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joaoleitao Bir Moghrein - A travel report by João
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Bir Moghrein,  Mauritania - flag Mauritania
4371 readers

joaoleitao's travel reports

How to get to Bir Moghrein?? PART 1

  24 votes
Bir Moghrein, lost village in Northern Mauritania on the way of the Polisario Guerrilla going to Tindouf. This is now off the beaten path since authorities closed this desert tracks to foreigners due to the last kidnappings. How to get there? report of the month contest
Nov 2005


People going to Bir Moghrein
People going to Bir Moghrein
Bir Moghrein, Northen Mauritania: Pros: Awesome landscapes, off off the beathen path spot, great local people!! Cons: Desert Pirates, kidnappings, thousands of land mines In A Nutshell: Extreme Extreme! Bir Moghrein is located in the Northern region of Tiris-Zemmour. This village is located 360 meters above sea level and to get there it seems you just passed the Moon. Incredible scenery. Heading north to Bir Moghrein is mainly for experiencing the landscape. The landscape in this region of Mauritania called Ghallamane, is subjugated by many guelbs (crater-like depressions) with very aged rock formations. To get to Bir Moghrein you have to drive north from Zouerat 440km of desert tracks, mountains and black rocks that makes you think you're in another planet. Bir Moghrein is something like a military post and has nothing really to see for the normal tourist. But if you're the normal tourist Mauritania will not be an election country. People are great though, maybe because they are not very used to see tourists. Bir Moghrein is located 600km from Tindouf refugee camp of Polisario Front (which I found on Rich Mountains) and The Sarawi Front for the liberation of Western Sahara. Now and after my passage in 2004, only 2 groups of foreigners have passed. They got this authorization from a local guide that somehow paid-off someone to be able to get them to pass thru. The 2 groups before them (Germans and Dutch) were kidnapped and asked for ransom. How to get to Bir Moghrein? Bir Moghrein is a lost village somewhere in the North of Mauritania. Its was an old military Spanish post and still a fortress can be seen exactly on the virtual border with Mauritania and the unprotected area of the Moroccan Western Sahara.

Favourite spots:
Bir Moghrein, Northen Mauritania
Bir Moghrein, Northen Mauritania
Bir Moghrein is a lost village somewhere in the North of Mauritania. Its was an old military Spanish post and still a fortress can be seen exactly on the virtual border with Mauritania and the unprotected area of the Moroccan Western Sahara. Here I hope I will instruct in all someone needs to know about how to get to Bir Moghrein and possibly make the route to enter Western Sahara. I should always remind that from when I passed there until the present date of Feb 05, at least 2 European groups of travellers were kidnapped and taken hostage and asked for money to the authorities of their native countries. One group was from Germany and the other was from The Nederland. I know also that in the South part of the country, a group of travellers from Qatar were kidnapped and taken from the no mans land between Mauritania and Mali South east part.

What's really great:
Rich Mountains, Northen Mauritania. On the way to Bir Moghrein
Rich Mountains, Northen Mauritania. On the way to Bir Moghrein
This is all very complicated and we shouldn't forget about some people that say that Algeria only gives force to Polisario because they want a piece of the Atlantic? Algeria want Atlantic?! Do they?? I don't want to be turning this text to any political statement, but I'm trying to follow my travellers logic from stuff I hear and see on the road, after visiting Mauritania and Western Sahara 4 times and more than 16 times to Morocco. To get to Bir Moghrein you have to drive north from Zouerat 440km of desert tracks, mountains and black rocks that makes you think you're in another planet. This is the route you should make to get there: Atar - Choum +-120km Choum - Touajil - Fderik - Zouerat +-250km Zouerat - Bir Moghrein +-440km After is the route to Morocco trough Gueltat Zemmour Bir Moghrein - Fortress on the border with Western Sahara +-56km Fortress on the border with Western Sahara - ?Le Mure? +-40km MORE COMMING ONE PART 2!

Sights:
Rich Mountains
Rich Mountains
Rich Mountains located 1 hour away, which in Sahara’s desert standards its not very far at all. These mountains are on the top of the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen. My friends and I encountered some Polisario Front on a small resting zone right on top of the mountain. On top of the mountain there's a small house with 3 compartments, one for the women, another with a small shop and cooking area, and the other free to drink tea and sleep, whatever you desire.
While we were there some polisario front people were painting their 4wd cars plates with a different numbers...

More close to Bir Moghrein you can check the UN free land mine road (only one track), follow the blue painted rocks and don't go out of the tracks they form...

Mountains near Bir Moghrein are amazing...

