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Mauritania Travel Advisory

Reconsider travel to Mauritania due to COVID-19.  Exercise increased caution in Mauritania due to crime and terrorism.  Some areas have increased risk.  Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.     

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Mauritania due to COVID-19.    

Mauritania has lifted stay at home orders, and resumed some transportation options and business operations.  Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Mauritania.  

Do Not Travel To:

  • Areas designated as off limits by the Mauritanian military due to crime and terrorism.

Country Summary: Violent crimes, such as mugging, armed robbery, and assault, are common. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious crimes.

Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting places frequented by Westerners.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Mauritania as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel outside Nouakchott. U.S. government employees may travel only during daylight hours and are prohibited from walking alone outside of designated areas and times.

Read the Country Information page.

If you decide to travel to Mauritania:

  • See the U.S. Embassy’s webpage regarding COVID-19.
  • Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Always carry a copy of your U.S. passport and visa (if applicable). Keep original documents in a secure location. 
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Mauritania.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Areas Designated Off-Limits by the Mauritanian Military – Do Not Travel

The government of Mauritania designates certain areas off-limits to foreigners and most Mauritanians. These “No Movement Zones” are extremely dangerous due to their proximity to Mali, where armed groups engaged in an active insurgency carry out cross-border attacks into Mauritania. The government of Mauritania does not maintain a substantial presence in these areas and thus police are unable to respond to most incidents there. In addition, cell phone coverage and paved roads are nonexistent. U.S. officials are unable to travel to these places. Since the boundaries of such areas frequently change, U.S. citizens should pay attention to all posted signs and notices of restricted entry. They should presume the following areas are off-limits:

  • All areas north of the Tropic of Cancer
  • All areas east of 08⁰ longitude (West of Greenwich) situated within 100km of the Mali Border

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.