I plan to drive my Seat from Ghent to Nouadhibou via Tangier and to sell it there. Timing will be the first two weeks of January. I'm preparing, and in search of practical information.

  1. Anybody know where I can find information on convoys going that direction?
  2. Is it possible to come back by boat or do I have to fly? Nouakchott is feasible but I like boat trips.
  3. How safe is the N1 road from Tangier to Nouadhibou? It seems like quite okay on the comments I have read so far, but many of them are dated from several years ago.
  4. Is the Iron Ore train still feasible? I'd love to go to Chinguetti, and from there to Choum, after having sold the car.

And last point: anyone with some technical skills interested to join me on this road trip? Might be helpful, Mauritania is not that keen on single women.

  • Probably not a good idea. Western Sahara is disputed territory. See travel.gc.ca/destinations/morocco and gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/western-sahara . It's also a grueling 50 hours of raw driving (and lots of gas) So unless you think you can get a HUGE amount of money for your Seat, it's hardly worth it
    – Hilmar
    Oct 9, 2018 at 13:46
  • 1
    Requests for travel partners are certainly off-topic, here. Oct 9, 2018 at 13:57
  • If you use the "Contact" link at the bottom of the page, you can get the site admins to merge your "ChrisM" and "Chris Monten" accounts, so you'll be able to directly edit your question (rather than submit edit suggestions that might get declined) and also post comments under it and under any answers. Oct 9, 2018 at 13:58
  • Are you sure you can just sell the car? I'd expect it to be entered in your passport with an expectation you export it. Sep 24, 2019 at 23:58

1 Answer 1


Since the question is a year old so will probably not be usefull for the OP, but the thoughts and specific information about the last portion of the journey may be of interest to others.

Your idea on getting information on possible Convoys should be priority Number 1.

Based only on the collected information about Mauritania, travelling outside a convoy would not be advised.

Arrangements must be made on how the used car is to be dispose of beforhand.

Based on the UK travel advice, the border procedures alone can take hours.
Add to that the Customs procedures for importing a car to be sold with any needed negotiations in one of the official languages (Arabic and French) may make this an impossible task without any prearrangements.

Using the car with on any trip on the Iron Ore train might be a good idea, even if you get off at Choum. Getting back to Morocco (through the West Sahara) doesn't seem possible and if, risky since it is a disputed area.


Entry requirements - Mauritania travel advice - GOV.UK

You need a visa to enter Mauritania. This is obtained on arrival. The current cost is €55 (euros) or $60 (US dollars) in cash only. The visa issuing process at the border can take several hours. Visas can no longer be obtained from the Mauritanian Embassy in London.

Regulations and customs in Mauritania : Customs

  • from Groupe Société Générale (not an official Mauritania Customs source)

Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports 20%, Mauritania remains a country with high custom duty tariffs in comparison with its neighbors.
The evaluation of the value of products is based on transactional value, except for used cars, where the minimal importation value continues to be used.

What this actually means is a good question.
Assume either the going rate of buying such a car inside Mauritania or a satisfactory bribe.

Iron Ore train

Mauritania Railway – Choum, Mauritania - Atlas Obscura

  • no date given in the blog article

on its journey across the Sahara Desert from Nouadhibou, on the coast, to Zouérat, an iron mine in the center of Mauritania.
But iron isn’t the only thing this beast of a train typically carries. Additional passenger carriages can be attached to the train, but most often, passengers sit on top of the ore. The train can carry road vehicles as well, and if you are self-driving, you have to make arrangements for your vehicle to tag along for the ride. Once your vehicle is on the train, you can decide to travel inside it, on top of the ore, or a combination of the two.
Hitchhiking on this train and sitting atop a bed of iron ore is not an easy ride, but it can be the train ride of a lifetime. The train runs through one of the harshest environments on earth. It’s sun-scorched during the day and bitterly cold at night, and you’d better prepare for both, as there is no shelter on the train, unless you brought your own vehicle to hunker down in. If you’re wondering about toilets, the answer is no: there aren’t any. There is also no way to stock up on your food supplies.
Only passengers with their own vehicle usually go all the way to Zouérat, as apart from the iron ore, there is little else there. Most people hop off (or get on) at Choum,

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