Riding the Ore Train in Mauritania: A Magical Experience

Riding the Ore Train in Mauritania: A Magical Experience

adventure travel & photography

Destinations: Pakistan ◦◦ India ◦◦Turkey ◦◦ Egypt ◦◦ Bulgaria ◦◦ Mongolia ◦◦ Bangladesh ◦◦ Jordan ◦◦ Russia ◦◦ Turkmenistan ◦◦ Iran ◦◦ Kazakhstan ◦◦ Japan ◦◦ Hong Kong ◦◦ Greece ◦◦ Ukraine ◦◦ Syria ◦◦ Morocco ◦◦ Italy ◦◦ Mauritania ◦◦ Oman ◦◦ Algeria ◦◦ Faroe Islands ◦◦ Indonesia

The story

Have you ever ridden a train across the desert? If not, then you should put it on your bucket list. One of the most unique train rides in the world is the ore train in Mauritania. It's not your typical passenger train, but rather a cargo train that transports iron ore from the mines in the desert to the coast.

The train moves at 40 km/h across the desert, and it's an experience like no other. The views are stunning, and as the light gradually reveals the beauty of the desert, you'll feel as though you're in a dream.

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Our train departed at 8 PM, so we missed the sunset. However, we were rewarded with the most star-studded sky I've ever seen; due to the lack of light pollution, the stars visible to the naked eye were countless.

After conducting some research, we discovered that we were the first Bulgarians to ride this epic train. While being first in something feels good, we did not pay much attention to it.

The image is not for sale
The image is not for sale

We spread mats and tarpaulins over the ore, and it was a sight to see. We looked like astronauts with the thick goggles over our eyes.

The image is not for sale
The image is not for sale

We took photos, selfies, and communicated with the locals from other carriages. When one of them pounded his mat through the wagon, we all envied his optimism.

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With our feet propped up on the rail of the wagon, lying on the ore, we savored every minute of the experience.

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Early in the morning we were rewarded with a beautiful sunrise.

We lit a fire in the wagon and enjoyed coffee and tea. It was an incredible feeling to be surrounded by the vastness of the desert while sipping coffee.

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The ore dust was so fine that it seemed to be everywhere. Even with double socks and scarves covering our heads, our feet and faces were still coated in black dust. We don't think we've ever been dirtier, but it was worth it.

Join us on a unforgettable journey to Mauritania

At the early afternoon on the next day the train arrived in Nouadhibou.

The central train station of Nouadhibou
The central train station of Nouadhibou

We hopped into our car, which was waiting for us, and asked the driver to take us directly to the hotel bathroom. The feeling of cleanliness was indescribable. The bed was soft and perfect, and the restaurant served the tastiest fish in the world.

Riding the ore train in Mauritania was a unique way to see the beauty of the desert. If you are planning to travel to Mauritania, be sure to add this adventure to your itinerary. You won't regret it.

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If you plan to take this train, please write me for more information.

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Riding the ore train

Travel to Mauritania

Join us on a unforgettable journey to Mauritania, one of the most fascinating and captivating countries in West Africa. Our tour will take you through the country's rich history and culture, from the ancient city of Chinguetti, one of the largest and most important centers of learning in the Muslim world, to the bustling capital city of Nouakchott. Along the way, you'll explore the stunning natural beauty of the Sahara desert, with its towering sand dunes and breathtaking landscapes, and learn about the traditional way of life of the country's nomadic tribes. You'll also have the chance to try some of the delicious local cuisine, including dishes made from traditional ingredients like millet, couscous, and camel meat. Whether you're a history buff, an adventure seeker, or just looking for a unique and unforgettable travel experience, our tour of Mauritania is the perfect way to discover all that this amazing country has to offer.

We usually have one or two small groups (max 7/8 participants) per year traveling to Mauritania. If you are interested in joining a group setting out from Europe, please drop me a line. We will provide more information, like dates, a program, and other details.

I organize and lead small groups to Mauritania through my licensed travel agency "Thousand Voyages" Ltd. You can find out more about the guided tours here.