Bay of Arguin

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Bay of Arguin
Baie d'Arguin
Bancdarguin map lg.jpg
Map of the wider gulf area showing the Banc d'Arguin National Park
Bay of Arguin is located in Mauritania
Bay of Arguin
Bay of Arguin
Location in Mauritania
Coordinates 20°36′N 16°29′W / 20.6°N 16.49°W / 20.6; -16.49Coordinates: 20°36′N 16°29′W / 20.6°N 16.49°W / 20.6; -16.49
Ocean/sea sources Atlantic Ocean[1]
Basin countries Mauritania
Max. length 13 km (8.1 mi)
Max. width 20 km (12 mi)
Islands Île d’Arguin, Île de l'Ardent

The Bay of Arguin (French: Baie d'Arguin) is a bay on the Atlantic shore of Mauritania.[2]


It is located south of Cap Blanc, north of Cap Timiris.

The bay contains three islands, including Arguin and Tidra, as well as numerous sandbanks. It is also the site of the 12,000 km² Banc d'Arguin National Park which includes most of the bay. The park's northern boundary is at Minou; it does not include the Dakhlet Nouadhibou, or the westernmost areas. Smaller bays within the Bay of Arguin include Dakhlet Nouadhibou in the north and Baie de Tanoudert in the east. Other promontories include Minou, Cap Sainte-Anne, Argun, Alzaz, Tagarit and Tafarit. The Oued Chibka, a seasonal and occasional stream flowing only when the climate is partly wet, is in the north-central part.

Inhabited places by the bay include Nouadhibou in the north, Arkeiss and Tel-Alloul to the east and Teichott , R'Gueiba and Awguei to the south.


The bay would be first known in 1035, when Abdallah ibn Yasin founded a ribat (military refuge) on the island of Tidra at the origins of the Almoravid Dynasty.[3]

The first European to visit the bay was Nuno Tristão in 1443, whereupon the remainder of the bay would be explored.

The area is also known as the place where the French frigate Méduse (1810) was famously wrecked in 1816.[4]


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