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Walata in 10 days - Walata basic.
  
  If we only have ten days in which to see Walata and we want to make the most of our trip we can take the tourist route known as Walata Basic.

Our tour of fascinating Mauritania begins when we get to Nouakchott, the country's capital. From here we take the Trans-Mauritanian Highway, also known as the Road of Hope. The first few kilometres of this road cross great dunes which leave central passages in which there are towns. Our first stop is Boutilimit (154 km from NKTT). Built in mud, this is one of the country's most traditional towns with a very interesting market. During the morning we shall visit the library and the Town Hall. We go on our way, stopping to eat at Aleg (108 km.). After lunch, we follow the Road of Hope until we take the the new road to Tidjikja. When night falls we pitch camp on dunes near Moudjeria.

On the third day, we continue our route until we reach Tidjikja at midday. The town was founded in 1680 by the 'Idawali' Moorish tribe and has very special architecture with geometrical paintings and gargoyles. We spend the whole day visiting the town and enjoying its natural landscapes.

We resume our journey and on the fourth day get back onto the Trans-Mauritanian Highway. We stop to eat in Djouk. This is the entrance to the central escarpments of Tagant and an oasis inhabited by a small population of monkeys and crocodiles. A quiet day spent visiting the surrounding area.

Our fifth day in Mauritania will be a long day on the road (about 700 km) as far as Nema, where the made-up road comes to an end. From here on we leave the Road of Hope behind us and all there is are unmade-up roads until we get to Walata (a distance of about 100 km, though it takes around three and a half hours to cover). Walata, one of Mauritania's four oldest cities, has a city centre that has been declared World Heritage by UNESCO. For centuries it was a focal point for trans-Saharan trade caravans. It formed part of the Empire of Ghana and built up a cultural legacy of an impressive size and importance. The local architecture is unique and the mural decoration and local crafts are examples of the particular nature of certain Walata traditions. We spend the night in a guest house or camping site.

We are now in Walata on the sixth day of our trip and every corner of the city is an invitation to us to explore. Places appear before us that are filled with history, and we have the chance to visit the Walata Museum, the Library of Manuscripts and the traditional homes in the old part of the city, without forgetting the Mosque, an example of the red adobe architecture. It is a good idea to set aside the night time for sitting under the stars listening to the region's history and its magic legends.

But our visit to Walata must not be limited to the city itself. A few kilometres away we find such suggestive spots as the 'sebkha' (salt flat) of Tagouraret, the village of Shuergde or the rock paintings and carvings of Tuecritt

We still have two days left before we leave Walata, so there is still time to marvel at the sunrise and sunset in El Dhar and to cross the dunes of the Walata Oued (ancient river bed) as far as the traditional wells and the fort. Our last night in this wonderful city will be spent watching a performance of traditional dances. This will put a marvellous final touch to our stay in Walata before we leave for Nema to catch the plane to Nouakchott and from there to our final destination.

  Arrival and departure via Nema airport.
  1. Nema-Walata. Shopping in the market at Nema. Lunch. Visit to the sacred mountain of Tiguiguil. Walata: evening meal and presentation of available programmes.
  2. Morning: Guided tour of the city. Afternoon: Museum, Fatimti's house, sunset from the she-camel garden returning via the mud torrent.
  3. Morning: French cemetery with the grave of Bonnel de Mézières. Clay mines, cooperative farmland and its ecological protection. Excavation at Birú. Soninké and Mehadjib cemeteries. Devil's house, etc. Afternoon: optional, guided tours and interior of houses. Evening, story and legends.
  4. Visit to the Neolithic kingdom of Shuergda (optional, south settlement, 4 Km on foot or camel-back). Rock paintings and carvings at Tuecritt. Return to Walata or bivouac.

    Pinturas y grabados rupestres de Tuecritt.   Pinturas y grabados rupestres de Tuecritt.
    Rock paintings and carvings at Tuecritt.
  5. Salt pans and neolithic remains at Tagurarrett (in winter there are Tuareg who extract salt and transport it to Mali on caravans).

    Afternoon: Arts and crafts and manuscript library.
    Evening: traditional games.

    Variations on the 4th day: In the morning, ruins at Tizeghtt and Bir Nazar well, or ruins at Tizeghtt (5km) by camel.

    Caravanas de sal
    Salt caravans

  6. Morning: Mausoleum of El Bekai, mountain Walata with sunrise, animal traps and sentry houses, crossing of dunes to Wed Walata with breakfast at the great acacia and return via traditional wells and the fort. Free afternoon. Evening: traditional dances.

    Antiguas trampas para cazar leones y panteras
    Ancient traps for lions and panthers.

  7. Afternoon: departure towards Buagzama or Aguinit oasis. Accommodation in 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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