Nouakchott is both the capital and the largest city in Mauritania. It also one of the largest in the Sahara. It is known to be as Mauritania’s administrative and economic center. When Nouakchott was selected as the capital of a Mauritania was initially used to be a small village of little significance until 1958. It was built to accommodate a maximum of 15,000 people but the effects of drought, famine, and increased desertification in the 70s drove many people towards Nouakchott leading to massive urban growth and overcrowding. Nouakchott currently has a population of over one million people. This beautiful city in Mauritania is known as “place of the winds” worldwide. With few amenities to meet the high demands slum areas of the city are under poor conditions.
Nouadhibou is Mauritania’s major commercial center and its second-largest city after the capital. The city has a population of about 73,000 people, all are expanding to over 100,000 in the larger metropolitan area. This major city in Mauritania is located a few kilometers from the border between Mauritania and Western Sahara. Including the city center and the residential area, it is divided into four major parts. Graveyards, markets, and monk seals are some major attractions and tourist point in Nouadhibou. Providing a final resting place for over 300 ships, the port is the world’s largest ship graveyard. While the biggest industry is iron ore but fishing is the primary economic activity in Nouadhibou.
The best city in Mauritania, Néma is located in Southeast Mauritania close to the border with Mali. The urban population of Néma is approximately 60,000 while the surrounding rural area served by the city has a population of almost 150,000 inhabitants. Néma is connected to the capital Nouakchott by the famous Road of Hope. Only ten doctors hospital have in Néma. Including Sante Sud and the Peace Corps are numerous NGOs providing health services in the city. With constant traffic towards the border with Mali, the common means of transport in Néma is by road.
Kaédi is known to be one of the most popular cities to visit in Mauritania and the administrative center for the Gorgol Region of Mauritania. Consisting of various ethnic groups, it is among the most diverse cities in Mauritania. With agriculture as the primary economic activity, it is a center for local farmers. Kaédi is also known as a medical center and market town. The Kaédi Regional Hospital constructed in 1989 has unusual architecture. It is a major tourist attraction. Kaédi was deeply affected by ethnic clashes of 1989 and is yet to recover fully.
Atar is known as the gateway to the Adrar Plateau. It is one of the best cities to visit in Mauritania where travelers come to plan trips out to desert-shrouded medieval caravan towns like the aforementioned Chinguetti. This small city is set very close to the heart of the country as well as close to the border with Western Sahara. Travelers will find here lots of the town earthy bazaars and sprawling crafts markets perfect if they come in search of those traditional Mauritanian trinkets. Tourists across the globe find here welcoming guesthouses and restaurants which makes Atar a great jumping-off point for further travels to wonders like the Richat Structure or the oases of the Sahara nearby.
Kiffa is one of the cities to visit in Mauritania which is set under the shadow of the dramatic Affolle Mountains. These beautiful mountains rise in sheer walls of rock and flat-topped bluffs where the southern reaches of the Sahara crash into the lands of the African Sahel. Some come this an interesting crossroads town way to head out and explore the backcountry towns in the mountains, while most come to seek out the fabled Kiffa beads. Produced using a super-secretive mixture of powdered glass, they are one of the most iconic and recognizable forms of jewelry to come out of the region. And as if that’s not enough, you can also see the impact site of a large meteorite that crashed into the mountains back in 1970 nearby.