Banc d’Arguin National Park, Mauritania

This World Heritage–listed park is an important stopover and breeding ground for multitudes of birds migrating between Europe and southern Africa, and as a result is one of the best birdwatching sites on the entire continent. It extends 200km north from Cape Timiris (155km north of Nouakchott) and 235km south of Nouâdhibou. The ideal way to approach the birds is by traditional fishing boat (UM15,000, plus UM3000 for the guide), best organised from the fishing village of Iwik.

Inside the park there are official campsites (per tent UM3000-6000) that are equipped with traditional tents. Meals can also be ordered. There’s no public transport, so you’ll need to hire a 4WD with a knowledgeable driver, either in Nouakchott or in Nouâdhibou, allowing a couple of days for the trip. Permits are issued either at the entrance gates or in Nouâdhibou at the park office. Both this office and the Nouakchott Parc National du Banc D’arguin headquarters sell a map and guide to the park, including GPS waypoints.

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