Mauritania and Senegal are two West African neighbors with an incredibly long history of migration and trade. Both countries have a strong cultural heritage. The vast Mauritania deserts and Senegal’s historic cities are both well-known travel destinations with unique travel options. But, do you want to know how to get from Mauritania to Senegal overland?
Traveling by land is more immersive and real than traveling by air. A country’s landscapes, cultures, and people can be seen and experienced in a way that is impossible while traveling by air or sea when you choose to go overland. Overland travel can also be cheaper and offers more freedom in terms of the schedule and route. Getting from Mauritania to Senegal overland will be discussed in this post.
How to get from Mauritania to Senegal overland?
There are a few things you need to have ready before traveling overland from Mauritania to Senegal. Make sure you have your passport and visa, among other essential travel paperwork, first. Make sure to research the prerequisites for obtaining a visa in advance as they differ depending on your nationality. Second, make sure you bring the right materials, equipment, and attire for the trip. Be ready for everything; the trip could take several hours to several days. Third, investigate the many transit alternatives and route options to select the one that best meets your needs and preferences.
When traveling overland from Mauritania to Senegal, there are two border crossings to choose from: Diama and Rosso. Both routes have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on your preference and travel plans.
From Nuakchott you can take a shared car for about $11 USD (use your bargaining skills). The journey to Diama takes about 5 hours. The first part of the road is tarmac. After Kermesseyn the road is a dusty piste, but it rewards with many wild animals to be seen. Nobody will ask for entry fee of the Natural Park.
Here are some tips that might be useful:
- To ensure a smooth border crossing, it is recommended to arrive early as the border opens at 9am and closes at 6pm.
- It is not uncommon for fixers to offer to expedite the border process, but it is unnecessary as the process is relatively straightforward and can be completed within an hour if all goes well.
- Having CFA currency on hand is helpful as it is the only currency accepted on the Senegal side of the border.
- There are several official costs involved in the crossing, including a 2000 ouguiya fee for entry into the national park, a 500 ougiya community tax at the border, a 4000 CFA fee per vehicle for crossing the bridge, and a 2500 CFA fee for the Senegal passavant for two days. It is advisable to obtain a receipt for each payment.
- It is important to note that paying 10 dollars for exit stamps on your passport and passavant is unnecessary. Border officers may try to solicit payment, but simply stating that you have no money should suffice, and they will eventually back down after a few minutes of silence.
You will hear horrible things about this border. And actually, it´s a very difficult border to cross, many people will try to scam you. And the harrasment it´s horrible.
From Nuakchott you can take a bus or a shared car which will take about 3 hours. Once at the border, do not hear anyone asking for your passport or asking for money. Go directly to the green building and look for an immigration officer. They will ask you if you carry any drugs and a photocopy of your passport info page. That´s about it! You don´t need to pay anything to exit Mauritania.
After that, you need to look for a way to cross the river. The ferry runs pretty infrequently, so you might take a pirogue (a small fishing boat). Get stamped out from Mauritania. Some people will try to make you take your own pirogue. Keep in mind that it might be more dangerous to take a boat just for yourself as you never know what the guys come up with. So it´s better to take a shared boat for around 50 ouguiyas to get to Senegal.
Here are some tips that might be useful:
- Despite the fact that everyone will make an effort to strike up a discussion, you should avoid doing so.
- Using the ferry is free for pedestrians.
- You will be bombarded by people on the Senegalese side who will try to sell you a horse ride to the border, even though it is just a few hundred meters away.
- Take a different border crossing if you can.
From the border, your best option is to get to the beautiful city of Saint Louis. Several bus companies operate on this route, including CTN, GIE Dakar Dem Dikk, and others. The journey takes around four to five hours and costs between 2000 to 5000 CFA francs, depending on the bus company and class of service.
Overall, traveling overland from Mauritania to Senegal offers a unique and exciting experience that is not to be missed. By preparing well, crossing the border smoothly, and choosing the right route, you can enjoy a hassle-free journey that will take you through stunning landscapes and introduce you to the vibrant cultures of both Mauritania and Senegal.
Making the overland trip from Mauritania to Senegal is unquestionably worthwhile if you’re seeking for adventure. Even though it may not be the easiest experience, with a little preparation and a spirit of adventure, you may be sure to have a journey to remember and treasure for years to come.
I’m a total Africa enthusiast! I’ve been exploring this amazing continent for years and I can’t get enough of its diverse cultures, stunning landscapes, and incredible wildlife. From hiking through the savannahs to sampling local cuisine, I’m all about immersing myself in everything Africa has to offer. I’m constantly on the lookout for new and exciting experiences, and I love sharing my passion and knowledge with fellow travel lovers. If you’re looking for an adventure like no other, Africa is the place to be, and I’m here to help you make the most of it!