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Holidays in Mauritius

Understanding Mauritius

History

The island of Mauritius was first discovered by Arab sailors, at some time in the 9th century, the exact date is unknown At that time the island was uninhabited and covered in a dense forest The Arab sailors were not interested in settling on the island which they named Dina Arobi or Dinarobin Fernandez Pereira, a Portuguese sailor found the island in 1505 and decided to give it the name of Cerne However, the Portuguese did not settle permenantly on the island either

The first to colonise the island were the Dutch They took possession of the island in 1598 The Dutch settlers landed on a bay in the south-eastern part of the island which was named Warwyck Haven after the commander VanWarwyck, the bay is now known as Grand Port Mauritius also got its name during this period; the island was named after the Prince of Holland Mauritz de Nassau

In 1710, the Dutch abandoned the island, leaving behind macaques, the java deer, sugar cane, fugitive slaves and, also, an irreversible damage to the endemic and indigenous flora and fauna of the island - the Dodo was, by then, extinct due to extensive hunting, the bird being very easy to capture, while the, once abundant, black ebony tree population was almost completely depleted due to over-exploitation for its timber

The French settled on the island in 1713, also landing at the bay in the south-east They renamed the bay Port Bourbon and renamed the island Ile de France They settled on the north-western side of the island and established their main harbour there, Port Louis, the present-day capital of Mauritius During the French settlement there was a lot of development in the country Mahé de Labourdonnais , whose statue can be seen across from the harbour in Port louis,is known as the founder of the capital city and the island prospered under his governance 1735-1746

In August 1810, the British tried to take over the island but lost after a fierce battle against the French in the famous Battle of Grand Port - the only victory of the French over the British However, the British came back in December 1810 and successfully defeated the French From then on, the island was renamed Mauritius and remained under British rule until it attained independence

In 1835, slavery was officially abolished and, as most of the African slaves chose to abandon the agricultural fields and move to small coastal villages, indentured labourers Coolies were brought in from India to work in the growing sugar-cane industry 2

On March 12, 1968 Mauritius became an independent nation within the Commonwealth Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam also known as the "Father of the Nation" led the island to independence and did a lot to develop the country On March 12, 1992, Mauritius became a republic under the leadership of the then Prime Minister Sir Aneerood Jugnauth

A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment and has one of Africa's highest per capita incomes Recent poor weather and declining sugar prices have slowed economic growth leading to some protests over standards of living in the Creole community

Climate

Tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; warm, dry winter May to November; hot, wet, humid summer November to May; Natural hazards : Tropical cyclones November to April;but most cyclones usually occur from the end of December until March Mauritius has only two seasons, winter and summer There is not much temperature differences between the two seasons of the year The climate on the central plateau is cooler than on the coastal areas The West coast is much wetter and more humid than the East coast

  • Hottest part is the west coast
  • Windiest part is the East coast
  • December to February are the hottest month of the year
  • The driest month of the year is October
  • Coolest months are from June to August
  • Mauritius Weather 3 - Actual weather report from the Mauritius region

Talking in Mauritius

The official language in Mauritius is English As such, all government administrative documents will be drawn up in English However, French is the language most commonly used in formal settings, and is by far the dominant language in the mass media, as well as in corporate and business dealings In fact, even English language television programmes are usually dubbed into French French is also the main language of instruction used in the education system

The most commonly spoken language is Mauritian Creole, a French based creole which has incorporated some words from diverse sources including but not limited to English, Dutch and Portuguese, and has slight pronunciation differences from standard French While there is no official written standard for Mauritian Creole, when written down for informal communication, words are often spelt differently from standard French The next most commonly spoken language is French, which is spoken fluently by most locals, with English being a not too distant third Virtually everyone working in the tourism industry will be able to speak fairly decent, albeit heavily accented English, and all government departments will have English-speaking staff on duty Other languages spoken by much smaller numbers include: Hindi, Urdu, Hakka, Bhojpuri and Mandarin Tamilians constitues around 10% of population and they speak Tamil

What to see in Mauritius

Northern Touristic Zone

Grand Bay was the first area of the island to fully experience the tourist boom A shopping and leisure paradise, Grand Bay also happens to be the area where Mauritians head for when they want a fun-filled night out restaurants, bars and discos Recently renovated, La Cuvette beach is well worth a visit

