For decades Mauritania has been known as a major transit route from West Africa to Spain’s Canary Islands.
It is a lucrative trade for people smugglers, but the journey is fraught with danger for migrants – many have drowned at sea over the years.
The risks, coupled with efforts by the Mauritanian authorities to tighten the borders, have forced some migrants to reconsider their dreams of reaching Europe.
Mohammed from Nigeria turned back after catching a glimpse of the heavily overloaded migrant boat he was due to board. Traware from Mali remains unphased – he’s tried three times and remains determined to push on.
Al Jazeera’s Hassan Ghani reports.
Follow Hassan Ghani on Twitter: @hassan_ghani