Mauritania

Driving Directions Mauritania

MAURITANIA is near twice the size of France. Located on the west coast of Africa, almost the whole country lies within the sandy, stony wastes of the Sahara Desert. The only settlements found in this area are around oases, where a little millet, dates, and vegetables can be grown.

There are dry, Sahel grasslands in the south and a belt of fertile agricultural land along the northern side of the Senegal river valley.

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The River Senegal forms part of the country’s southern border, and its valley and the Sahel grasslands support some natural vegetation and wildlife.

The climate is hot and dry, with a rainy season that produces small amounts of rainfall in late summer and autumn but only in the south.

Google maps™ Mauritania


Most people follow a nomadic way of life centered around the herding of grazing animals. Still, periods of severe drought in the 1970s killed about 70 percent of the nation’s animals forcing many people to settle along the River Senegal. As a result, vast shantytowns sprung up around all the main cities. The republic has fatty deposits of iron ore and valuable Atlantic fish stocks, both of which are becoming significant contributors to the economy.

Mauritania finally achieved independence in 1960. However, as well as being severely affected by drought, it has also experienced some internal political unrest and involved in disputes with its neighbors. Conditions appear to have become more settled in recent years, with a new constitution adopted in 1991.

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