  • Pereybere The wonderful Pereybere public beach is popular because of its shopping facilities, restaurants and pubs
  • Balaclava Ruins A few metres away from Baie aux Tortues, which 17th century sailors named after the many tortoises in the area, can be found the ruins of the old Balaclava estate Visitors will be able to see the sea walls, whose initial foundations were laid down by Mahé de Labourdonnais The location of the ruins now forms part of Maritim Hotel, and public access may not be possible
  • The Triolet Shivala The longest village on the island, Triolet offers an opportunity to visit the biggest Hindu temple, the Maheswarnath, first built in 1819 in honour of the Gods Shiva, Krishna, Vishnu, Muruga, Brahma and Ganesha
  • The Labourdonnais Orchards Discover a large variety of tropical fruit trees, colourful and perfumed exotic flowers Trips on mountain bikes or hiking are possible


  • The Caudan Waterfront The Caudan Waterfront and it's surroundings has a great collection of local souvenir shops and other foreign brand materials such as clothes, spirits In addition to the harbor of Mauritius, you will also find the movie theater, game arcades, local restaurants
  • The "Bazard" of Port-Louis Literally translated to "The market of Port Louis", here you will find a collection of various local snack and tropical fruits, they are the cheapest food you will find in the capital city Numerous shop sell crafted objects such as the "goni" basket Unfortunately you will find a lot of stalls selling pirate versions of programs, movies and games, they are extremely cheap but still are illegal and do not ensure quality Like all crowded areas be weary of your surrounding and keep your belongings close to youFood sold on the street may have health issues assigned to them, but those are for most part are rare If you have any allergies though, refrain from eating at those stalls, but isn't trying everything the island has to offer already worth the ticket
  • Restaurants Don't hesitate to go to the various local restaurants around the city, although many of them announce themselves to a specific racial background, like everywhere around the world they have their own mix of traditional and local You might discover that 'fried rice' can have more than one flavor
  • The SSR Botanical Garden You want to see some plants originated from Mauritius, then this is the place for you Note: The SSR botanical garden is the oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere The garden was first constructed by Pierre Poivre 1719 – 1786 in 1770, and covers an area of around 37 hectares

East

  • Flacq Market Flacq is one of the most important villages in Mauritius This meeting point for inhabitants of the East boasts the country’s largest open air market The extremely colourful market attracts a large number of people
  • The Waterpark Leisure Village Enjoy unforgettable moments sliding on the giant chutes, with family or friends Relaxation and pleasure guaranteed
  • Ile aux Cerfs Ile aux Cerfs is a paradise for water sports and has one of the most beautiful beaches in Mauritius You cannot afford to miss this tiny island, delicately poised on the ocean, a real pearl in the Mauritian landscape Price conscious visitors would be well advised to take ample food and drink, as the only bar and restaurant on the island targets primarily well-heeled tourists
  • Beaches The eastern part of the island is known for it's long sand bank beaches and it's famous hotel such as "The Coco Beach Hotel" and the famed 5-star hotel "Le Touessrok"

South East

  • Dutch Ruins At Vieux Grand Port, the oldest settlements in Mauritius, you can see the ruins of the first Dutch fortifications Excavation work is underway in a bid to uncover an important part of Mauritian history
  • Ile aux Aigrettes Owing to the remarkable work accomplished by the Mauritius Wildlife Fund, the island has become an international standard for the protection of natural resources and endangered species A few of the world’s rarest birds, including the kestrel, can be seen there You can also discover the extremely rare Pink Pigeon, the Green Gecko Phelsuma and the Aldabra giant tortoise
  • Mahebourg Mahébourg is one of the main fishing villages on the island Built on the magnificent Grand Port Bay it was founded in 1804 by the French Governor Charles Decaën The Monday markets are one of the biggest and best on the island and can be found right next to the main bus station
  • Domaine du Chasseur, Tel: 230 634-5011, Fax: 230 634-5261 Nestling in the Anse Jonchée hills, the Domaine des Grand Bois has splendid hunting grounds covering an area of 900 hectares Stags, monkeys and boars live amidst the luxuriant vegetation of the hillside One can watch a few species of endangered birds, including the kestrel The Domaine contains four thatched-roof bungalows and a restaurant with a panoramic sea view Take an opportunity to enjoy a meal of venison The view is great and well worth the visit, but the food can best be described as average The venison is very chewy There is a steep hike up the hill from the car park to the restaurant The restaurant offers a 4wd taxi service which is free if you eat one of their overpriced meals, but if you only want a cup of tea or desert they will slug you an outrageous 230 roupee per person, for the 5 minute ride
  • Souillac A small seaside resort along the rugged coast of the Savanne district A famous feature is the garden overlooking the sea and named after Dr Charles Telfair A popular viewpoint is found at the southern end of the village, right on the cliff top : Gris Gris
  • Blue Bay Bluest water and most amazing white sand beaches you will ever see Take the trip across the island from Port Louis and see what this quiet place has to offer Very busy with the locals on weekends Try to go during the week Glass bottom boats are an excellent outing Part of Blue Bay has been designated a Marine Park, and the snorkeling trips by boat to this area, offered for sale on the main public beach, are well worth trying

