city of more around 60,000 people, but the nature here is great.
Nouadhibou like many desert cities, is large, and comes in three parts. The first is the new quarter of Numerowat in the north, with mess of construction sites. This is where the majority of people live. The various quarters of “Numerowat” are identified by robinets (premiere robinet or deuxieme robinet etc) according to the nearest public water standpipe, which come at 500 metre intervals along the asphalt road to downtown Nouadhibou.

Downtown is “Ville”, with all the usual services and shops and the city main market. On the south side of town, a full 10km from the city centre, is the iron ore company’s dormitory town of Cansado.

Nouadhibou is stretching along a thin peninsula running out from and parallel to the mainland in southern direction. Everything is more or less sand, shaped by the wind, meeting the sea in several bays without any vegetation destroying your impression of really being in Sahara.

Nouadhibou Mauritania

20 Responses to “Nouadhibou, city Northern Mauritania border with Moroccan Western Sahara”

  1. 1 Vojko Klancnik September 21, 2006 at 10:29 am

    I see, that you are quite home in Africa. So I believe that you can help with some advices. We have a motorhome (year 2001)on a combi Ducato 2.8 JTD. My family would like to enjoy south Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and maybe Mali or Senegal. What do you think, is it posible to do this route with such a car. I believe in experiences, so I expect an answer.

  2. 2 Joao Leitao September 21, 2006 at 10:37 am

    hello there
    thank you very much for you email. yes of course ill try to help you in all i know from my personal experience in the field.

    south morocco and western Sahara are very nice to drive. western Sahara is awesome to enjoy nature near the coast where you can easily and safely park your motor home.

    now, Mauritania, for what i know, you do have asphalt road already. all my past trips to Mauritania, they didn’t have road yet, from the border to nouadhibou, and from nouadhibou to the capital down in Nouakchott. for what i have read and some friends that did it already, you now have asphalt all the way to NDB. still i think a bit of desert tracks from the Moroccan last check point to the first Mauritanian one will not be done. so i guess i should say, don’t go off the tracks… land mines… hehe, anyway you have a ducato so you will not get angry and start going over the dunes right? 😀

    all the roads in Mauritania are in very good conditions, as in all Arab influenced world. People often say is not true cos they were doing off-road. Of course if you look up in the North of the country and and many other part you do not have roads. So i guess you can’t just say they are bad, cos they don’t exist right? my idea is that, wherever you have asphalt road, they are very good and you can drive really well. Opposite to Senegal where asphalt roads are the worse you will drive. I remember I preferred to drive outside the road, in this side tracks than going on the road itself. north part, Rosso border to Saint Louis.

    Senegal, you already know you have either to have a new car, less than 4 years old, or you have to get a carnet de passage en duane. this way you cannot enter. roads in Senegal are very bad, but slowly you can drive of course.

    tell me what else you need to know.



    • 3 bubacarrjallow September 23, 2010 at 5:16 pm

      thats true i wanna be friend with you because i like you and you notes are correct and true

    • 4 ismail September 27, 2010 at 10:51 pm

      i will like to know more about this cos i like all u talking about cos have never be there once and am planning how to get there and how to get the ticket and where to stay for just some days befor geting back to my country but i will like to read from u more about how to get there..

  3. 5 Nuno June 18, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Olá João.
    Tudo bem?
    Eu estava a pensar fazer uma viagem de Lisboa a Cape Town mas em território Africano o maximo que desci foi até Merzouga ( Marrocos ) e estou a tentar obter o maximo de informações sobre outros sitios e gostava de poder contar com a tua experiência

    Tel: 931168125

  4. 6 Bernadette April 14, 2009 at 6:52 pm


    My company has been requested to provide security for workers and construction 14kms outside Nouadhibou.

    Please give me your thoughts, should I try to recruit security from Mauritania or bring my own security with me?

    How high risk is the country? Do you know of someone that could assist me in setting this up and assisting me in finding someone to help me there locally?



  5. 8 andreas April 29, 2009 at 10:15 am

    dear joao (& other experts from the scene),

    I’d be looking into a construction company providing skilled and unskilled labour, as well as equipment (scaffolding, cranes, folk lifts, trucks, etc.)

    any clue where to start finding at least a semi-reliable company?

    appreciate an answer: andreas

  6. 9 Moussa November 2, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    we present you the first sociale bookmarking for Moroccan web pages and Webblogs. Their website includes a very interesting, important and serious issue. Let others read your blog too. We pleased also to see your Moroccan blog on

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