warning - hotel in Chinguetti
Replies: 20 - Last Post: Feb 15, 2012 3:39 AM Last Post By: mess98
Sep 15, 2011 4:52 AM
warning - hotel in ChinguettiI would like to warn about the hotel "Auberge Zarga" in Chinguetti. In July 2011 I was the ONLY guest of "Zarga" as there were no tourists. The owner, Abdul, was too lazy to check the room before letting me in. In the middle of the night a scorpio, that had been in my bed, bit me. There was NOBODY in the hotel - neither the owner, nor the staff. Nobody helped me, nobody called the doctor. Abdul arrived a couple of hours later to collect the money for the camel trip. He told me that there were no scorpios. When I showed him what I had killed in my own bed, he said "sorry, I should have checked the room before" and still, didn't call the doctor and didn't do anything to help me - he just told that the scorpio was poisonous, but not deathly. He told "you will feel the pain for 1 day and that's all". Instead of helping me, he offered me his business card to encourage me to advertise his hotel to other tourists. A couple of days later I ended up in a hospital - paralysed from head to toes.
Sep 15, 2011 5:04 AM
However, Zarga should be avoided at all costs, I stayed there in 2005, shortly after Abdul & his larger, older business partner were apparently sent to prison for a while due to a multitude of things - one being some sort of advance on a female visitor.
Somewhere in the bottom of my e-mails I have the account of what happened ...
Glad you got out of the scorpion sting ... sounds like a nasty experience!
Sep 20, 2011 1:09 PM
2Oh no! How are you now?
Is there anywhere you recommend in Chinguetti? It looks like there's a few cheapies in the LP...Auberge La Rose des Sable, Abweir etc
Sep 20, 2011 11:40 PM
Sep 21, 2011 1:26 AM
Sep 21, 2011 3:53 AM
Sep 21, 2011 7:12 AM
Sep 21, 2011 10:52 PM
Sep 22, 2011 12:18 AM
Sep 22, 2011 12:38 AM
Sep 22, 2011 2:24 AM
Dec 15, 2011 12:06 AM
11Nothing wrong with Zarga (just don't expect the Hilton), and it may well be the only place in town that is open for business these days.
Chinguetti is a nice little place deserving of more tourism, and a good starting point for a desert ride.
Safety is good in west Mauretania, just avoid driving around at night (goes for most of Africa).
Dec 18, 2011 3:49 PM
12I've just got back from Chinguetti and Ouadane as i joined up with somebody who had booked a camel trek in the dunes. Chinguetti sees very few tourists these days and so the auberges are quite empty. I stayed at the auberge des caravans which was near to Zarga. I paid 6000 for half board. There are lots of overlanders staying in Atar but few independent travellers like me. I was really lucky and hooked up with a german guy who was a desert tour guide who was just doing the Erg Warane dunes on his own with a local guide and camel man. He said that he'd paid 270 euros for the transport to Oudane and Chinguetti and 5 days/4 nights camel trek so i gave him 100 euros towards it all. Chinguetti is really nice but its great to spend a few days in the dunes as they are so immense and you don't see anybody until you get to Legeila oasis.
Jan 22, 2012 9:44 AM
13Mon Dieu! Abdul, artiste de theatre! Who'd ever think he could be this naughty!?
Anna, everyone hopefully understood the shock and pain you went through and I do really symphatise with you. It must be really horrible to experience what you did in an environment such is Chinguetti in the hottest month of the year. However, I believe you were slightly naive to put your trust in someone who's not 100% right up there.
Abdul is a simple guy, motivated tactician who makes his living working in the tourist industry, an industry that is now a shadow of what it once was in Chinguetti. And he's just trying his luck by being a slightly pushy, upselling or maybe even negotiating a bad deal - will write about these in my trip report one day. However, in my opinion, one should not find it too difficult to see through his intentions.
He's something of a village clown in Chinguetti. Everyone seems to know Abdul, artiste de theatre, and people seem to do favours for him, I'd say out of compassion.
On a positive note, he honoured every deal we managed to negotiate. He registered me with the police as soon as I checked in, informed me of one other person interested in the desert trekking trip, arranged the dinner that was served EXACTLY when he said it would be ready, the camel excursion was great with a nice guide taking us to some lovely places, and Abdul, artiste de theatre, arranged a taxi ride back to Atar (500um chaper than Atar-Chinguetti) at 7am making it possible to catch AM transportation from Atar to Nouakchott and arriving in Nouakchott at 1pm.
Anna:"...Instead of helping me, he offered me his business card to encourage me to advertise his hotel to other tourists..."
I even find this funny now that I have a clearer picture of Abdul, Auberge Zarga and Chinguetti. There's a hospital in Chinguetti, Hopital de la Fraternite (ambulance vehicles looked very impressive) a km or so away from Zarga on the way to Atar. You really should have insisted on seeing someone over there instead of investing your trust in Abdul, artiste de theatre.
On the other hand, I, and probably a few others, will remember your post very well making sure that rooms in environments like these are thoroughly inspected for presence of any uninvited guests. So thanks for letting us known.
Jan 24, 2012 10:19 PM
14This thread is slanderous and should be removed from the forum. Pointing out potential problems, like finding a scorpio in your bed in an African auberge is ok. But the way you attack one individual even using mean-spirited gossip is not.
I am one of many who have stayed at auberge Zarga without a problem.
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