West

  • Martello Towers The Martello Towers, found at La Preneuse, Black River, represent the scene of the ancient rivalry between old colonial powers and the ingenuity of mankind They are a milestone in the island’s history; they symbolise the end of slavery and the beginning of Indian immigration
  • Chamarel A winding road leads from Case Noyale village to the coloured earths of Chamarel: an undulating landscape of different and contrasting shades of colours The different shades of blue, green, red and yellow are apparently the result of the erosion of the volcanic ash The neighbouring waterfalls of Chamarel rise from the moors and the native plant life The site possesses a rare beauty An adventure park has also recently been opened at Chamarel Much of the sand has been souvenired by locals It is now sectioned off, but is not that impressive
  • Salt Pans Owing to the exceptional high level of sunshine the district receives, Tamarin is naturally the heart of salt production in Mauritius
  • Casela, Tel: 230 452-2828 Situated in the Rivière Noire district, the Casela Nature & Leisure Park stretches over 25 hectares It contains more than 140 bird species from all five continents and is home to many other animals like giant tortoises, zebras, a tiger and ostriches Activities like walking with lions, Rando Funziplines & hanging bridges, quad, buggy & Segway, a petting farm and many more promise a fun day for the whole family
  • Yemen Yemen Reserve may not be the largest game reserve on the island, but there is still lots to see You will be able to get close to the herds of deer, as well as admire some splendid species of Mauritian fauna A few rustic kiosks available in the reserve provide an unobstructed view of the sea There you can sip a local punch while watching the sun going down

The Interior

  • Black River Gorges This national park of 6,574 hectares 16,244 acres was created in 1994 for the protection of Mauritius’ remaining native forests Visitors can enjoy magnificent landscapes, with endemic plants and rare bird species A trail leads from the Pétrin information centre to an area of typical plant life and to a conservation area
  • Eureka, Tel: 204 326-4775, Fax: 204 326-9732 Is an old Creole residence built in 1830, Eureka is an essential place to visit during your stay in Mauritius if you wish to immerse yourself in tropical sweetness Includes a tour of the colonial house with the opportunity to purchase overpriced textile products, and a tour of the gardens and a visit to the waterfalls below
  • Ganga Talao - Grand Bassin Beyond La Marie and Mare-aux-Vacoas is found one of the two natural lakes of Mauritius It rests within the crater of an extinct volcano Ganga Talao is an important pilgrimage site and many Mauritians of the Hindu faith walk there during the Maha Shivaratri festival or the night fasting dedicated to Shiva Gigantic eels live in the lake and are fed by the pilgrims A walk to the top of the mount beside the lake is recommended for beautiful views over the area known as "Plaine Champagne"
  • L’Aventure du Sucre, Tel: 243 06 60 Daily 9AM-6PM Visit an interactive and ultra modern exhibition situated at the heart of an ancient sugarmill and discover the fascinating history of Mauritius and its sugarcane adventure exposed over 5000 sq meters! Then, let yourself be tempted by their boutique with its unique gifts, souvenirs and tasting of special unrefined sugars as well as local rum Do not miss the opportunity to relish authentic Mauritian cuisine with refined flavours at their restaurant "Le Fangourin" Free access to the restaurant and the Village Boutique Beau Plan-Pamplemousses

