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Earth > Africa > Mauritania > Nouakchott
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<map lat="18.10033" lng="-15.94975" zoom="11" view="0" float="right" />

Nouakchott is the capital of Mauritania. Also it is the country's transportation hub - the main roads between Rosso, Nouadhibou, Atar and Nema all converge here. There are way to many honking taxis and their drivers still offering rides. It can get really annoying after some time. But stay open-minded, there are some nice people who really want to help.

Hitchhiking out

North towards Nouadhibou, Morocco

Get to the police checkpoint a few kilometers outside of town - you can even hitchhike there as there is a lot of lorries going to just after the checkpoint. Zenit was treated very well by the police there in March 2011, even though they told him he couldn't hitchhike there and they would find a lift for him (which they did).

North towards Atar

Get to the end of town near the airstrip and walk a little bit until you come to a place where there's not so many houses near the road; from here you should be able to hitchhike out to police checkpoint.

East towards Kiffa, Ayoun el-Atrous, Nema, Mali

Again the best is to get behind the city to the police checkpoint.

South towards Rosso, Senegal

The best spot close to the city center is probably the Carrefour Madrid, where you could find a truck to at least the first police checkpoint out of town, but there is a lot of local traffic, most of which are taxis, and it is generally very crowded, so you might find it hard to attract the attention of drivers amongst the masses.

If you dont mind paying a little, getting a shared taxi to outside noaukchott and a good hitchspot is quite easy as of jan 2024.

Instead of having bus stops, noakchott have taxi stations called "pekas" along the main road between which taxis ply. These are marked quite clearly on Google maps, e.g. pk 10, pk 14 etc. The last one, pk15, is right outside noakchott at 17.952769,-15.974506 and is a good spot to hitch from.

You can get a shared taxi to pk15 for around 50ug. Here's how:

If you are in Central noakchott, near auberge le triskell, the American embassy etc, walk to a main road heading south, flag down a taxi (beat up small car, usually yellow and crammed with people) and ask for arribus (pronounced arryboos). This is the central shared taxi station. The fares are well know and usually 10 or 20 ug ($0.25 -$0.50). Look at the coins the other people hand over and pay the same.

Once at arribus, there will be a load of taxi drivers milling around and yelling peka peka peka at everyone. The further south out of Nouakchott you go the bigger the peka number, pk7 (a cemetery) is halfway to the outside of noakchott. Pk 15 is the furthest.

Ask the peka yelling taxi drivers "quelle peka". They will probably reply peka huit (8), or peka onze (11) etc. try and get in the one going to the biggest number possible. Other passengers will show up, the beggar kids will try and guilt trip you, then once full the car will leave for the peka. Once there, find another taxi heading to the next peka (the further the better) until you reach pk15 outside Nouakchott, or feel confident hitching.

Clarify the price to avoid scams or observe what coins the other passengers pay, what they get back, and pay the same, but the price is usually 10 or 20ug, maybe 30 if its really long. In 2024 these shared taxi drivers seemed pretty honest and uncorrupted by tourists, unlike the grifting other taxi drivers in the rest of Nouakchott. When I initially offered 30, but after seeing all the others pay 10, handed over 20, the taxi driver gave me 10 in change!

At the end of that chaotic mess you will be outside noakchott in the desert having only spent a euro, and ready to hitchike south to rosso.

If by this point you're fed up and just want a bus, the shared taxi to the border leaves in the morning, rosso was 400ug ($5) diama was 800 ($10), + the national park scam of 200 ug.


Nouakchott is not a good place to be stranded in at night if you don't have money to pay for a camping spot in any of the auberges or manage to convince them to let you camp there for free... the church used to let people camp in their patio but don't anymore, and the beach is not very safe. The best strategy would probably be to ask at one of the police checkpoints just out of town if you might be allowed to crash out there for just one night.

Auberge Africa escale was in an ok location, camping in your tent was 200ug, a AC room is 1000. It was a little basic, filled with mosquitos and and didn't have many western travellers. Auberge le triskell is much better for meeting other westerners and felt quite social. A rooftop berber tent with matrasses was 700ug

Nouakchott also has a very healthy couchsurfing community who all seem to know each other and it's quite easy to find a host there. Couchsurfing works very well.

Nomadwiki & Trashwiki

Check Nomadwiki for info on accommodation, showers etc. or Trashwiki for dumpsters...and share your wisdom :)