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ClickAfrique - 10 Random Facts about Mauritania

Last Updated: 11/30/2006 12:41:38 AM

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28th of November, 2006 is Mauritania's 46th year of independence from France and ClickAfrique presents ten random facts about Mauritania.....

Mauritanian Flag
Mauritanian Flag

1. The highest point above land in Mauritania is Mount Ijill at 3,002 feet (915 metres). Mount Ijill is composed almost entirely of Iron Oxide ('Hematite') used to produced Iron and steel.

2. Mauritania is one of the largest countries in Africa, at 1,030,700 it is twice the size of France, although vast areas of the country are uninhabitable.

3. Mauritania is one of the least densely populated countries in the world, with a population of 2.7 million the population density of the country is 3 persons per square km.

4. Mauritania was one of the last countries in the world to officially abolish slavery. It passed a law prohibiting slavery in 1981. Slavery in Mauritania was mainly by Mauritanian Arabs enslaving indigenous black Mauritanians.

5. Mauritania is one of only two countries in the world (Madagascar being the other one) that does not use a decimal currency. The currency ougiya is comprised of five Khoums, although the Khoum now is rarely used.

6. The largest and most populous city in Mauritania is Nouakchott which is also the capital city. Nouakchott was a small village until it was chosen to become the capital in 1957 in preparation for Mauritanian independence three years later.

7. Mauritania is home to one of the world's longest trains. The train at 3km transports iron ore from Zouerate in the interior near the Western Sahara border to Nouadhibou on the coast.

8. The town of Matmata due east of the Capital Nouakchott is famous for having one of the last known surviving species of desert crocodiles in the world.

9. The ruins of Koumbi Saleh, the capital of the ancient empire of Ghana which flourished between the 11th and 13th century lies in the south east of Mauritania close to the Malian border.

10. The Ancient city of Chinguetti founded in 777 AD is the spiritual capital of Mauritania, and is widely considered by Mauritanians to be the seventh holiest city of Islam. The unique beauty and architecture of Chinguetti has led UNESCO to declare it a world heritage site.

Map of Mauritania


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