Entry & Exit Formalities
It is illegal to bring alcohol into the country.
Visas are required for everyone, except nationals of Arab League countries and some African nations.
Visas for Onward Travel
In Nouakchott you can get visas for most neighbouring countries.
One-month visas (UM6500) are issued within 24 hours at the embassy in Nouakchott. You need two photos and a passport photocopy.
Most nationalities do not require visas, and simply get an entry stamp valid for 90 days on arrival. Nationalities that do (mostly Africans, including Mauritanians) must pay around UM9000 and provide two photos and passport photocopies and (according to whim) an air ticket.
Americans, Australians, Canadians and Europeans do not need a visa to enter Senegal. Its helpful to have a photocopy of your Mauritanian visa page for officials on the Mauritanian side of the border.
In countries where Mauritania has no diplomatic representation, including Australia, French embassies often issue visas.
However, visas (US$130) are also issued upon arrival at the airport in Nouakchott, as well as at border crossings from Senegal and Morocco. The process itself, which involves biometric fingerprinting and a photograph, is quick, however the wait can be long, both at the airport and land borders. For the former, de plane as quickly as possible, grab the form and fill it out while you're standing in line.
There's a rumour the visa fee will be reduced substantially in coming years.
One-month visa extensions can be obtained for UM46,000 at the Sûreté in Nouakchott.