Mauritania Travel Information
Since Mauritania is an Islamic state, governed by Islamic law, visitors should at all times be respectful of the social mores that have been entrenched in the country by the teachings of the Koran. Visitors are encouraged particularly to be observant during the month of Ramadan, when eating, smoking or drinking in public is severely frowned upon. Conservative dress (covering the arms and legs) and reserved public behaviour are the norms, especially for women. Be sure to remove your shoes before entering people's homes and mosques. Note that Mauritania is a dry country, and although there are restaurants that will sell alcohol to foreigners, drinking with locals is strictly prohibited. Note also that it is considered taboo for women to lie on their backs, and for men to lie on their stomachs, in public places. Public displays of affection are totally out of the question: in Mauritania, not even married couples are allowed to hold hands in public. It is also worth bearing in mind that Mauritanians are extremely direct communicators, and may eschew normal pleasantries such as "Please" and "Thank-you." Finally, it is considered extremely rude to ignore people who greet you in public places.
Those travelling to Mauritania over the age of 18 may import the following goods duty-free: 200 cigarettes/25 cigars/450g of tobacco, 50ml of perfume and 250ml eau de toilette. Alcohol is prohibited, and firearms require an import and gun license prior to arrival.
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