Tazadit Airport is the public airport that serves Zouerate in Mauritania. The airport is owned by the government and has a single 04/22 asphalt runway, which measures 3,004 metres (9,855 feet).
Considered the largest town in northern Mauritania as well as the capital of Tiris Zemmour region, Zouerate, or Zouérat, is home to approximately 45,000 people as of 2012. The small town in Mauritania lies at the end of the only Mauritania Railway to Nouadhibou. Don’t underestimate this train line, for this is said to be the longest in the world that consists of over 150 cars and is 2km long that traverses 704km, or 437 miles long. As the centre for iron ore mining, the railway line is used to carry iron ore from Zouerate mine to the Nouadhibou harbour. Iron ore deposits were first discovered in 1952, and concessions of iron extraction were given to Miferma in 1958, which was then nationalised by the Mauritanian government in 1974. Now, other companies exploring for iron ore in the region include Xstrata and Arcelor Mittal. Aside from iron ore, water is also brought by train coming from Boulenoir on the route to Nouadhibou.
The town’s close proximity with the Western Sahara Desert made the town relatively hot during the day and relatively cooler during the night.
What to see & do
Zouerate itself is notable for iron ore mining. Apart from it, the town is desolated land, which features a strange mixture of Mauritanian red and black iron. Tough living conditions also propelled people, especially Mauritanian mine workers to move out and build their home surrounding the area, between Zouerate and the Kediet. As a result, a shanty town surrounded the area, only separated by a wall that acts as a divider to the two towns. Locals popularly call it as “mur de la honte” or wall of shame.
Just 300km from Zouerate, you can go to Atar, another small town great for exploring the Adrar region. It is slowly gaining popularity with its proximity to the airport and a regional hospital. While in here, you can help yourself to relatively small markets and hunt souvenir prices which are lower than in most towns in the region. You can also explore natural sights a few drive away from Atar. You can simply roam around the market and drivers will approach you and will tell their routes which include interesting sights to see. For a hassle-free experience, you can opt to make arrangements instead at the nearby hotels for bush taxis, 4x4s, or rent bikes.
How to get around within Zouerate
If you want to get around the northern Mauritania, you can opt to ride the train which links Nouadhibou, Choum, and Zouerate. If you want to catch the train, be sure to be in the train station in Nouadhibou, which departs at three o’clock in the afternoon. You will find yourself in Choum early next morning.
For an ultimate experience, you can also opt to travel via the iron ore hopper, which is optional since passenger car is usually overcrowded. Just arm yourself with any form of eye protection, a scarf, and enough guts to last the uncomfortable, yet one-of-a-kind journey.
How to get there
To get into Zouerate, you will have to fly into Tazadit Airport. The airport is being served by the flag carrier of the country, Mauritania Airlines International. The airport serves destinations flying regularly to Nouadhibou, and seasonally to Casablanca and Nouakchott.
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Airports near Zouerate
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