Trans-Saharan: from Western Sahara to Senegal – Stage 2


The second stage of the Trans-Saharan journey is an exhilarating expedition through captivating Mauritania and Senegal, spanning from Dakhla in Western Sahara to Dakar in Senegal.

Our voyage between Mauritania and Senegal promises an extraordinary experience of discovery, adventure, and immersion in African culture. Traversing desert landscapes, historic sites, national parks, and charming coastal cities, this adventure is designed to leave an indelible mark on travelers’ hearts.

Starting from the capital of Mauritania, Nouakchott, one can explore sandy beaches, vibrant markets, and museums narrating the country’s history. Heading south, Senegal’s Djoudj National Park provides an opportunity to marvel at an extraordinary variety of migratory birds and cruise along the Senegal River to enjoy the spectacle of wildlife.

The historic city of Saint Louis, with its colonial architecture and picturesque streets, offers a plunge into the past and a chance to discover Senegalese culture and music. Continuing south, we reach Lac Retba, known as the Pink Lake—a natural jewel where the high salt concentration allows floating and offers a surreal atmosphere.

Finally, Dakar, the lively capital of Senegal, awaits. Here, one can immerse in the local art scene and savor delicious Senegalese cuisine. Dakar is a vibrant city, rich in culture and life, captivating visitors with its animation and authenticity.

This joint journey through Mauritania and Senegal provides a comprehensive experience, uncovering the beauty of nature, cultural richness, and the fascinating history of both countries. It’s a unique opportunity to explore the diversity of landscapes and traditions that this region has to offer, leaving an indelible mark in the memories of adventurous travelers.

Discover the details of this journey: the Trans-Saharan Expedition through Mauritania and Senegal.

From Western Sahara to Fascinating Mauritania

The second leg kicks off from the stunning beaches of Dakhla as we bid farewell to Western Sahara and enter Mauritania, a country rich in culture, traditions, and natural beauty that captivates visitors.

Mauritania offers a series of places to explore, and we embark on an exciting itinerary that includes some of the country’s most interesting stops.

At the Border with Mauritania

After spending time in Dakhla, we head toward the Mauritania border, a region with unique features. Here, the border is marked by a desert landscape, captivating with sand dunes stretching to the horizon. It’s an ideal spot for passionate photographers to capture breathtaking images of the desert and its ever-changing colors at sunset.

The Encounter of Desert and Ocean: Nouadhibou

Our next stop is Nouadhibou, a port city that offers a fascinating blend of African culture and French influences. Nouadhibou is renowned for its pristine beaches and serves as a starting point for exploring the islands of Arguin. Nature enthusiasts will be captivated by the beauty of these islands, hosting a variety of marine species and migratory birds.

Akjoujt and the Copper Mines

Continuing our journey, we reach Akjoujt, a small mining town nestled in the heart of Mauritania. Here, you can visit the copper mine, a significant source of wealth for the region. Exploring this town provides insight into the history and impact of the mining industry on Mauritania.

Off the Beaten Path in Erg Amatlich

Next, we head to Erg Amatlich, a vast expanse of sand dunes stretching for kilometers. This is an ideal location for adventure and desert enthusiasts. We explore the desert off-road and simply enjoy the surreal beauty of the landscape. Erg Amatlich also offers the opportunity to experience nomadic life and learn from the local communities inhabiting this inhospitable region.

Chinguetti and Its Historical Heritage

We reach Chinguetti, a historic town designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Considered one of the ancient cities of the Sahara, Chinguetti exudes a charming atmosphere with its narrow streets, labyrinths of stone houses, and ancient manuscripts. We explore traditional libraries, historic mosques, and immerse ourselves in the rich cultural history of this fascinating city.

Discovering the Hidden Gems of Mauritania

Our journey in Mauritania continues, a land rich in adventures and natural beauty, with fascinating stops that deserve exploration.

