Mauritania Travel Information

Last modified: July 25, 2023
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No airport tax is levied on passengers upon embarkation at the airport.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry to Mauritania

As of 10 September 2020, some international flights to and from Mauritania have resumed.

The Mauritanian authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the risk of travellers spreading COVID-19 on arrival in Mauritania.

  • You must take a PCR test 72 hours before arrival and show evidence of the negative test result, with the date of the test clearly labelled. You should not use the NHS testing service to facilitate your travel to another country. You should take a private test.
  • Non-Mauritanian nationals that arrive without a PCR test will not be allowed to enter the country and will be obliged to immediately return to their country of origin.
  • You must wear a face-mask on arrival.
  • You must complete an individual health declaration on arrival.
  • You will undergo a contactless temperature check on arrival. If you have a temperature upon arrival, you must agree to a PCR or rapid antigen test. While waiting for the test result you must self-isolate at you must quarantine at your own expense in a hotel or your place of residence for 14 days.
  • If you are arriving from the UK, South Africa, Brazil, or another country identified as a source of new COVID-19 variants, you must quarantine at your own expense in a hotel or your place of residence for 14 days. You must then take a PCR test in Mauritania, and if this is negative, you can exit quarantine. See the Coronavirus section for more information.

Screening on arrival

You must present evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, which must be taken within 72 hours before your arrival. You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

If you have a temperature upon arrival, you must agree to a PCR or rapid antigen test. While waiting for the test result you must self-isolate at your own expense in a hotel or your place of residence for 14 days.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

You need a visa to enter Mauritania. Visas are issued on arrival. The current cost is €55 (euros) or $60 (US dollars) in cash only. The visa issuing process at the border can take several hours. Visas can no longer be obtained from the Mauritanian Embassy in London.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of three months from the date of entry into Mauritania.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK ETDs are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Mauritania. A valid entry visa would still be required for entry to Mauritania using an ETD.

Safety and security

Political situation

Presidential elections took place on 22 June 2019. Despite initial demonstrations by opposition supporters, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani’s victory was confirmed by the Constitutional Council on 1 July 2019 and internationally recognised. Ghazouani was inaugurated on 1 August 2019, marking the first constitutional transfer of power in Mauritania since independence in 1960. You should avoid political gatherings and demonstrations, and follow the advice of local authorities. Always observe instructions given by the local security forces.

Crime

Crime levels are moderate but steadily increasing. You should avoid the unlit and isolated beach at Nouakchott and ‘Le Cinquième’ district after dark. A number of thefts and violent incidents have been reported there in recent years.

Local travel

Crossing the border into Mauritania can be time-consuming and officials may ask for payments before they allow you to cross. There have been reports that some southern border crossings were closed at the height of the Ebola virus outbreak in Guinea and neighbouring countries. You should check local advice before travelling.

Road travel

The conditions of paved roads in Mauritania are generally poor, and overland travel is difficult. Use four wheel drive vehicles, check the tide times on coastal roads, travel in convoy and make sure you have adequate supplies of water and fuel. Driving standards can also be poor.

You can drive with a valid UK driving licence.

If you’re planning to hire a car, check with your car hire company for information on their requirements before you travel.

Sea travel

Sailing in the port at Nouadhibou can be dangerous because of the number of shallow shipwrecks.

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