Riding the Iron Ore Train in Mauritania is indeed a memorable and joyful experience for many tourists. Especially the journey from coast into heart of Mauritania Sahara is amazing and adventurous/ however, there are certain things that tourists while packing their bags for the trip should take care of. Some of which include:
- Time: the time at which train leaves the station. It usually leaves around 2 pm from a train station located outside of Nouadhibou, however the schedule can change too.
- Tickets: If somebody is travelling in a passenger car, they need to purchase a ticket from inside the station. The tickets should be purchase prior to travelling because they sometimes quickly sell out.
- Documents: while visiting, multiple copies of Fiches for Mauritania should be carried.
- Departure: when the train reaches, simply jump into back of any of the cars. Though one needs to climb in, there is a ladder too. An attempt should be made to select a car near passenger car as this is where anybody would want to be as they get out in the Choum town.
- Distance: the train journey requires around 14 to 16 hours reaching Choum.
- Arrival: when the passengers dismount in Choum they will see at least 1 truck that goes to Atar. It is suggested to pay some extra amount to get a set inside truck because the ride in back of truck is uncomfortable.
Things To Bring
- A Headscarf: those who are travelling, will surely need a headscarf. The iron ore is not too bad, but dust from desert areas will be a problem if one does not have a scarf because small particles stick to hair magnetically.
- Snacks: the local people usually bring bread and tea with them into the car. At a certain time while travelling, they eat as groups. They do invite everybody to join in but it will look a little odd if somebody who doesn’t have anything to offer in return joins them in eating their snacks. So it is a good idea to carry some snacks along.
- Water: do not assume that 1 litre water will be enough for the travel. While travelling on this route, at least 2 litre water per person should be carried along. Though there are some places in the way where water bottles are available, but their quality cannot be guaranteed.
- Sunscreen Lotion: though it is only a matter of first few hours of sun exposure, but the scorching sun of Sahara will quickly burn if somebody is not careful or not wearing a sunscreen lotion.
- Light: the train is dark. In fact, besides the moon light and stars shining on the way, it is black. So, it is advisable to bring some sort of emergency light or pocket torch along.
- Jacket: not needed if it is a summer trip. But if somebody is travelling in winters, carrying jackets along is a must as night times become quite chilly.
- Mat: though it is possible to survive without a sleeping mat but if somebody can take it along, they will definitely enjoy their time laying in back of iron ore train beneath the shining stars through the journey.
Though it is always a good idea to research the place thoroughly before visiting, some of the above given tips can be quite useful for those looking for advice.