Chinguetti was founded to serve the
caravans crossing the Sahara and became a focal point
of Islamic culture.
The first houses in Chinguetti were built at the end
of the 13th century. Stone and brown dried-mud (banco)
were used. Palm-tree trunks and branches were used for
The place which used to have 20,000 inhabitants only
has over 1,500 nowadays. who make a living out of tourism
and deep wells (for agricultural purpose).
Typically, houses with patios crowd along narrow streets
around a mosque with a square minaret. They illustrate
a traditional way of life centred on the nomadic culture
of the people of the western Sahara.
Chinguetti once was really venerated as one of the most
holy cities in Islam (ranked, even today, as number
Sleeping and eating is not easy in Chinguetti. Rooms
are to be found, but there are not many of them, and
the choice range is limited. Tent is not a bad idea,
but beware where you put it, dunes are moving ...
When it comes to eating, some families hospitality could
be your best bet. But an extreme lack of diversity in
raw materials around here makes even a feast ordinary.
But, who would travel all this way and expect four course
Land Rover connections with Atar, 1 hour, US$5 one
way. Connections to the even more remote Ouadane, are
difficult and expensive, and have to be arranged in