What to do in Mauritius

  • Views For a spectacular 360-degree view of Port Louis and the north, climb Le Pouce or ‘the thumb', at 812m 2,664ft It is an easy 2-hour climb from the village of Petit Verger near St Pierre, and takes another 2 hours to walk into Port Louis
  • Tour the Moka mountains by quad bike, horse or 4-wheel drive at the accessible 1,500-hectare 3,700-acre nature park of Domaine Les Pailles Travel to the sugar mill and rum distillery by train or horse-drawn carriage before dining in one of four restaurants
  • Deep sea fishing also known as Big game Fishing surrounded by the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is ideally positioned to access the many exciting species of fish that frequent the warm, tropical waters Depending on the time of year it is possible to catch Blue or Black Marlin , Sailfish , Wahoo , Yellow fin Tuna , Giant Trevally , Dogtooth Tuna , Bonito , Dolphinfish, Sharks and many more The majority of the Big game fishing boats are well equipped with VHF radio, mobile telephone, GPS navigation system, radar, radio telephone, safety equipments, Penn International reels, life jackets, medical kits, fire extinguishers, flares, and all related fishing equipments such as fighting chairs and rods usually 9 You can choose between half day trips and full day fishing trips Big game fishing is best on the west coast of Mauritius because the currents swirl around the foot of Le Morne, creating a marine environment attractive to bait fish, which in turn attracts the larger fish Boats usually accommodate up to 5 anglers and full day trips typically include both breakfast and lunch in the price
  • Head to Grand Baie, for watersports such as parasailing, an underwater walk, submarine and semi-submersible scooters, or to La Cuvette, a long silky beach with clear water between Grand Baie and Cap Malheureux, for sailing, windsurfing and waterskiing
  • Full day sightseeing tours Go on one of the full day sightseeing tours and discover the beautiful and the many sights of Mauritius Choose between a selection of tours to see the different parts of Mauritius: Mauritius North Tour, Mauritius South & Southwest Tour, Mauritius South West Tour, Mauritius South-Chamouny Tour, Mauritius South-East Tour and Mauritius Complete Tea Route tour
  • Safari Jeep Trips The Safari Jeep trip takes place in Yemen natural reserve park The park is on the West Coast of Mauritius It hosts two of the longest rivers on the island – Rivière Rempart and Tamarin River – and is a haven for all sorts of native wildlife The actual size of this natural reserve is of around 4500 hectares The Yemen Park is the perfect setting for Safari trips were you will have a thrilling ride and will be able to see many beautiful animals such as Zebras, ostriches, African antelopes, Java deers, monkeys, ducks and geese in their naturals habitat, and will get to see extraordinary panoramic views of this breathtaking part of the island
  • Safari Quad biking Trips Experience an adventurous Quad biking activity in the most amazing natural setting! quad-biking activity in the 4,500 hectares of Yemen natural reserve park More than a quad bike outing, it is a trip through a real safari During the trip it is possible to see deers, zebras, ostriches, African antelopes, wild boars and many more; this a very big added bonus to this activity
  • Swim at the northern beaches such as Trou aux Biches, shaded by casuarinas, Mont Choisy, a 2km 12-mile narrow white stretch of sand curving north from there, and Péreybère, a little cove between Grand Baie and Cap Malheureux
  • Diving When you dive in Mauritius you explore coral reefs, multi-colored marine life, ship wrecks dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as some ships sunk more recently which create beautiful artificial reefs There are numerous dive sites strewn all over the island One of the most well-known and popular dive sites in Mauritius is the Cathedral, which is located off the Flic en Flac on the western coast of Mauritius Other dive sites in Mauritius include the Whale Rock and Roche Zozo that is an underwater rock pinnacle and the submerged crater near Ile RondeYou can go on a dive safari or diving trip to any of these dives sites and many more Mauritius, almost completely encircled by a barrier coral reef, is home to many sponges, sea anemones and a variety of multi-colored fish such as the Damselfis, Trumpet, Boxfish not forgetting the playful clown, as well as Mauritian scorpion with its unique orange color Most of the Dive sites are located on the west coast around Flic-en-Flac or in the north, at Trou aux Biches or at the Northern Islands The best time to go diving is from November to April with very good visibility underwater The Mauritius Scuba Diving Association MSDA can provide further information
  • Watch dolphins up-close in their natural habitat off the western coast Tamarin of the island
  • Speedboat from Trou d'eau Douce to the popular island playground of Ile aux Cerfs for beaches, golf and watersports Or, for a quieter day, a catamaran to the Northern Islands - Gabriel Island, Flat Island and Gunner's Quoin


  • Hiking and Trekking Hiking and Trekking in Mauritius with its breathtaking views of mountains, rivers, forests and more in a hiking trip through the fields, trekking on a zip line or on a bike, and discover this magnificent nature paradise Mauritius being a volcanic island has several breathtaking summits and valleys to explore on foot The island is well known for its natural beauty In addition to the traditional trekking activity you can also go on a unique adventure activity of trekking with the zip lines It is recommended to visit the Black River Gorges National Park, a 6,794-hectare 16,788-acre forest, to see indigenous plants, birds and wildlife Black River Peak trail goes to Mauritius' highest mountain, while the Maccabee Trail starts nearby and plunges into the gorge to Black River
  • Mauritius Tandem Skydiving – Experience skydiving in Mauritius A 10,000ft skydive in Mauritius paradise island Enjoy Mauritius' most spectacular scenic flight and the most visually awesome Tandem Skydive Tandem skydiving refers to a type of skydiving where a student skydiver is connected via a harness to a tandem instructor The instructor guides the student through the whole jump from exit through freefall, piloting the canopy, and landing The student needs only minimal instruction before making a tandem jump
  • Horse racing - The Mauritius horse racing club commonly called the Champ de Mars was founded in 1812, making it the oldest horse-racing club in the Southern Hemisphere Horse racing is the most popular sport in Mauritius, and you can expect to have about 30,000 visitors in each race day The horse racing season usually starts in April and ends normally in late November With an average of 9 horses per race, some goes to a maximum of 12 horses On average some 60 horses participate on each racing day It is highly recommended to go and experience the electric atmosphere of horse racing in Mauritius For those interested it is also possible have a VIP treatment in each of the VIP suites while enjoying snacks and drinks and a clear view of the race from your private balcony
  • Lunch For an adventurous lunch of roasted wild boar, duck or deer curry with one of the best island views, try Domaine du Chasseur's alfresco Panoramour Restaurant This domain is the best place to glimpse the Mauritius kestrel in the wild ** WARNING There is a steep hike up the hill from the car park to the restaurant The restaurant offers a 4wd taxi service which is free if you eat one of their overpriced meals, but if you only want a cup of tea or desert they will slug you an outrageous 230 roupee per person, for the 5 minute ride **


