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Chinguetti literally emerges from the shifting sand dunes of the mighty Sahara (the hills of dust that surround this one have been encroaching and encroaching for decades, and have even claimed some of the residential areas on the edge of the settlement). A place of eerily empty streets that have been chiselled and chipped by the winds, it was once an important trading stopover between the Med in the north and sub-Sahara in the south.
Today, it draws some of the country’s biggest crowds, who flock to wonder at the brick-built towers and the old fortresses of the Berber tribes and Almoravids dating all the way back to the Middle Ages.