Western Sahara and Mauritania 1720 , 11 Days

Welcome to an extraordinary 11-day round trip, a symphony of exploration through the enchanting realms of Western Sahara and Mauritania. This voyage is a profound immersion into the mystique of the Sahara Desert and the irresistible allure of untamed landscapes that beckon the intrepid traveler to unravel their secrets.


Itinerary:

Day 1. Arrive Laayoune
Laayoune or El Aaiún is the largest city of Western Sahara, with a population of 280000 in 2023 The city is de facto under Moroccan administration. The modern city is thought to have been founded by the Spanish captain Antonio de Oro in 1938. From 1958, it became the administrative capital of the Spanish Sahara. Hotel Sahara Line or similar. -/-/-

Day 2. Laayoune - Tarfaya - Khnifiss National Park
After breakfast we head to Tarfaya (100 km). During the colonial era, Tarfaya was a Spanish colony known as Villa Bens. It was unified with Morocco in 1958 after the Ifni War, which started one year after the independence of other regions of Morocco. The famous French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944) lived in Tarfaya for two years (1927-1928) before writing his masterpiece The Little Prince that was later translated to more than 300 languages. After lunch we continue to Khnifiss National Park, a pristine natural reserve, an important bird nesting ground. Ruddy shelduck, marbled duck, and Audouin's gull inhabit the lagoon permanently, and a big number of species migrate here in winter. Every year, about 20,000 birds stay in the lagoon area in the winter season. Back to Laayoune for overnight. B/-/-

Day 3. Laayoune - Dakhla
The journey takes a dramatic turn as we hit the road along the coast to the South, embarking on a scenic 6-hour drive to Dakhla. Traverse ever-changing landscapes, feeling the anticipation of new horizons as the vastness of the desert unfolds before us. Hotel Mansour or similar. B/-/-

Day 4. Dakhla Bay - Dragon Island and White Dune
On the edge of the Atlantic, the city of Dakhla is built on the 40 km long peninsula that forms the bay of Rio de Oro. A haven of peace between lagoon and ocean, Dakhla is 400km from the Mauritanian border and the gates of the Western Sahara. The small port was built in the colonial era at the mouth of Oued Eddahab, the river of gold. The city of Dakhla has definitively earned its place as a world class fishing and surfing spot. A half-day boat trip to Dragon Island and the White Dune offers breathtaking views and a chance to connect with nature's wonders, creating memories that linger long after the journey's end. B/-/-

Day 5. Dakhla - Nouadhibou
Our journey continues for another 400 km to the South. After completing border formalities, continue to Nouadhibou, Mauritania’s second city. B/-/-

Day 6. Nouadhibou - Ben Amera monolith - Choum village - Atar
Early morning start of the day driving for about 10 hours through diverse desert landscapes: Ben Amera is Africa's largest monolith, rising 633m above the desert floor. It's the world's second largest monolith only behind Uluru, in Australia. Ben Amera lies 4km north of the train track where the famous Iron Ore Train travels between Nouâdhibou and Choûm. We reach the sleepy town of Atar late in the afternoon for overnight. B/L/D

Day 7. Atar - Africa Eye (Richat structure) - Ouadane
Drive to Ouadane, a staging post in the Trans-Saharan trade for caravans transporting slabs of salt from the mines at Idjil. On the way we make a stop at Richat Structure (Africa eye), eroded geological dome, 40 kilometres (25 mi) in diameter, exposing sedimentary rock in layers that appear as concentric rings.It is one of IUGS Geological Heritage Sites. Ouadane is a fascinating collection of old houses and mosques and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We have time to explore the historic quarter. Overnight in motel. B/L/D

Day 8. Ouadane - Tenewchert oasis - Chinguetti
Drive to Chinguetti (100 km), UNESCO world heritage site. The city was founded in 777, and by the 11th century had become a trading center for a confederation of Berber tribes known as the Sanhadja Confederation. Overnight in motel. B/L/D

Day 9. Chinguetti - Amojjar Pass - Mheirith oasis - White Valley - Terjit Oasis
Our journey today continues heading soutwest through Amojjar Pass in the Adrar Plateau. The pass is an important link for ground transportation in Mauritania because it provides a somewhat protected roadway connecting Mauritania's capital, Nouakchott, with Ouadane and Chinguetti. We reach Terjit in the afternoon - a lush green oasis with hot springs and mountains sandwiched between Mauritánidas. The place looks like something out of "Arabian Nights" with a fantastic pool to swim in and an extensive palm grove area for shade. B/L/D

Day 10. Terjit oasis - Nouakchott
We cover the last 400 km along the main N1 road for about six hours before arriving in the capital Nouakchott, the first major city we will have encountered for a few days. B/L/-

Day 11. Departure
Transfer to the airport for departure. B/-/-


Price Includes:
Airport transfers
9 nights accommodation in mid range hotels and one night in tented camp (day 9) with private facilities
all transport as per itinerary
English-speaking guide
visa invitation
entrance fees
Penguin tour leader at minimum 8 participants

Not Included:
International flights
meals not mentioned above
visa costs
tips
personal expenses


Additional Services:
Supplement per person at 4-5 p.: 250 EUR


Gallery


Western Sahara and Mauritania (Rated 4.86 / 5 Based on 6 Reviews.)
Price
1720 EUR
Duration
11 Days
Single Supplement
260 EUR
Status
Open for booking

Currency fluctuations might cause correction of price at any time.

Group Size
6 - 12
Reservation System Code
Mauritania
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