- Continental region – North Africa
- Currency symbol of Mauritania –Ouguiya(MRU)
- Capital City – Fort-de-France
- Official languages – French
- Population – 376,480 (2016)
- Country dialling code – (+ 596)
- Official website – Mauritania
- Top 3 biggest industries –Mining, food processing, and metal processing
- Google Maps link –Mauritania
- Where is it? –Mauritania is a country in Northwest Africa in the Western and Northern Hemispheres of the world. It is bordered by four countries. Western Sahara to the north and northwest, Senegal to the southeast, Mali to the southeast and east, and Algeria to the northeast.
Mauritania In Pictures
- How did the country get its first name? – Mauritaniatakes its name from the ancient Berber kingdom and later Roman province of Mauretania, and thus ultimately from the Mauri people, even though the respective territories do not overlap, historical Mauritania being considerably further north than modern Mauritania.
- When and by whom the country was first discovered? – In historical times Mauritania was settled by sub-Saharan peoples and by the Ṣanhājah Imazighen ( Berbers ). The region was the cradle of the Amazigh (singular of Imazighen) Almoravids, a puritanical 11th-century Islamic reform movement that spread an austere form of Islam from the Sahara through to North Africa.
- Who were the first Inhabitants? -The original inhabitants of Mauritania were the Bafour, presumably a Mande ethnic group, connected to the contemporary Arabized minor social group of Imraguen (“fishermen”) on the Atlantic coast. The territory of Mauritania was on the fringe of geographical knowledge of Libya in classical antiquity.
- When it was first recognized as a country? – The Islamic Republic of Mauritania was declared an independent state on November 28, 1960;it became a member of the United Nations in October 1961.
- Who was the first leader of the country? – Mauritania became an independent nation in November 1960. In 1964 President Moktar Ould Daddah, originally installed by the French, formalized Mauritania as a one-party state with a new constitution, setting up an authoritarian presidential regime. Daddah’s own Parti du Peuple Mauritanien (PPM) became the ruling organization in a one-party system.
Five Significant Events
- 1973-01-01: West African Economic Community formed (Benin, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Upper Volta).
- 1973-05-10: Establishment of Frente Polisario in Mauritania.
- 1978-07-10: Bloodless military coup in Mauritania, President Moktar flees.
- 1980-12-17: Mauritania provisional constitution published.
Five Places to Visit in Mauritania
- Banc d’Arguin National Park: is located on the Atlantic coastal line and has massive sand dunes, coastal swamps, tiny islands, and shallow coastal waters. The park offers rich natural biodiversity, with a vast expanse of marshes covered with sea grass beds that provide shelter to more than 2 million limicolous migrant birds. The park is managed under the country’s statute for protected reserves. (https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/506/)
- Terjit Oasisis: Running along a cut on the edge of an arid plateau in Adrar, Mauritania, the Terjit Oasisis one of the most-frequented tourist sites in the country. It stretches a few hundred meters alongside a stream that originates from a rock. Tourists love the oasis for its charm and fresh water. Locals have traditionally used it for religious ceremonies, especially weddings and the coronation of African princes. (https://wildmanlife.com/the-enchanting-terjit-oasis-in-the-sahara-desert/)
- The Chinguetti Mosque: was traditionally used as a center of worship by the founders of the oasis city of Chinguetti in Adrar. It is considered the second-oldest mosque in the Muslim world. The structure includes a prayer room with four aisles, a double-niched symbolic door pointing to Mecca, and an open courtyard. Its most distinctive characteristics are its spare split-stone masonry, centuries-old square tower, and intentional lack of adornment. (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/endangered-site-chinguetti-mauritania-54168194/)
- National Museum of Mauritania: Located southwest of Hotel Mercure Marhaba in Nouakchott, Mauritania, the National Museum of Mauritania is a popular tourist site, housing some of the most notable archaeological and ethnographical collections. The arts center has two galleries that showcase numerous relics, including shards, arrowheads, and traditional costumes. These collections tell of the country’s rich history and traditions. (https://face2faceafrica.com/article/mauritania-tourism/5)
- The Richat Structure: which is commonly referred to as the “Eye of the Sahara,” is a prominent circular feature located in the Sahara region near Ouadane, west-central Mauritania. This structure was initially interpreted as an asteroid impact structure due to its high degree of circularity, but geologists have ruled out this theory, referring to the whole formation as a highly symmetrical and deeply eroded geologic dome. No evidence has been found to suggest shock metamorphism or any hypervelocity extra-terrestrial impact. Studies of its origin are still ongoing. (https://www.esa.int/Applications/Observing_the_Earth/The_Richat_structure_Mauritania)