MORE ABOUT MAURITIUS
Mauritius was formed about 8 to 10
million years ago as a result of undersea volcanic eruptions ... and
what a success nature made of it! The island is beautiful and special. With a
tropical climate and gorgeous turquoise seas, it's famous for being a luxury
Surrounded by beautiful white sandy
beaches, the 330 kilometres of Mauritian coastline is home to a particularly rich marine
environment. Like all tropical islands, the underwater topography is
very diverse and offers diving opportunities
amongst endlessly beautiful landscapes, including arches, tunnels, caves
and wrecks. Together with Réunion
and Rodrigues, the island of Mauritius, which lies in the Indian
Ocean, forms part of the Mascarene
Islands archipelago, off the south eastern coast of Africa and to the
east of Madagascar.
"Mauritius will enchant you,
will uplift your soul, making you feel that you belong to the chosen few
... Every encounter is an opportunity to discover a friendly face... The
contrast of a multitude of colours and tastes, the island, set in its
turquoise sea, is an oasis of peace and tranquility."
Mauritius was uninhabited until being permanently settled by European
explorers in the 1600s. It holds a rich history, as it was ruled by many
different nations. It was finally granted independence in the 12th March
1968 and in 1992, it even became an independent republic within the
Everyone is made to feel at home in Mauritius! Mauritians are a blend of
many diverse ethnicities, cultures and religions. The principal ethnic
groups being Indians, Africans, Europeans and Chinese. The people are
full of charm, are always willing to help and are on the whole forever
friendly and great fun to be around!
LANGUAGES: The official language of Mauritius
is English but the real language of the people is (French) Creole.
Creole is not actually officially recognised, nor is it taught in
schools - it is a language that evolved from the 'pidgin' French used by
the French masters of the 18th century to communicate with their slaves,
and it now includes many words borrowed from African and Malagasy
dialects. Asian languages (such as Hindi) are also widely spoken, but
the majority of Mauritians are bilingual (being equally fluent in
English and French), if not trilingual!
The mixture of the island's melting pot of races is reflected in the
adventurous Mauritian cuisine - which consists of a deliciously
mouth-watering mix of spicy curries, tropical fruits and vegetables,
Chinese and European food. In Mauritius you're able to travel to the
furthest points of the world without leaving the comfort of the dinner
We would definitely recommend trying the wonderful samosas, along with
dholl purri (Indian wheat pancakes stuffed with dahl (a thick creamy
stew made with lentils and spices!)) and don't forget gâteaux piments
(otherwise known as chili cakes!)
Due to the vast ethnic diversity and the rich
heritage of the island's people, Mauritius has a brilliant culture,
which is reflected in the many public holidays and festivals they
celebrate. To name a few, there are always festivals and holidays for:
Chinese New Year, Christmas, New Year, Independence Day, Abolition of
Slavery, Eid-Ul-Fitr (Muslim festival to mark the end of Ramadhan) and
the Hindu festivals; Thaipoosam Cavadee, Maha Shivratree, Ugadi, Ganesh
Chaturthi and Divali!
Whilst in Mauritius, you must check out the sega. It
is a dance invented by Mauritians of African origin, which has become
synonymous with 'joie de vivre.' It's been suggested that the sega,
which originated with slaves, was a way for these slaves to forget their
miserable existence. Nowadays, it has evolved and there are many
different types of segas - from the traditional folklore dance of old, to
a more modern version that young people favour.
The tropical climate makes Mauritius enjoyable all
year round! The climate can be roughly split into two seasons - summer
and winter. The summer months are from November to April and
temperatures reach about 35 degrees centigrade (95 degrees Fahrenheit)
on the coast. In the winter, from May to October, temperatures reach 25
degrees centigrade ( 77 degrees Fahrenheit) and the nights are cooler.
WHAT TO SEE IN MAURITIUS!
PORT LOUIS: The island's capital is situated
in the North-West of the island. A spectacular collection of new and old!
Port Louis has managed to conserve many of its historic and colonial
buildings through the years, whilst simultaneously modernising. A trip must
include a visit to the Port Louis Market near the harbour, which has
fantastic traditional handicrafts, along with fruit and vegetables! You
should also check out the 'Volunteer Beach', a beautiful white, sandy beach.
There is also an abundance of wildlife on the beach with flocks of King
Penguins coming to the shores to breed.
Mauritius is a real paradise
for those who want to enjoy the sea or just to soak up the sun, with over
330 kilometres of beautiful coastline! Here is a list of the island’s finest
La Cuvette beach - Situated in Grand Bay, it is one
of the best areas for sailing, windsurfing and water skiing.
