Cost of living in Mauritania

#1 12 August 2008 12:21:09

expat blog
expat blog
small earth

Cost of living in Mauritania

Hi everybody,

It would be very useful to talk about the cost of living in Mauritania.

Don't forget to mention where in Mauritania you are living.

How much does it cost to live in Mauritania?

> accommodation prices

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)

> food prices(per month, how much does it cost you?)

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)

> eduction prices (if you need to pay)

> energy prices (oil, electricity)

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant

> prices of a beer and or a coffee in a regular pub

> price of the cinema

Do not hesitate to add items to this list!

Thanks in advance for your participation!!

#2 27 August 2009 17:03:24

Sandrawp
Sandrawp
Johannesburg

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Its very expensive in Nouakchott, electricity and water are outrageous, gas is reasonable when compared to electricity so a gas cooker is a must.  Rentals are also very high, although there is one price for locals and another for expats, but most Mauritanians are willing to bargain on the rental if they know you are going to maintain the house and they generally expect long term leases.  If you break the lease, expect to pay out the balance of the contract.  Maintenance on the houses is ongoing and very expensive, bulbs blow regularly due to the electricity output, most of the houses have no earth leakage and wiring is almost always done in an unsafe manner. 

Artisans are interchangeable, you have one chappy who does the plumbing and the wiring, and will also work on your car if needs be!  Be sure of the quality of goods purchased for the house, pipes and pumps are regularly fitted which burst or blow up because of incorrect capacity and weak workmanship

Taxi rides are reasonable if you communicate and negotiate the price upfront about 100UM if you are charging around the city, more if you expect the cab to wait for you.  Its also difficult to tell intially which cars are cabs, but walk on the road and hold your hand up as you are walking will generally pull one.

Good coffee for some reason is hard to find, you can expect to pay in the region of 1000UM depending on where you go, 700UM for a bottle of coke, hotels are very pricey, its always better to find a restaurant.

Purchase fresh foods from the market place which is cheapest and lovely quality, or from vendors on the side of the road a little more expensive and not as fresh usually, dont use the supermarkets unless you have to.  Ensure your know your butcher or have a referral, meat is expensive and mostly imported.

The French cultural cnt regularly hold movies, concerts, etc, and are fabulous, their prices are reasonable and they seems to find the local and African talent.

I found that internet acces, in the greater scheme of things was reasonable about 15,000UM a month for unlimited access.

Primary and High School education is expensive if you expect to go to the International School, although I am told its in line with other International Schools, but a great bunch of people.  I am not sure what the costs are for the French School.

#3 07 September 2010 21:52:48

smudge2003
smudge2003
Nouakchott

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Hello Sandrawp.

thanks alot for your post very useful to me as I haven't managed to find many people who can speak English and I don't speak french.

could you give a bit more idea on the price of electric? and water costs per month?

Also the movies in the french cnt are they in french?

thanks!!!

#4 22 September 2010 14:07:54

laurinacht
laurinacht
Bogota

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

jejejeje beer and cinema... thats was a good one!

water 4000 omg and electricite depends on how much your consume! around 60.000 we have two climas, tv, lamps.... we consume a lot.. so i guess you ll pay less... food is expensive and accomodation you can find good offers u ll need someone to help u.. a local person... good luck!

#6 28 September 2010 04:44:47

littlesunshine
littlesunshine
Nouakchott

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

I have been lucky enough to be shown around a bit here in Nouakchott by a local. There are several places you can find alcohol(beer)if you are interested. A couple restaurants and hotels. English speaking clubs I have no clue yet but I have met a few Mauritanians that speak English fluently.

