One of the things I really wanted to do during our trip to Mauritania was a camel trek into the Sahara, to meet real nomads and experience their way of life. After a long, hard camel trek, one of the gems of the trip was this unexpected moment before the family started their evening prayers.
If you want a very authentic desert nomad camel trek experience then Mauritania is a great place to do it. However it’s not very comfortable and you might find yourself roughing it somewhat more than you expected.
The nomads I stayed with were primarily goat and camel herders. You can hear goats in the background of the video. This Call to Prayer is simple and beautiful.
I won’t say that communication was easy. Admittedly, I didn’t know much French or Arabic, and only one person in the camp spoke some English. This camel trek was one of the more challenging aspects of our trip, but this was a wonderful moment.
We were there in November/December and it got very cold that night. It was the kind of cold where you step out to see the night sky and you think about how great it would be to just sit out there and enjoy actually being able to see the stars, but it’s so cold you don’t stay out for more than 2 minutes.
If I’m being really honest, on the camel ride back the next day, I couldn’t wait to get back. You should read the full account (see below) for a better perspective on why I say this.
In fact, have a look at the entire Mauritania Series:
Part 3 – Camel Trekking in the Sahara Desert