Travel Facts

US State Dept Travel Advisory

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens Reconsider Travel to Mauritania due to crime and terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws, and special circumstances in this country.

Passport/Visa Requirements

US citizens should make sure their passport will not expire for at least 6 months after they enter the country even if they do not intend to stay that long. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for any entry stamp that will be required. A visa is required, but travelers may obtain the visa upon entering the country.

US Embassy/Consulate

+(222) 4525-2660; EMER: +(222) 3662-8163; US Embassy Nouakchott, Nouadhibou Road, Avenue Al Quds, Nouakchott, Mauritania;;

Telephone Code


Local Emergency Phone

Fire: 118; Police: 117


An International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever is required for travelers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission and for travelers having transited through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. See WHO recommendations. On 21 March 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Mauritania is currently considered a high risk to travelers for polio; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine.


Desert; constantly hot, dry, dusty

Currency (Code)

Ouguiyas (MRO)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s)

220 V / 50 Hz / plug types(s): C

Plug Type C

Major Languages

Arabic, Pular, Soninke, Wolof, French

Major Religions

Muslim 100%

Time Difference

UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Potable Water

Opt for bottled water

International Driving Permit


Road Driving Side


Tourist Destinations

Banc d'Arguin National Park; Nouakchott; Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt, & Oualata; Richat Structure in the Sahara Desert

Major Sports

Soccer, basketball

Cultural Practices

When talking about the past, people will often snap their fingers by their shoulders.

Tipping Guidelines

A tip of 12-15% is expected in restaurants if no service charge has been added to the bill. Hotel service staff and drivers welcome small tips.


Dyed leather goods, silver jewelry and engraved items, woven rugs/carpets and hand-dyed fabric, knives; neolithic pottery, arrowheads, and other items

Traditional Cuisine

Thieboudienne — fish and rice served in a white and red sauce, usually made from tomatoes

Please visit the following links to find further information about your desired destination.

World Health Organization (WHO) - To learn what vaccines and health precautions to take while visiting your destination.

US State Dept Travel Information - Overall information about foreign travel for US citizens.

To obtain an international driving permit (IDP). Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs:
American Automobile Association (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)

How to get help in an emergency? 
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, or call one of these numbers:
from the US or Canada - 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas - +1 202-501-4444

Page last updated: Tuesday, September 20, 2022