Mauritania with a difference
The Mauritanian coastline is a bleak and beautiful place, an empty shore littered with the occasional shipwreck or whale skeleton. Miraculously, one of the last remaining Mediterranean monk seal colonies can be found living around Cap Blanc, where there is a small nature reserve dedicated to protecting this endangered species. Mauritania's first post-independence ruler, Mukhtar Ould Daddah, was able to keep control of his poor, sparsely populated desert country only by playing his two powerful neighbours, Morocco and Algeria, off against one another. This didn't wash for long and he was duly deposed in a military coup in 1978. Most of the country is hot and dry with practically no rain. In the south, however, rainfall is higher with a rainy season which runs from July to September. The coast is tempered by trade winds and is mild with the exception of the hot Nouakchott region (where the rainy season begins a month later). Deserts are cooler and windy in March and April.