What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?
Learn how to ride horses, and ride them on the beach; learn how to dye fabric in a traditional style; drink camel's milk; negotiate prices of arts and crafts. It's all what you make of it. Don't expect night clubs and entertainment parks! - Apr 2019
The beach is the best thing we have here, and it's lovely. The Canary Islands are only 2 hours away by plane, but unfortunately the flights aren't cheap. Morocco is one flight away too. Dakar is a long drive which requires a bit of planning, but Senegal is a nice break from here. Within Mauritania, there are nice beaches up by Nouadhibou, and Chinguetti is a day's drive into the desert. - May 2016
Go to the fish market... during the cooler months... it is beautiful. I had a blast taking pictures there. Sunset in the dunes. Go north to see the monk seals. Go to St. Louis, Senegal (prior planning required) - Dec 2015
There are some cultural sites in the countryside but truthfully, there is very little in the way of tourism or tourist traps in Mauritania. Mauritanians as a whole are very warm and hospitable. They have a great sense of humor and tend to like Americans. Unfortunately, the hardline Islamist minority is making the country less and less attractive to westerners. - Apr 2014
Go to the beach. Go to the pool. Go to the dunes for a traditional Mauritanian tea ceremony. Go to the fish market. Go to the camel market. See the view from the Khaima center (at 10 stories the tallest building in Nouakchott). Driving out of town is difficult due to the security situation and overall desolation of the country. If you want to travel to some of the historic sites like Chinguetti, it's a day's drive from Nouakchott with no rest areas, no restaurants, few gas stations and limited hotel options. You must plan ahead, drive a 4x4 and bring your own water, food and gas just in case. - Aug 2011
Go to the beach, go to the embassy pool. - Dec 2009