interesting facts about Mauritania

17 Momentous Facts about Mauritania

Want to know more about Africa’s biggest countries and communities? Here are some fun facts about Mauritania you might want to digest!

1. Where is Mauritania, anyway?

Mauritania is bordered with Senegal to the south west, Mali to the south east, Algeria to the north east, Morocco to the north, the Western Sahara to the north west, and the Atlantic ocean to the west. That’s a lot of neighbors!

2. What’s the capital of Mauritania?

The capital of Mauritania is Nouakchott – it’s around 400 square miles, or 1,036 square km large. Around 968,000 people were living here as of data taken in 2015.

3. Here’s what you’ll be able to spend when you visit.

Mauritania’s currency is called the Ouguiya.

Flag of Mauritania

Flag of Mauritania

4. Much of the country is barren land.

A whopping 70% of Mauritania is desert! Much of it stems from the Sahara.

5. It’s hilly in parts, but it’s mostly flat and dry.

There are some hills towards the center of Mauritania, however, it’s largely best known for its arid desert plains. However, there is a coastline – as mentioned, it shares a border with the Atlantic Ocean!

6. It’s a highly popular mining location for many reasons.

Mauritania’s many exports include gold, iron ore, copper, diamonds, oil, gypsum, and phosphate.

7. You won’t be able to drink alcohol in Mauritania.

Alcohol is banned across Mauritania as a result of Islamic decree – the most popular drink across the nation is mint tea!

8. How many people live here?

The population of Mauritania in 2020 was 4.65 million.

9. It’s a nation of polyglots.

Many people in Mauritania speak Arabic, however, French is also commonly spoken, too! There are seven languages considered ‘official’ to the country.

Nouakchott, capaital of Mauritania

Nouakchott, capaital of Mauritania

10. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Only Mauritania and Madagascar are still using imperial currencies – no one else on Earth still does!

11. How long do people live for in Mauritania?

The life expectancy of Mauritania is just short of 65 years old.

12. When we say it’s big… it’s big!!

Mauritania is surprisingly massive. It’s around 397,955 square miles, or more than one million square km large! With barely more than 4.6 million people living here, the country is very sparsely populated!


13. In fact, Blighty easily fits in – multiple times!

Mauritania is large enough to hold the United Kingdom within its boundaries four times!

14. It’s a safari paradise.

Mauritania plays host to a wild variety of different animals. Eagle-eyed wildlife fans can look out for gazelles, elephants, hyenas, giraffes, lions and more! It’s even home to six species of scorpion that are endemic to Mauritania alone.

15. Mauritania’s slave trade was outlawed later than most.

Mauritania abolished slavery… eventually. They were one of the last countries to outlaw the practice outright, doing so in 1981.

Golden Jackal

Golden Jackal

16. It once fell under French rule.

Mauritania was once the property of France – and has been independent since 1960.

17. Tasty pickings!

Alongside its metal and mineral exports, Mauritania is also popular for its meat and fish – and people also grow copious amounts of rice and millet here, too! Great for the birds, then!

Mauritania fishing

FAQs about Mauritania

Is Mauritania safe to visit?

On the whole, Mauritania isn’t considered the safest of countries for tourists to visit. This is largely thanks to crime rates and a risk of terrorism. Therefore, if you do wish to visit, caution is advised.

What makes Mauritania so famous?

Mauritania is well-known for its incredible mines and raw mineral reserves - as well as for its incredible desert miles!

Is Mauritania a poor country?

Despite the large size of the country and the widely-spread populace, a minority of Mauritania’s population (around 16.6%) fall below the poverty line.

Do you know any interesting facts about Mauritania? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on July 26, 2023. Suggest an edit

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