  • Parasailing For those looking for a fun sea-air activity, you should definitely try parasailing You will be rewarded with a breathtaking bird's eye view of the beautiful lagoon and beaches This is the ultimate way to enjoy your holiday The parasailing begins with a short safety briefing Then you will be taken by boat to the launch pod where you will take off and start the parasailing No steering is actually necessary as the sail follows the course of the boat
  • Water Ski Water-skiing is one of the most popular water sports in Mauritius You can enjoy water skiing along several of Mauritius’ coasts and also in few of the country’s lakes The best area for water skiing is considered to be the north area of the island, along the coasts, where the lagoon provides full protection from the big waves of the open sea and offers ideal water skiing conditions of very calm sea
  • La Vanille Réserve des Mascareignes The park which is home to various species of animals, reptiles and plants is set in a beautiful rain forested valley with natural freshwater springs, full of prawns and fish It is commonly referred to as ‘The Crocodile Park', for its thousands of Nile crocodiles It is the only place worldwide to breed aldabra tortoises There is also a mini zoo of Mauritian fauna where you can find most of the Mauritian mammals and reptiles including skinks, phelsumas geckos, tortoises, turtles, bats, deers, mongooses, monkeys, pigs, as well as domestic livestock such as goats, fat-tailed sheep and donkeys At the park shop, you'll find crocodile belts and other crocodile goods
  • Swimming with Dolphins - Go on a speed boat trip and swim with Dolphins in the open sea You can choose between 2 hours trip, half day and full day trips where you will get to swim with the Bottlenose Dolphin and the Spinner Dolphin, which have made of the West Coast of Mauritius a place for them to rest before going to the deep sea for their fishing
  • Walk with Lions & Cheetahs Experience a one-on-one encounter with Lions and Cheetahs! Feel the adrenaline rush, the sense of excitement and know how it is to be so close to these amazing creatures From the moment you meet the lions, your adventure shall begin Under the coolness of the trees you can take pleasure in viewing the lions from very close, see them playing and hopping on the rocks of the river banks and scaling the trees The lions roam freely amongst the participants giving them the unique opportunity of being in close contact with them
  • Rodrigues Island Tiny, rugged, volcanic it lies 550km 340 miles northeast of Mauritius and is known as the ‘anti-stress' island The capital, Port Mathurin, is only seven streets wide, with a Creole population Rodrigues offers walking, diving, kitesurfing and deep sea fishing
  • Tamarind Waterfalls The Tamarind Falls also known as Tamarin Falls are a beautiful attraction of the southwest of Mauritius These falls are awkward to reach, but no doubt, it's worth the effort Tamarind Falls on the Interior portion of the island is an incredible string of about 7 waterfalls surrounds by green mountains and is tucked away beyond a sugar cane filled Bring something to swim in as the are numerous pools beneath certain falls to take a dip in There are some spots that require getting a little dirty and some traction on your shoes, but it is well worth it First time visitors would be advised not to go unguided No doubt this is one of the most beautiful and calmest places in Mauritius, and one of the best places for nature and animals lovers, and for finding exotic plants and birds
  • Blue Safari Submarine see the wonderful underwater tropical fish without even getting your feet wet Going underwater to 35 meters depth on board of a real submarine You will get to visit a shipwreck, explore the rich coral reefs, and observe and encounter various species of fish The submarine is air-conditioned with fully transparent-glassed cabin so you will enjoy exceptionally clear panoramic views of the extraordinary underwater world At 35 meters undersea, you may see some rare species and will explore the underwater world just like on any other traditional safari
  • Underwater Submarine Scooter Adventure Pilot your own underwater scooter by yourself or as a couple to 3-4 meters depth in full safety Comfortably seated one behind the other, you breath freely and naturally in a broad common, transparent and panoramic cupola which allow you to discover and to enjoy full the view of the reef and marine life, while communicating all along with your partner You will receive full briefing about the easy control of the underwater scooter, and will be equipped with a diving suit for warmth and full safety
  • Sea Kayaking is a great way to explore the fine greenery of the lagoons, or the open waters of the Indian Ocean It is possible to find wide range of sea kayaking trips and packages from breezy, calmer routes, to a few days trip surrounding the island in the deep ocean waters This is also possible to have a kayak trip to any of the small islets surrounding the main island such as Ile D'Ambre Island
  • Shop Mauritius is not at all like Bali or Thailand Don't expect the local merchants to be interested in a long bartering game Many shops will not come down on price at all and even at the markets don't expect more than a 10 -20% discount There are bargains to be had however Many large brand names in the textile world are manufactured in Mauritius and you can often find over runs or slightly flawed items at a fraction of the European prices It is also a good place to find unique designed jewelery, wide range of hand crafts such as: artificial flowers, model boats, wooden art and more It is possible to reach the main shopping centers by public transportation, or to take a full day shopping tour which includes a driver to take you to the main centers and handcrafts workshops
  • Rock climbing – Rock climbing on the South West coast of Mauritius You will get to experience rock climbing in a beautiful setting Of the Belle Vue Cliffs, where the caves of "La Pointe aux Caves" are nestled and in close proximity from the famous lighthouse of Albion This a great outdoor sport where you will learn the basic techniques of knots, safe climbing and rock progression from Mauritius’ top professional guides As part of rock climbing excursion you will be trained on some breathing exercises to maximize climbing performance over rock faces and cliffs
  • Canyoning – For those seeking more adrenalin and thrill, canyoning is your ideal excursion, which challenges you to abseil down the steep walls of the canyons using nature watercourses and canyoning gear The canyoning is offered in few locations in Mauritius The Canyoning known also as canyoneering in Mauritius consists of traveling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include walking, climbing, jumping, abseiling, and/or swimming