Ouadane Settlement

Ouadane, a historic city nestled in the Sahara Desert, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for its rich history and traditional architecture. Once a crucial caravan trade hub, the narrow winding streets, ancient mud houses, and historic mosques make Ouadane a must-visit. The city is also an ideal starting point to explore the spectacular rock formations of the Adrar Massif and discover prehistoric rock engravings.

Fort Saganne: A Fortress in the Desert

Our next stop takes us to Fort Saganne, a majestic fortress situated in the sand desert between Ouadane and Chinguetti. Built by the French in the 19th century and inspired by Louis Gardel’s novel “Fort Saganne,” the fort now offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding desert—a captivating place to immerse oneself in the history and atmosphere of a bygone era.

Agrour Archaeological Site

Continuing our journey, we reach Agrour, a charming oasis nestled in the desert, concealing prehistoric rock paintings. Surrounded by sand dunes, palms, and lush vegetation, Agrour showcases the natural beauty of its surroundings. Explore the prehistoric rock art and relax by the thermal water pools—an oasis of tranquility in the midst of the desert.

Atar Market

Next, we head to the Atar market, a vibrant and colorful destination offering a wide range of local products and traditional crafts. From spices to fabrics, jewelry to unique artworks, the market is a lively place to immerse yourself in local culture, shop, and interact with friendly vendors.

Terjit Oasis

Our journey takes us to Terjit, a wonderfully lush oasis hidden in the heart of the desert. Famous for its spectacular waterfalls cascading into natural pools, surrounded by palms and lush vegetation, Terjit is an ideal place to relax, swim, and enjoy a rejuvenating break.

Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania

Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, is a vibrant and dynamic city, a crossroads of cultures and traditions.

Explore the lively market of Nouakchott, where the colors and scents of local spices will enchant you.

The National Museum, housing a collection of art and cultural artifacts illustrating the country’s history, is a must-visit. Nouakchott is also famous for its sandy beaches, where you can relax and enjoy the sun.

The Wonders of Senegal

Senegal, on the west coast of Africa, has much to offer: from historic cities to breathtaking beaches, you’ll be captivated by the variety of experiences these places provide.

Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary

Bid farewell to Mauritania as we head to Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, a paradise for bird enthusiasts. Located in Senegal, this park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Africa’s major wetland areas.

Here, you can admire thousands of migratory birds from Europe and Asia, including pink flamingos, pelicans, ibises, and many other species.

A river cruise along the Senegal River within the park offers a spectacular view of the local fauna and flora.

The Colonial City of Saint Louis

Our next stop takes us to Saint Louis, a historical and cultural city in Senegal.

Saint Louis was the country’s capital during the colonial period and still preserves the atmosphere of a bygone era.

Stroll through the picturesque streets of the old town, admire colonial buildings, and visit the famous Faidherbe Bridge, an iconic structure connecting the city to Saint Louis Island—activities not to be missed.

The city is also known for its annual jazz festival, attracting musicians and enthusiasts from around the world.

Lac Retba: The Pink Lake of Senegal

Continuing our journey, we reach Lac Retba, also known as the Pink Lake.

Located just a few kilometers from Dakar, this saltwater lake is famous for its intense pink color, attributed to the presence of algae and bacteria.

Lac Retba offers a unique and picturesque landscape, and you can witness salt extraction activities, a major economic activity in the region.

Taking a swim in the lake allows you to experience its high salt density, enabling effortless floating.

Dakar, the Capital of Senegal

Finally, our last destination of the second leg brings us to Dakar, the capital of Senegal and a significant cultural and artistic hub.

Dakar boasts a lively music scene, fascinating museums like the Musée des Civilisations Noires, vibrant markets, and rich cuisine.

We visit the Grand Mosque of Dakar, Gorée Island, once a center for the slave trade, the Independence Monument celebrating the country’s history, and the Dakar-Bamako railway station, fully restored and a great example of colonial architecture.

Dakar is also renowned for its annual contemporary art festival, the Dakar Biennale, attracting artists from across the continent.

Inquire about details or a quote for this journey: the Trans-Saharan Adventure exploring Mauritania and Senegal.