#7 25 October 2010 23:27:29

winona119
winona119
RABAT

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

life in Mauritania has its charm, and as regards the corners of meeting, or to eat
I can give you some names of the most famous restaurant:
-  La palmerie
-  petit cafe   
-  sahara cafe
-  capricorne

regarding the places of distraction. there is the french center which prepares a monthly program, it's really interesting, you can Attend for musical concerts, theatrical peieces, conferences, movies..........

good luckkkkkkkkk to everyone

#8 02 November 2010 10:53:22

EuropeSky
EuropeSky
Praha

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Hi all,

for my business I need to better understand the electricity prices in Mauritania. To laurinacht (or anybody else able to answer): those 60.000 (i expect in UM) is for a month (I do not expect it is for a year)? Could you, please, find the price per 1 kWh or 1 MWh, or at least the ammount of kWh or MWh for that bill (should be somewhere on the bill)?

If I get my answer and the figures will be reasonable, I will try to open business in Mauritania. In that case I promise to offer participation to responding ones at first.

Thanks and have a really nice days

#9 06 September 2011 11:56:52

zambrut
zambrut
Copenhagen

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Electrical bill are paid for every 2 months. I estimates MRO30,000 per month is quite ok (normal usage with 1 AC (not continuously for the whole day). During summer & raining season is where will be frequent power interruption so be prepared.


Water bill is ok as long as your house serves by the city pipeline. so area not connected with pipeline so u have to call for water tanker to supply the water (MRO 11,000 - 14,000 per tanker).

#10 23 June 2014 09:07:57

runningmom

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Hello, curious on any more up-to-date figures on this thread. What sort of budget seems appropriate for a couple? We eat in most of the time but do like to go out a few times a week, though I've not been to Mauritania yet so can't be tooo accurate.

How about housing staples? Housekeeper rates? Transportation?

Thanks in advance!

#11 23 June 2014 13:19:13

kenjee
kenjee
Quatre Bornes

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Hello runningmom,

As you have seen this thread is quite an old one, if however you do not get any response, I would suggest you create a new thread to increase your visibility on the forum and get better response.

Regards

Kenjee

#12 24 July 2014 21:27:27

srws
srws
Nouakchott

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

The cost of living in Nouakchott can be expensive and it can also be inexpensive. It just depends on what type of lifestyle you choose to live. You will find that in many circumstances if you try to rent you will be charged more because you are an expat. They wouldn't charge locals even half of what they would charge foreigners. While they would charge you more they also want you the most because they believe expats will take care of the houses better than locals. I have actually been refused rentals once they found out I was married to a local. Anyways if you can get a local to vouch for you and talk down the price try not to pay more than 150,000 MRO to 200,000 MRO (200,000 is kind of pushing it). You should be able to find a very nice house to rent in a good area with that amount. Your electricity should be no more than 30,000 MRO a month but WARNING!!! the electrical company can be corrupt. Most locals pay no more than 35,000 or so for a housekeeper but I suggest that you offer more around 45,000 MRO for a good housekeeper (cleaning and cooking full time).

If you want to live less expensively you should get a cook to make the local dishes for most meals. These local dishes are fish and rice, chicken with onions, meat and potatoes with sauce, and pasta with different types of meat. Either way you shouldn't spend more than 100,000 MRO a month (for two hungry people plus a guard). That is considered high but I am adding in you buying from the regular grocery stores instead of the local market.

You will probably need to get a guard, it shouldn't cost more than 35,000 MRO. While they are used as a safety factor they are just as useful in helping keep the outside area clean, running quick errands, and keeping those who want to come in (when they shouldn't), out. Most homes have a room outside of the house that they can stay in.

Taxis will cost about 200 to 300. Most taxi drivers will try to charge foreigners more. What many expats do is make an arrangement with a specific taxi driver. This helps. The cost of a good working car is between 2.5 million to 4.5 million MRO, depending on how new it is. Gas can cost between 40,000 MRO to 60,000 MRO a month depending on how much driving you do in a day.

#13 25 July 2014 07:48:22

runningmom

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Dear SRWS,

Thank you for your detailed advice! You are very thorough!! I appreciate it. I will be living in a flat provided by my employer so that takes care of much of my expenses. I wonder if you could expand on day-to-day expenses (shopping, entertainment, clothing) etc. Additionally, any helpful hints about life there in general would be appreciated! There's not a lot of reading available and not much chatter on any of the expat sites!

