Transport and infrastructure in Mauritania

Our listing of the primary types of transport compares the infrastructure of Mauritania with the average of all countries in Africa. The traffic routes have noticeable defects in many places and are often not in particularly good condition.

In terms of the length of its rail network, Mauritania ranks 71st in the world with 0.16 meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 728 kilometers long.

The waterways listed refer to inland traffic on rivers and canals. The number of ports includes those located on the 754 km of coastline. In 2019, about 84,457.99 freight containers were transported.

Airports in Mauritania

Back to overview: Mauritania

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 12,253 km. For each of the country's 4.61 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 2.66 meters. This puts Mauritania in 153rd place in the global ranking. However, it is also important to note that the country's population density is very low at around 4 inhabitants per km². In this case, disproportionately long distances generally have to be covered to reach the more remote parts of the country.

With an average of 1073 traffic fatalities per year (2013 - 2019), road traffic in Mauritania is considered quite dangerous. This corresponds to 25.6 accident fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 12.3 in the USA and 17.0 worldwide.

In Mauritania, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road, i.e. people drive in the right-hand lane and overtake on the left. Oncoming traffic comes toward you on the left side. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.



 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways12,300 km2,655.05 km11.89 m
Railroads700 km157.75 km0.71 m
Waterways1,086 km235.32 km1.05 m
Commercial harbors51.080.000


 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways2,997,800 km2,151.40 km98.86 m
Railroads88,600 km63.57 km2.92 m
Waterways68,400 km49.09 km2.26 m
Commercial harbors7,9055.670.000

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
Mauritania: AirportsLargest airports and airlines in MauritaniaThe 2 biggest airports and in Mauritania with further information and data (Nouakchott–Oumtounsy Int'l. and Nouadhibou Int'l.)
Mauritania: ClimateClimate details in MauritaniaA climate analysis for Mauritania incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, water temperature, rainfalls
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing