This northwestern African nation is a land of desolate beauty. Three quarters of the country is desert, contrasted by the North Atlantic Ocean to the west. Add to that a spectacular abundance of dunes and birdlife and you’ve got an authentic taste of African scenery. For the most stunning sights of the Sahara, head for the Adrar massif in the north. The rocky terrain and narrow canyons are ideal for a 4x4 excursion. Be sure to take in the millenia-old architecture of Chinguetti and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ouadane along the way. Home to millions of migrating birds, the Parc National du Banc d’Arguin can be found along much of the central coastline. The World Heritage-listed park is best explored by boat with a local guide. A wide range of accommodation types are available, with hotels found in the capital Nouakchott and other cities of Atar, Nouadhibou and Chinguetti.