#14 26 July 2014 00:02:05

srws
srws
Nouakchott

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Dear Runningmom,

   To be honest I don't really get out much. I'm pretty much a homebody outside of work. I can help out a little though. First off, buying clothes here can be expensive so I find that most people buy outside when purchasing clothing. I buy clothes for my two children and myself in the U.S. once a year. I try to buy things that are simple and can easily be sewn by hand. There are quite a few really good seamstresses though that can copy certain designs if I want to add to my clothing. I use to be a blue jeans and t-shirt girl but since moving here I tend to wear the thin flowing pants and skirts. They are more comfortable.

I have been here 4 years and each year I have seen it changes. Stores are carrying more and more items from the outside. When I first came here I found it hard to find things as simple as sliced bread in packages but now you can easily get it. Even though it has gotten better I still try to bring many things over. Since I cook I find that the pots and pans found at stores here are not that great of quality but I see them getting better than a couple years ago. One thing that can be annoying is that it make take going to several stores in one day to find a simple item such as a potato peeler but I try to tell myself I am on an adventure.

For entertainment there is not as much things to do as what a person in a westernized society is use to. Most locals just enjoy meeting a cafes. They are everywhere. There are a few other things, though. You have the French Recreation Center where they show movies (in French), small art showings, music concerts, and simple events. You can get an itinerary of what they are doing each month. The beaches here are beautiful and uncrowded. Unless you are a very good swimmer I wouldn't suggest getting in the water though because of the strong current. Clubs open here but get closed and then another one will open. You never know. Life is simple.

The people can be very friendly but you will find that some will take advantage of foreigners. That of course is almost everywhere you go. You will see a lot of beggars around. In front of stores, in the middle of the roads, at restaurants, and at stops signs/stop lights.  If you are obviously foreign then you may get rushed by groups. I don't know what your opinion is about charity but it is always good to keep a few coins (only) on your person. My advice is to try an ignore and "apologetically" decline giving anything when you are walking anywhere. I personally only give the coins when I am in my car and to specific people. If I am walking and I give a coin to someone it is seen and then I can get rushed. They can sometimes get aggressive. This includes the children. Just keep some hard candy on you and it should be good enough. I also give about 20,000 MRO a month to be spread out by a family member. I know that it is being spent on women and children that need assistance. Mauritanians can be very giving and charitable people. If you want to fit in you should match this view. If you are going to be working in a company that has many locals working at as well it will do you good to bring little gifts to give out. Candy (for their kids), key chains, little pocket knives, perfumes, and etc are good ideas. This is just advice. Be careful with compliments. In many cases if you tell a woman that her perfume smells great and you show interest then don't be surprised if she gives it to you. Same thing can be said of her jewelry. Don't get offended if someone shows interest in your items and asks if they can have it. Just ignore it, don't take offense, and politely tell them no (or just give it to them).

If you are a person who believes on getting to work on time, getting things done quickly, and getting things done right the first time, then you might run into issues. Locals here are very "laid-back" and not very prompt with most things. Just have patience, keep your cool, and keep working at it. How you deal with this can either make you or break you.

I don't know what company you are coming to work for or what environment you will be set up in BUT I would be happy to help you if you need it. I currently "manage" guesthouses for a company that has foreigners from around the world. I have helped people (mainly Americans) understand the life here before they came and navigated them around town in the beginning. You have two ways of living here. You can live inside your bubble, spending time only with other foreigners and having other people get what you want or need. OR. You can jump out of that bubble, make friends with other Mauritanians, learn their ways, and learn where to go to get what you want. I find that those you get out of their bubbles do better here in the long run plus, I think, learn a lot more.

#15 26 July 2014 07:20:00

runningmom

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Dear SRWS,

Thank you so much for your follow-up! You've been incredibly helpful and insightful! I'll pm you once I arrive and hopefully treat you for a coffee!

#16 26 July 2014 15:44:51

srws
srws
Nouakchott

Re: Cost of living in Mauritania

Dear Runningmom,

  I am happy that I was able to help you and I look forward to that coffee.

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