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  The area's privileged location means that since the most ancient times it has been considered the hub of an area of transit for the nearby Arab, Berber and black African cultures.

The Islamic Republic of Mauritania has a surface area of 1,030,700 square kilometres (about twice the size of Spain) and a population of about 3,000,000 people. Most of its sparse population is concentrated in the south and along the coast, in cities like Nouackchott, Nouadhibu, Kiffa and Rosso. The region in question has a very harsh climate, typical of mainly desert regions. Anyone visiting the country will find high temperatures, little rainfall and strong winds that carry large quantities of sand.

The city of Walata is in the south-eastern region of Mauritania, the wilaya of Hadh el Chargi, about 1,200 kilometres from the capital, Nouackchott, and 400 kilometres from the legendary city of Timbuktu in Mali.

This area is practically the beginning of the Great Western Erg, one of the most desolate areas of the Sahara Desert. Unsurprisingly, then, Walata is known as the Gateway to the Desert.

Walata is one of Mauritania's four ancient cities. It is located between the Sahara and the Sahel, in the El Hawd region, in the country's easternmost province. This geographical location has over the centuries made it a meeting place for cultures that have given it its particular character.

The history of this region is lost in the mists of time. It was the setting for the legendary kingdom of Ghana and for the caravan routes that crossed the desert, and became part of Mauritania in 1945. Before us, El Hawd stretches away like an immense esplanade divided into two administrative provinces: Hawd al-Garbi and Hawd as-Sarki, whose capital is Nema.


If you would like more information before travelling to Walata, write to us
Project undertaken by: With the collaboration of:
  FNSAV Fundació Solidaritat UB              
With the support of:
Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional
Generalitat de Catalunya                                  Ajuntament de Sant Feliu de Llobregat
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Esta obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons.