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Mauritania: Mauritania Transportation Profile 2012






Mauritania Transportation Profile 2012

Mauritania has a good public transport system with domestic and international airports, road and rail networks between major cities and towns of Mauritania.

There are numerous internal domestic flights between Nouakchott, Nouadhibou, Rosso, Kiffa and other major cities with good domestic network of airports in Mauritania.

There is an extensive domestic flight network operated by the national airline, Air Mauritanie and other Airlines. Mauritania’s Nouakchott International Airport receives ailines from many world destinations and it is the country’s premier airport.

The Mauritania Railway is the national railway of Mauritania. Opened in 1963, it consists of a single, 704-kilometre (437 mi) railway line linking the iron mining centre of Zouerate with the port of Nouadhibou, via Fderik and Choum. The state agency Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière (National Mining and Industrial Company, SNIM) controls the railway line.

Since the closure of the Choum Tunnel, a 5 km section of the railway cuts through the territory of Western Sahara.

Trains on the railway are up to 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) in length,[2] making them among the longest and heaviest in the world. They consist of 3 or 4 diesel-electric EMD locomotives, 200 to 210 cars each carrying up to 84 tons of iron ore, and a variable number of service cars. The total traffic averages 16.6 million tons per year.

Mauritania Railway train at the station in Nouadhibou

Travelers' cars are also occasionally transported by train; these services are managed by an SNIM subsidiary, the ATTM Society (Société d'assainissement, de travaux, de transport et de maintenance). Passenger cars are sometimes attached, but more often passengers simply ride atop the ore cars.

In October 2010, SNIM ordered a batch of six SD70ACS locomotives from EMD, with special modifications for operating in high temperatures;


Mauritania has only about 3000 km (1,600 miles) of surfaced roads, 710 km (441 miles) of unsurfaced roads, and 5,140 km (3,194 miles) of unimproved tracks.

The country's size and harsh climate make road maintenance and repair especially problematic.

Overland travel is difficult and roadside assistance is almost nonexistent. Public transportation is not safe and road conditions in Mauritania are poor, particularly in the interior.[8] Driving in Mauritania can be treacherous, and many Mauritanians drive without regard to traffic signs or rules.Roadway obstructions and hazards caused by drifting sand, animals, and poor roads often plague motorists.

International highways

The linking Tangier to Dakar passes through Mauritania. The Cairo-Dakar Highway in the Trans-African Highway network also passes through Mauritania, and has recently been paved between the capital Nouakchott and the port of Nouadhibou; only a few kilometres remain unpaved at the Moroccan border fr:Transport en Mauritanie. From Dakar there are links throughout western Africa.

The north-western end of the Trans–West African Coastal Highway is considered by ECOWAS to originate in Nouakchott.

Airports - with paved runways Total: 
Airports - with unpaved runways Total: 
Transportation - note: