Health Insurance For Expats In Mauritania

The Best Health Insurance For Expatriates Living In Mauritania

Posted by Greg Jones on January 24, 2020

If you've searched Google for private medical insurance that covers expats in Mauritania then you are probably for looking for established UK based health insurance companies that can cover your medical expenses in Mauritania.

Living as an expatriate in Mauritania you want to avoid any nasty unexpected medical costs. In some countries these can amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds for serious medical conditions.

Our advice when shopping around for private medical cover that covers expatriates living in Mauritania is to speak to a insurance broker. Health insurance is incredibly complicated and if you want absolute certainty that Mauritania is covered by your policy you should consult with a health insurance broker who can explain which policy providers will cover medical costs for expatriates in Mauritania and which will exclude it.

There are many advantages to using a insurance broker but the largest by far is that you're using their industry experience at no cost. They are paid by the insurer (Aviva or Bupa etc) rather than you so it costs you no extra to use their services.

  • Do you live in many different areas? Some will give you a lower policy premium than offers. A insurance broker will be able to advise whats best.
  • Do you have a hobby that may invalidate your insurance policy? A broker will know this vital information.
  • If you are a couple and one of you has claimed on your insurance policy this year would it be cheaper to separate you both onto two different policies?
  • You've developed a certain condition and want to know which insurer offers the biggest amount of cover for it. A broker will know this instantly saving you so much time and effort.

You can call around every medical insurance provider you can find and ask if they provider cover for expats in Mauritania, however this will be a very time consuming process. Each insurer will ask for your medical history because its not normally a simple yes or not if a medical condition is covered or not.

Its far far quicker to speak to one health insurance broker which will know which providers on the market offer cover for expats in Mauritania and under what conditions they do or don't cover it.

Mauritania Information

Following Mauritania’s independence from France in 1960, at which time the vast majority of the country was still nomadic, European tourism developed slowly. In part this was attributable to the Western Sahara War in which Mauritania was briefly engaged, but the driving distance from Europe was also a factor when compared to Algeria whose profile similarly benefitted from the rise of the original Paris-Dakar rally in the early 1980s. Around the same time in France, a TV show by desert doyen Théodore Monod (who'd travelled widely in Mauritania with camels from the 1930), also helped raise the country's profile. It was the 1991 ceasefire with the Polisario Front along with the escalating Algerian Civil War of the 1990s which saw the so-called Atlantic Route open up to trade and tourism, when Algeria and its trans-Saharan routes closed. Initially Moroccan army convoys loosely escorted travellers, which included a healthy trade in used cars from Dakhla, Western Sahara to the Moroccan border with Mauritania. Once in Mauritania one drove across the sands to Nouadhibou where local guides were needed to travel the desert and beach piste to the capital, Nouakchott. In 1999 Trailblazer Guides published the original, 650-page edition of Sahara Overland which included several routes in Mauritania. Similar route guides were available in French and German, with many more books in French describing the geography of the country. Some intrepid travellers hitched a ride (or loaded their cars) eastwards on the Mauritania Railway which brought iron ore to Nouadhibou from the mines inland at Zouerat. From Choum this provided access to Atar, at the foot of the Adrar plateau, scenically and culturally the gateway to Mauritania’s touristic heartland. Around the turn of the millennium the completion of a new inland road linking Nouadhibou with Nouakchott (the first sealed road to cross the Sahara from north to south), as well as the advent of inexpensive charter flights from France directly to Atar by Point-Afrique, helped inexpensive fly-in tourism gain a foothold in Mauritania. A shocking set back, especially among French visitors, was the murder of the Tollet family and their guide near Aleg on Christmas Eve, 2007 which led to the cancellation of the Dakar Rally (and its eventual relocation to South America). Then in November and December 2009 two kidnappings set things still further. In fact tourist traffic from Moroccan Western Sahara never stopped, despite over-cautious travel advice issued by the European government foreign ministries. In 2018, the improvement of the security situation saw the resumption of the renamed Le Point Voyages charter flights to Atar. Featured on French television, it was hoped to kickstart a revival of desert tourism in Mauritania’s Adrar region, although the current climate in the Sahara makes it unlikely tourism will quickly return to their brief heyday. The Mauritanian army make sure the largely desolate far north and east of the country remain off limits to regular tourists. As it is these places were virtually never visited by tourists, except by some trans-Saharan expeditions in less volatile times. Along with some on the ancient settlements listed below, other tourist highlights in the Mauritanian Sahara include the Richat Structure just beyond Ouadane, Fort Saganne, the nearby Amojjar Pass and the sandy Tifoujar Pass; Terjit oasis and the medieval ruins of Ksar el Barka.

The old cities of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Oualata, Tichitt, Ksar el Barka, Aoudaghost and Koumbi Saleh are all vestiges of a rich past during the apogee of the trans-Saharan trade from Black Africa. Many of these cities developed into religious and cultural centres of learning.

Regarded as the 7th Holy City of Islam, Chinguetti was a religious centre and famous for its many Koranic schools and universities. The city also played a significant commercial role during the camel trading era.

The influence of Chinguetti largely exceeded the borders of current Mauritania, with scholars renowned as far as the Orient. Mauritania was once known as the "Bilad Chenguetti " – the Land of Chinguetti which reached its apogee during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Today the older south side of the town is partly ruined or buried under dunes, but it still offers an impressive spectacle to the visitor. Some old buildings, including the 13th-century mosque with its rectangular minaret still survive in the old city,

The libraries or 'document repositories' of Chinguetti contain hundreds of invaluable and well preserved medieval manuscripts, detailing commercial transactions, aspects of Koranic law and scientific observations.

Ouadane, or the city of the " two oueds" is an ancient settlement whose foundation dates back to 1140. In the following centuries it flourished caravan city on the Trans-Saharan trade from Timbuktu when it was the most significant city of the Mauritanian Sahara, renowned for its palm groves, mosques and libraries. In the 17th century the city was visited by the Portuguese who established trade links and at which time Ouadane reached its apogee. Its decline started when European mariners saw to the diversion of sub-Saharan trade from the end of the 17th century.