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Tropical Paradise – Mauritius (Le République de Maurice)

 

Le République de Maurice, known as Mauritius is accessible tropical paradise Indian Ocean island and is budget friendly for travelers too. Sheltered by  coral reef barriers that form  safe lagoons that are crystal clear, Mauritius stays on top of the list of dream destinations.

The island of Mauritius is eleven times larger than Washington, DC. It was a volcano originally and stands on what was initially a land bridge between Africa and Asia, the Mascarene Archipelago.

This archipelago formed by undersea volcanic eruptions about ten million years ago and the African plate drifted over Réunion.

Mauritius became known to Malay and  Arab and Malay sailors in the 10th century and was explored for the very first time in 1505 by the Portuguese.

In 1598, the  Dutch fleet of three ships was on route to the Spice Islands and got blown off by a cyclone landing on the island. It was named to honour Prince Maurice of Nassau.  In 1715, France seized Mauritius. Along came the French, sugar cane and captured African slaves to work on sugar plantations.

The French harboured the outlawed “Corsairs” (pirates) who hijacked the British vessels when sailing between Britain and Britain and were laden with valuable goods for trade. The British then captured Mauritius in the year 1810.  In 1968 Mauritius gained independence.

Mauritius is a blend of diverse cultures and religions. The population consists of Africans, Indians, British, Creole, Madagascar natives, Chinese, Europeans and Muslims . Descendants of the Indian labourers were brought in after slavery was abolished in 1835. The Muslim and Chinese added to the touch of a Creole and  French cultural legacy.

The Beach of a life

Life’s a beach – and then you die!  The signature of sunny days, and the turquoise lagoon surrounded by the3rd largest coral reef springs out a  typical tropical sweet air with endless beaches.  Mauritius is a true paradise for sea and sun lovers.

Or head to Grand Baie, for parasailing, submarine and semi-submersible scooters, Forget about walking on water, try walking under it!

Mauritius has an abundance of sea treasures like moray eels,  magnificent coral beds with multi coloured fish.  You get to see them scuba diving at the Trou aux Biches guided by the Mauritius Scuba Diving Association (MSDA).

One of the most spectacular ways to explore the ocean beds is to go on board a submarine. Encounter invigorating marine life stepping back into 17th century where various wrecks  can be viewed

Blue Bay beach is the only marine park in Mauritius and one of the most popular bathing spots.  This is perfect for sailing or windsurfing.  Either get into a  glass bottom boat expedition or snorkel to see coral and fish.

Quieter days in the Northern Islands – Gabriel Island,

Check out the rarest stamps at  Blue Penny Museum. In 1847, Mauritius was the fifth country in the world to issue postage stamps.

Mauritius the issued Blue Two Pence and Red Penny stamp. , the 5th country in the world to issue postage stamps. These became the most valuable and famous and valuable rare stamps.

Or go gawk at dodo skeletons in the Natural History Museum.  Mauritius on discovery, was home to an unknown bird species, that the Portuguese named called dodo (simpleton). By the year 1681, all of the dodos were killed by the settlers or domesticated animals. The dodo prominently features as a national coat-of-arms supporter.

Whats for shopping and dinner in Mauritius?

The Mauritius cuisine blends, Creole, Indian, Chinese and European.This friendly cultural co-existence of cultures lives in a blend croissants and curry menus.

 

Roof around for souvenirs and T-shirts upstairs in the bustling of the Central Market, locals bargain over tea and essentials in the midst of catching up on latest gossip trends.

The market was Built in the year 1844. It is the meeting point Mauritians on a search of a “dithe” (tea) or “cari” (curry) .

The market is for getting some local crafts, vegetables as well as “dholl purris”  or herbal tea blends.  Mauritius is popular for duty-free shopping and saving on the cost of textiles.

Mauritius in Tune with Nature

The Rivière Noire is a district of  Creole fishermen’s  where there is  Sega dancing and lively on Saturday nights.

The African roots of Sega, and ”ravane”  traditional percussion instruments as well as metallic triangle metallic clicks. The song compositions describe slavery miseries voice out social satires of inequalities encountered by Creoles.

Mauritius was uninhabited until the 16th century and became a biodiversity hotspot, known for natural beauty.

Invigorate yourself. Go mountain climbing or explore nature through forests, plants or endemic flowers. Enjoy spectacular eco-tourism beauty of playgrounds.

The South-Eastern end is  900 hectares covered in tropical forests  where boars, stag and does  boars roam  around  freely

Mauritius has a total of  700 indigenous plant species. Many plants are threatened with possible extinction because as their natural habitat has been diminished.

Exploring the botanical gardens of  Pamplemousses Gardens, an  18th century and the third oldest in the whole world. It has an international plant collection and includes a spice garden and talipot palm that flowers every  60 years, then dies.  Worldwide naturalists are aware of the exotic and indigenous plants present like the giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies and various palm trees species.  The garden boasts five hundred plant species.

Worldwide naturalists are aware of the exotic and indigenous plants present like the giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies and various palm trees species.  The garden boasts five hundred plant species. Protection of endangered species and natural resources in place with Ile aux Aigrettes, the Mauritius Wildlife fund.

The rarest birds in the world like the pink pigeon and Kestrel can be found here. Families should head to Casela Bird Park Situated in the Rivière Noire district, the bird park stretches over 25 hectares and contains more than 90 aviaries 140 bird species from all five continents.

Hiking in the 6,794-hectare Black River Gorges National Park through the forest and see wildlife, birds and indigenous plants. The Black River Peak trail leads to the highest mountain in Mauritius.

But Mauritius isn’t just nature.  There’s a lot of history going down as well. The Vieux Grand Port is the oldest  Mauritius settlements  where  ruins of  Dutch fortifications can be seen

Pailles Valley, Domaine trends as a harmonious combination of culture, history and nature inflames imagination.  There are journeys to the sugar mill as well as the rum distillery by  a horse- carriage or train

Get ready to #ExploremotherlandAfrica

Fast Facts. 
Currency Mauritius Rupee. 
Symbol: Rs

Electrical Plugs:
12 50Hz                         

Language: 
Most inhabitants are equally fluent in both French and English.                                                  
A visitor must be in possession of a valid passport and a return or onward ticket.                                  
Time Zones:  GMT/UTC+4                               
Country Dialing Code +230                                 
The  Mauritius cyclone season:
November-May.

In Memory of W G Robertson. Thanks to the 'Freeway tours team Julie Hall and Thandi Brewer