"Nouadhibou" Nouadhibou by johnsakura

Nouadhibou Travel Guide: 89 reviews and 153 photos

Nouadhibou its the first city after the border with Moroccan occupied 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.

There is very little to see inside the city of more around 60,000 people, but the nature here is of splendid beauty.
Nouadhibou like many desert cities, is immodestly large, and comes in three parts. The first is the new quarter of Numerowat in the north, with mess of construction sites, fading into shantytown on the north side. 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 tarmac 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.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:People are great to talk with.
  • Cons:lots of garbage everywhere.
  • Last visit to Nouadhibou: Jan 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (81)

Comments (12)

  • roger.bruton's Profile Photo
    Aug 25, 2008 at 8:15 AM

    Interesting place -- have stayed there twice -- both times in a "room". They don't improve. Nice enough people. Chance to meet other travellers and desert guides and change money.

  • Jun 5, 2006 at 11:26 AM

    Excellent Page and travelogues, Joao. The phographs and little stories are great! Thank you so much!

  • euzkadi's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2006 at 10:03 PM

    Excellent page. Pensare un poco mas en visitar Nouadhibou.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2006 at 6:51 PM

    A very captivating tale of your experiences in this OTBP location! The local customs and derelict ships along Cansado Bay were especially interesting. I can see why a spot this isolated might be of interest to certain 'organizations'!

  • canuckmike's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2006 at 11:45 PM

    Excellent page. Brings back memories of Nouadhibou. Apparantly the ship cementary is an insurance scam where people come to sink their ships on pupose to collect insurance money. Saw a drunk muslim get kicked out of that chinese restaurant.

  • Feb 10, 2005 at 8:47 PM

    this is kind of mafia city?! cool! thanks for sharing KuLtUrA

  • Jan 12, 2005 at 2:31 AM

    have apparently had all my 4x4s and trailers Hi Jacked at a camp site in Nuoadhibou (but i am suspect as to the story my drivers have told me) need help to find numbers and contacts in the area to start tracing events

  • Feb 27, 2004 at 7:10 AM

    cool soccer game...

  • SirRichard's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2004 at 2:03 AM

    U made a great page out of this deserted place! Thanx for the train tips! :-))

  • herzog63's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2004 at 1:38 AM

    What an amazing way to travel!! That train sure sounds fun! Cough, cough! haha Your travelouges show the local life wonderfully! Fantastic page!!


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