Best places to visit in Mauritania

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If you're a lover of ancient history and you love visiting ancient cities, then you're in for a ride in Mauritania. Its ancient cities are a monument to the country's rich and glorious past during the times of the Trans-Saharan trade, making Mauritanian cities the relays for the caravans between North Africa and Black Africa or the Sub-Saharan region of Africa.

A tour of the Affolé and Assaba regions is worthwhile. Some interesting archaeological sites include the Koumbi Saleh which used to be the capital of the Ghana Empire and is located just 70 kilometers off Timbedra. Within the distance of Tamchakett is Tagdawst, the ancient capital of a Berber empire. At the end of a desert track in Néma is Oualata, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was, at the time of the Trans-Saharan trade, one of the major caravan entrepots. One can see a fortified medieval town upon a rocky peak. Scholars have been enticed to this place for many centuries since it also boasts of a library with fine collection.

Chinguetti, revered as the 7th Holy City of Islam, was popular among scholars and scientists of the Koran because it was a religious center. It played an important religious and commercial role because it was a stopover for the pilgrims on their way to Mecca, as well as one of the caravan cities. Today, although most of the city of Chinguetti is buried under sand dunes, an 8th-century mosque and most of the city's family libraries containing significant manuscripts may still be visited.

Ouadane was a burgeoning caravan city at the time, made famous by its lush palm plantations, seemingly lost in the middle of the Sahara. It boasts of seven magnificent mosques and large libraries with a very rich collection.

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