Accommodations:
Me helping out on the flat tire of the truck.
Me helping out on the flat tire of the truck.
There are no hotels, hostel, camping, bathrooms with showers in Bir Moghrein. Maybe the next shower you'll get will be almost 600km away in Atar.

Locals house:

I stayed in this Mauritanians house and was one of my pleasant things to remember about this country. After we drove 18 hours straight from Zouerat my friends that changed from our car (due to the extreme weight on the small city car on the desert sand and tracks) to a Pick-Up truck full of people and goods to sell, they got to know the people on the truck, which we actually helped on our way when they had a flat tire.

Nightlife:
People going to Bir Moghrein
People going to Bir Moghrein
There are no Clubs. Your night out will be a police man cheking your passport for hours deciding wither to give you the authorization and to write down on your passport pages that you actually got to Bir Moghrein!

Also, if you agree with someone to do something, write it down and make that person sign the deal. after if that person changes the agreement you can go to the police and show the paper. ususaly people change the deals and you say hey i didnt say that and they say,no no, you said, NOW WE GO TO THE POLICE, and because they know you're afraid of the police they know you'll try to solve hte problems.

Hangouts:
Sun set in Bir Moghrein
Sun set in Bir Moghrein
No pubs in Bir Moghrein. The stars at night are amazing. During the day the nearby mountains are gorgeous.
Another pub, SUN SET, SOWN RISING:

I got to notice on my travelings that small things like this are the most apreciated by me and by all. Sun sets exist everywhere. Don't miss this one here.Once on a life time unless you wich to come back to nothern mauritania 600km away from the neares town which doesnt even have electricity. The sky tends to get a different color due to the iron rock formation of the mountains... so expect RED RED RED, PINK YELLOW!

Restaurants:
Inside our
Inside our "new" friend's house in Bir Moghrein.
hum... no restaurants... and you will miss them! Making 20 hours driving in the desert will make you dream about a decent meal. About water...oh yes about this one specialy. We went out of water for many hours...

Other recommendations:
Polisario camping in the desert.
Polisario camping in the desert.
You'll find lots of polisario or sarawi people along this route. Remember this is the passage way to get to Tindouf 600km north in Algeria.

Published on Monday November 14th, 2005


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Fri, Aug 03 2007 - 04:04 PM rating by adampl

Very useful. Down-to-earth. Inspiring. One of the best I have ever read on Globo. Thanks!

Wed, Dec 14 2005 - 08:17 AM rating by marianne

I enjoyed reading this very much, excellent information. I gave **** because the paragraphs are very long and make reading slightly difficult. Maybe you can insert blank lines.

Marianne

Sun, Nov 20 2005 - 01:22 AM rating by jorgesanchez

Perfect!

Fri, Nov 18 2005 - 02:22 PM rating by magsalex

Fascinating - doesn't sound like the regular tourist spots!!!

Tue, Nov 15 2005 - 10:45 AM rating by gloriajames

hiya Joao
another exciting adventure report... now what will u bring us next?
well done,
gj

Mon, Nov 14 2005 - 07:20 PM rating by isaacmolina

Joao, this report is simply....MARAVILLOSO!!!
Reading you I remeber el aventurero portugues Fernao Mendes Pinto y su libro PEREGRINAÇAO!
Por favor, escribe más reports tan excelentes como este!

Mon, Nov 14 2005 - 06:53 PM rating by rangutan

My hat off to an increadible achievement! The report is rivetting with new information of a destination some of us are scared of... brilliant pictures too. I wish i could write in german as well as you do in english!!!

Mon, Nov 14 2005 - 06:19 PM rating by eirekay

Simply Amazing!

Mon, Nov 14 2005 - 06:06 PM rating by alfonsovasco

Good second report.

Mon, Nov 14 2005 - 03:14 PM rating by toribio

I LIKE A LOT.
COMPRENDES ESPAÑOL? YO HABLO PORTUÑOL!
ESTA CRONICA ES MUY BUENA. ERES UN AVENTURERO Y TUS FOTOS SON DE CATEGORIA SUPERIOR. OBRIGADO!

Mon, Nov 14 2005 - 11:39 AM rating by jesusferro

Perfeito!

Mon, Nov 14 2005 - 10:08 AM rating by etelka610

You seem to get to some very unusual places! thanks for this report it sounds amazing!

Mon, Nov 14 2005 - 08:36 AM rating by horourke

Very detailed and interesting

Mon, Nov 14 2005 - 07:06 AM rating by miguelmarchi

Fantastic!!!
I enjoy reading these adventure reports!

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