Buying stuff in Mauritius

Souvenirs can be bought at Marche Capital or Marche Sixieme in Nouakchott, or at tourist shops in the Adrar Fabric will be sold in boutiques all over the country, but Kaedi is famous for its tie-dying

In general, the quality of most Mauritanian souvenirs is not as good as one might expect That said, you can find leather products, pipes, wooden bowls, tea pots and silver jewelry among other things be careful with the quality of jewelry Fabric, however, is tie-dyed by hand and can be quite beautiful Fabric will be sold as a mulafa veil--usually gauzy and one piece--or as material for a boubou, with two separate pieces for a skirt and top Fabric is sold anywhere for anything from 1500 UM to 8000 UM, depending on the fabric quality and work involved

When buying anything in Mauritania, feel free to bargain Sometimes the starting price will be three times the actual price Stay friendly, but don't worry about insulting anyone by asking for a lower price

Food and eating in Mauritius

When leaving Mauritius, don't wait until you go through passport control if you want to have a snack The coffee shop after passport control is not value for money You would be better off visiting the snack bar before check-in and taking your purchases through with you

Mauritius is a paradise for the senses, not only for the eyes with its beautiful landscape, but also for the palate Gastronomes will find a variety of flavours and aromas inherited from the different migrations through its history Culinary traditions from France, India, China and Africa, the best-known and appreciated cuisines in the world, have been passed on through generations

Depending on the region, rice or a variety of flat bread called chapattis or roti, called farata paratha by the local people, is eaten with curries The extensive use of spices like saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves and herbs like thyme, basil, and curry leaves are the common ingredients that provide some powerful, yet subtle, savour Dal, a variety of lentil soup, are many and varied according to which type of lentil is used; vegetables, beans, and pickles accompany the dishes Dholl puri and roti, originally an Indian delicacy have become the fish and chips of Mauritians

Biryani from Mughal origins is a dish expertly prepared by the Muslim community, with meat mixed with spiced rice and potatoes

You can buy many snacks on the streets of Mauritius including the famous gateaux piments a variant of the indian vadai ; literally, chilli cakes, and vegetable or meat samosas puffs, along with octopus curry in bread The tomato and onion based dish called Rougaille pronounced rooh-guy is a variation of the French ragoût The dish usually consists of meat or seafood corned beef and salted snoek fish rougaille are very popular with the locals and all Mauritians eat this dish often if not daily

Mauritians have a sweet tooth and make many types of 'gateaux', as they are called The cakes vary and you can find cakes very much like at home and others similar to Indian sweets like Gulab Jamun and Rasgulla among many others

Check out the queues where the street sellers are selling their type of snacks and the longest queue will probably have the tastiest food on sale and is very cheap

Drinking in Mauritius

Mauritius produces a wide range of cane rum It is very cheap and is a nice drink when mixed with cola and ice Don't forget the coconut water with a dash of lime and a splash of local rum over ice The serious amateur will try to find a bottle of five years old or older rum Worth the price difference!

