Mauritania is no doubt a beautiful place to be in Northwest Africa, a known stop for travelers from Europe and an amazing destination spot for tourists as well. For anyone planning a trip to Mauritania, while you expect to have a good time of course, this article will serve as a handy go-to guide for how to enjoy Mauritania on a budget. Travelling does not have to knock the life out of your pocket for it to be fun. By knowing the right things to do, the right services to hire, even something as little as knowing the right food to order can help you achieve your travel dreams within a reasonable budget.
Everyone going to Mauritania goes for different reasons and this may affect the budget plan. For instance, the options for accommodation for a long-term stay will definitely be different from that for a short stay and that can significantly affect the budget. Another thing that will be a factor of budget is the number of people going, i.e. is it an individual stay, a family or group stay. Information about price budgets for long-term stays can be found on numbeo.com which even includes estimated market prices of various items; another helpful site for figuring out your budget.
From the geographical characteristics of Mauritania showcasing an expanse of deserts and beaches to the amazing people, there is no surprise that Mauritania is getting more attention lately even though it had been quite a low-key travel destination in the past. While everyone may be visiting for different reasons, there will be common denominators when considering how to make the most of your trip to Mauritania, which will involve food, transportation, accommodation and of course entertainment.
There is a rumor about Mauritania being expensive but that is not altogether true. There are some services and/or products you want that may cost a bit, but at the same time there are budget-friendly options to see you through your holiday.
Managing your money
You should prepare to be transacting with a lot of cash. This is usually a shocker for new travelers who unknowingly expect to have a lot of cashless transactions. Mauritania’s economy is predominantly a cash economy at the moment therefore offering very few card payment options. Buying things from local stores will require cash and unfortunately there are not many ATM machines either, however there are plenty of options for currency conversion and so all you need to do is have your cash at hand even if you haven’t been able to convert it yet.
There isn’t so much to be said about transportation in Mauritania as the options are not widely spread. Fortune of Africa has analyzed that you can decide to get into Mauritania through the roads or through the airport, whichever option may be more suitable for your budget. Getting in via road is expectedly the cheaper option. However, the option of coming in by road is only available for commutes from neighboring countries and they have their dangers.
When you are already in Mauritania, the options for transportation are via train and buses and cars. The train has a one-way route and is a common way of transportation within Mauritania as it’s coaches can accommodate a large number of people; however, this option may pose a challenge if you do not know your way around. Using the buses and cars is the second option for moving around and they are definitely more comfortable than the trains. The most convenient mode of transportation is by taxi because it allows you to easily access different places that may be off commonly trafficked routes. Some people opt for hitchhiking within the city but the chances of actually getting a vehicle will be lower than when you actually take a bus or taxi, and hitchhiking may not be free either way so why not just use a car? What is great about commuting within the state is the availability of road-side shops that sell interesting souvenirs to take back with you.
Accommodation options in Mauritania are either lodging or renting an apartment. For long-term trips that may last a couple of months, renting an apartment will be a better and cheaper option than lodging in a hotel. However, for shorter stays, a hotel will be perfect. You can get different room sizes and hotels at different locations and you don’t even have to be there before you make a reservation. Trip Advisor has an extensive list of hotels you can find around Mauritania and you can contact them to make reservations.
Eating on a budget
Considering that you may be eating at a lot of restaurants, you should know what to order and when because even some local foods are seasonal. This comes as a shock to many first-timers when they realize that an otherwise cheap food is sold at relatively high prices. Foods like burgers, fries and the likes may come up expensive on the bill if you want to eat it, however stick to local foods and you may save some money. There are of course some local cuisines that are still seasonal and seasonal foods are generally more expensive than going with the year-round food options.
To navigate the cuisine, it is important to know the types of local foods that are available, know what it is made of and know what to expect. You can find good information about the local foods in Mauritania on embassyislamabad.com. Because it is an Islamic state, alcohol is illegal but it is still sold at some bars albeit at a higher cost than what you are used to.
To conclude, as long as you know what to do and which options to pick with services, then it will be easy to stay within budget and still have a fantastic time in Mauritania.
When visiting and having fun, don’t forget the socio-cultural orientation of the people who are predominately Muslims and therefore conservative, so act accordingly.