Pereybere - This remarkable small cove half-way between Grand Bay and Cap Malheureux is
one of the finest bathing spots on the island.
Belle Mare -
Miles and miles of white and spotless beaches from Belle Mare to Trou-d’Eau
Blue Bay - one of the most popular bathing spots in the South-East of
the island. An ideal spot for windsurfing and sailing.
Le Morne & Tamarin - Both of these beaches offer miles and miles of
bathing and are also very popular for surfing!
Flic en Flac - Beautiful white beaches fringed with filaos or Casuarina trees.
- Grand Bay - was the first area of the island
to fully experience the tourist boom. It owes its popularity to its
beautiful, clear, emerald waters and its liveliness - day and night.
Testament to this is that it's where Mauritians head when they want a
fun-filled night out (restaurants, bars and discos.)
- Balaclava Ruins - The Balaclava ruins offer an insight into the medieval
history of the island and should not be missed! They are situated near to
Baie aux Tortues (which is named after the huge tortoise population found
there!) Tourists can see the fascinating remains of ancient forts and
- The Triolet Shivala -Triolet is the longest
village on the island. It offers the chance to visit the biggest Hindu
temple, the Maheswarnath, which was built in 1819.
- The Labourdonnais Orchards - nestled in the small village of Mapou, a
few kilometres from Grand Bay. You'll have the opportunity to see a large
variety of tropical fruit trees, colourful and perfumed exotic flowers. You
can also take trips on mountain bikes or hiking is also possible - the
perfect way to experience the spectacular scenery and beautiful flora of the
- Flacq Market - this extremely colourful market attracts a
large number of people. It's an important village in Mauritius, which is a
great meeting point for inhabitants of the east and boasts a brilliant open
air market - the country's largest.
- The Waterpark Leisure Village - Enjoy unforgettable moments sliding on
the giant chutes at the only water park currently operating in Mauritius.
- Ile aux Cerfs - this tiny island is a paradise for water sports
and also boasts beautiful beaches.
- Dutch Ruins - These are the ruins of the first Dutch
fortifications. They are located at Vieux Grand Port - the
oldest settlement in Mauritius.
- Ile aux Aigrettes - a nature reserve situated about
800 metres off the south-east coast of Mauritius, this is an
eco-tourist's dream. You'll have the chance to spot some of the
world's rarest birds, including the kestrel. If you're lucky you
might also spot the extremely rare Pink Pigeon, the Aldabra
giant tortoise or the Green Gecko Phelsuma. Due to the
remarkable work by the Mauritius Wildlife Fund the island has
become a benchmark for the international standard for the
protection of natural resources and endangered species.
- Mahebourg - One of the main fishing villages on the
island. It's also the home of the Mauritian Naval Museum, which
contains the reminiscences of the French colonial empire and the
replicas of the ancillary used in the historical battle.
- Martello Towers - these towers are among the 200+
examples left in the world that were built to defend the coasts
of the British Empire. They represent the ancient rivalry
between old colonial powers and also a milestone in the island's
history; they symbolise the end of slavery and the beginning of
- Domaine du Chasseur - allows nature-lovers to wonder
the 30km of nature trails, which lead you through the 1000
hectares of natural landscape. If you're lucky you'll spot some
fantastic wildlife on the trails, as Javan deer, wild boars,
monkeys, hares and many local bird species inhabit the reserve.
You can choose to walk the trails, mountain bike them, or even
quad bike them!
- Souillac- this is a small seaside resort along the
rugged coast of the Savanne district. It's named after Vicomte
de Souillac, the island's governor from 1779-1787. Telfair
gardens is a brilliant place for a picnic. Gris Gris is also
worth a visit - spectacular sea cliff.
- Chamarel - The village of Chamarel is home to two
natural wonders - the magnificent Chamarel Falls and the
fascinating coloured earths of Charamel. The different shades of
blue, green, red and yellow that form the basis of this
beautiful landscape are the result of the erosion of volcanic
- Salt Pans - At the foot of the Black River mountain
range, in a place called Tamarin, you will come across the
saltpans of Mauritius. Salt is produced locally, mainly in this
area as it is the hottest, driest part of the island.
- Casela - The Casela Bird Park is located in the
district of Black River. It is a park with over 140 species and
over 2500 birds. You might also be lucky enough to spot
kangaroos, tigers, tortoises, monkeys, deer and orchids!
As you can see,
there's a lot to do in Mauritius!!