If you are staying in a hotel where the drinks are wildly expensive consider collecting your tipples while you are out and about from the local village shops or supermarkets where the prices are much cheaper

The local beer Phoenix is considered to be one of the best in the world and costs around 30 rupees less than one pound sterling for a pint Usually served very cold

The local Black Eagle beer, brewed in Nouvelle France is one to watch out for as well Definite refreshment to match the sweltering summer heat

Try visiting the Medine Estate Refinery shop at Bambous 4km from Flic en Flac, on the west of the Island, for a wide variety of locally produced rums and liquors

Accommodation in Mauritius

  • Bungalow Vanille Royal Road, Black River info@bungalowvanillecom http://bungalowvanillecom Detached bungalow with a pool Five minute walk to the beach Friendly staff €50/night
  • Le Canonnier Royal Road - Pointe Aux Canonniers +230 209 7000 http://wwwlecanonnier-hotelcom canonnier@bchotcom +230 263 7864Set on a private peninsula, occupying an historical site with viewa over the northern islands The hotel rooms, duplexes and family apartments either border on a series of small inlets or are scattered amongst the shady trees In the heart of the gardens is an ancient banyan tree where the Wellness Centre is accessed by a flight of steps leading into the branches where the massage cabins are situated Pirate-themed kid's club in an old lighthouse
  • Les Chalets en Champagne 110 route Plaine Champagne, Chamarel above Chamarel, at the border of the Black River Gorges National Park +230 483 6610 / 483 5710 varangue@intnetmu +230 483 5410 http://wwwleschaletsenchampagnecom/ Half-board for 2 guests €115Mountain chalets in a quiet garden, just on the border of the national park and under the Piton de la Rivière Noire Views of the valleys, the Morne and the sea Good restaurant nearby Varangue sur Morne
  • Dinarobin Hotel Golf & Spa Le Morne Peninsula +230 401 4900 http://wwwdinarobin-hotelcom dinarobin@bchotcom +230 401 4901All suite five-star beach and golf resort with spa
  • Labourdonnais, Waterfront, Port Louis 5 star hotel convenient for Port Louis and many restaurants around the area Popular with businessmen
  • Lacazecreole Self catering house Mare la chaux, Belle Mare 230 4934065 lacazecreole@hotmailcom Euros per room http://lacazecreolee-monsitecom/
  • La Maison d'Eté small beach hotel Coastal Road, Poste Lafayette +230 410 5039 info@lamaisondetecom + 230 410 5354 http://wwwlamaisondetecom/ Room for 2 persons €110A good alternative to the big hotels A few rooms Private beach along the lagoon, from where you can swim and snorkel to view the reef life Good restaurant Warm welcome by the owners
  • Le Mauricia Royal Road - Grand Baie +230 209 1100 http://wwwlemauricia-hotelcom mauricia@bchotcom +230 263 7888A four star resort in the center of grand bay
  • Le Meridien Ile Maurice http://perfectescapescom/Luxury_Hotel-PID1727-Pointe_Aux_Piments_-Le_Meridien_Ile_MauricehtmlBeachfront on the bay of Pointe aux Piments
  • Paradis Hotel & Golf Club Le Morne Peninsula +230 401 5050 http://wwwparadis-hotelcom paradis@bchotcom +230 450 51 405-star golf resort
  • The Residence The Residence Hotel Mauritius http://wwwmauritiusbesthotelscom/the-residence-hotel-mauritius 5* Hotel in the style of a plantation house; popular with honeymooners Inspired by turn-of-the-century colonial mansions
  • Le Touessrok http://wwwelegantresortscouk/le-touessrok/p Luxury hotel that is a member of ''Leading Hotels of the World''
  • Rialto Villa Trou Aux Biches 230 4653293 info@rialtovillacom 230 4653293 http://wwwrialtovillacom/en/indexhtm
  • Royal Palm Hotel Royal Road - Grand Baie +230 209 8300 http://wwwroyalpalm-hotelcom royalpalm@bchotcom +230 263 8455A member of "The Leading Hotels of the World"
  • Shandrani Resort & Spa Blue Bay +230 603 4343 shandrani@bchotcom +230 401 4901 http://wwwshandrani-hotelcomAll inclusive resort for action-packed holidays, for families, couples, and nature-lovers
  • Taj Exotica Resort & Spa http://wwwperfectescapescom/Luxury_Hotel-PID1695-Flic-en-Flac_-Taj_Exotica_Resort_&_Spa_Mauritiushtml Right on Tamarin Bay
  • Trou Aux Biches Resort & Spa Triolet +230 204 6565 http://wwwtrouauxbiches-hotelcom trouauxbiches@bchotcom +230 265 6611Hotel completely reconstructed and reopening on 1st of Nov 2010
  • Le Victoria Pointe Aux Piments +230 204 2000 victoria@bchotcom +230 261 8224 http://wwwlevictoria-hotelcomFamily holiday resort
  • Villas Oasis Grand Bay +2307270022 http://wwwvillas-oasiscom Self catering villa with private pool, kiosk and garden and 24hours security 2 mins from the beach
  • Tyvabro Guesthouse 10 Rue La Marianne, Mahebourg 230 631 9674 - hassenjaunbocus@yahoocom http://wwwtyvabrocom 27 Euro per room per night Guesthouse operated by a family and has around 6 rooms of assorted configurations double, twin etc all with airconditioning The price also includes a full breakfast 2 minute's walk from the Mahebourg bus terminal
  • One&Only - Le Saint Géran http://wwwoneandonlyresortscom/flashhtml 5* hotel opened in 1975 and remodeled in 1999 with balconied rooms facing the Indian Ocean 60-acre resort has a 9-hole Gary Player designed golf course, spa with pool and gym, a French restaurant, an Indian restaurant Amenities includes a KidsOnly club for 4-11 year olds and a teens club
  • Chante au Vent Guesthouse Coastal Road, Pointe dEsny 5km from Mahebourg +230 631 961 http://wwwchanteauventcom/ A thatched house on the beach at Pointe d’Esny in the Southeastern part of the island Situated only a few steps from the Blue Bay Lagoon and its sandy beaches
  • La Cocoteraie Mont-Choisy 230 265 5694 http://cocoteraieamltdnet/index_enghtml On the northwest coast two minutes walk from the beaches at Mont Choisy and Trou-aux-Biches
  • Hotel La Residence Grand Bay, Mauritius +230 755 0747 http://wwwcassamallyholidaycom Affordable rooms starting from 20 eur/night
  • Pingouinvillas 94A, Rue des Daurades in the residential tourist area in Blue-Bay, the southeast of Mauritius Island 00 230 6373051 http://wwwpingouinvillascom €200-400 It is set-up in a small tropical garden full of exotic flowers under the shade of coconut trees encircled by cool verandahs bordered by fanciful balustrades It enjoys an exceptional peace where only the chirping of birds disturbs the calmness in the morning and the area is harmonious with its tropical flora and fauna

Working in Mauritius

Mauritius is an ideal place to live if you have your own business, especially if you earn your money overseas The government established a new visa category in 2006 catering to the self-employed

  • Investment Promotion Agency of the Government of Mauritius http://wwwinvestmauritiuscom +230 203 3800 contact@investmauritiuscomExtremely helpful government agency

Investors, Self-employed and professionals are eligible to apply for an Occupation Permit which combines both a Work and Residence Permit For further information visit the website 14

There are companies which are specialised in providing advisory services to foreign investors, expatriates, professionals, and self-employed on Work and Residence Permit in Mauritius For further information, please visit the website 15

Cities in Mauritius

What do you think about Mauritius?

How expensive is Mauritius?
(1 MUR = 0.03 USD)
Meal in inexpensive restaurant175 MUR
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)0.97 MUR
McDonalds meal196 MUR
Local beer (0.5 draft)79.2 MUR
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 76.1 MUR
Cappuccino85.33 MUR
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)24.41 MUR
Water (0.33 bottle)18.02 MUR
Milk (1l)49.86 MUR
Fresh bread (500g)12.9 MUR
White Rice (1kg)65.7 MUR
Eggs (12) 71.11 MUR
Local Cheese (1kg) 232.5 MUR
Chicken Breast (1kg) 165.71 MUR
Apples (1kg) 62.6 MUR
Oranges (1kg) 69.36 MUR
Tomato (1kg) 74.74 MUR
Potato (1kg) 45.8 MUR
Lettuce (1 head) 19.81 MUR
Water (1.5l)26.88 MUR
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 266.75 MUR
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)48.3 MUR
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 53.17 MUR
Cigarettes135.8 MUR
One way local bus ticket35.3 MUR
Monthly pass for bus2.21 MUR
Taxi start21.6 MUR
Taxi 1km45.5 MUR
Taxi 1hour waiting188 MUR
Gasoline (1 liter) 56.14 MUR
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 316.67 MUR
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 15.04 MUR
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 26.45 MUR
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 31.96 MUR
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