Le Morne Mauritius

Mauritius, an exotic dreamy getaway

Nestled in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is a paradise destination that promises an unforgettable experience for travellers. Palms around beautiful beaches with white powdery sand, coral reefs, amazing nature, tasty food and luxurious resorts are perfect reasons to visit Mauritius. And don’t forget rum made from local sugar, and an extinct bird Dodo, the symbol of the country.

“Mauritius was made first, and then heaven, and heaven was copied after Mauritius” once said  Mark Twain.

Hm, maybe it is why Mauritius is also known as “a honeymoon island” 🙂

Mauritius Flic En Flac Beach Sunset

Amazing sunset on the Flic en Flac Beach

 

How to get to Mauritius

The Republic of Mauritius is located in the southwest of the Indian Ocean. It is about 800 km east of Madagascar, and about 200 km from Reunion Island, which belongs to France. This African country consists of islands Mauritius, Rodrigues and almost 50 islets. Together with Reunion, they belong to the Mascarene Islands. By the way, Mauritius is 45 km in width and 65km in length.

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is Mauritius’s main airport, also called “Plaisance Airport”. It is located 48 km southeast of the capital city of Port Louis. The island is connected with many countries worldwide with Turkish Airlines, Air France, Emirates, Fly Dubai, Lufthansa, and other air companies.

 

 

 

A few words about Mauritius’ history

It is believed that Arab sailors were the first who visited the island. But officially, Mauritius was discovered by the Portuguese according to Portuguese maps at the beginning of the 16th century.

For centuries, Mauritius was home to the Dutch, the French, the English, the Africans, the Indians, and the Chinese. And yes, it is an incredible mix of cultures. All of them had an impact on the Mauritian population.

The first inhabitants were the Dutch who settled on the island in 1598, in the southeast, driven by a storm. They named the island “Ile Maurice” after Prince Maurits van Nassau, the governor of Holland. So, the Dutch were responsible for the start of the production of sugarcane, for domestic animals and deer. However, the colonists struggled with cyclones, diseases, and delayed shipment of supplies. They left the island in 1710.

By the way, an interesting bird Dodo and a giant tortoise lived in Mauritius. However, the Dutch presence contributed to the extinction of this endemic bird because of hunting it for food. Today, Dodo is the national symbol.

Then, five years later, the French arrived, and they changed the name of the island to “Isle de France”. They established Port Louis as a naval base, shipbuilding and trade centre. During this period, the trade of slaves from Africa and Madagascar increased because of the development of the sugarcane industry. The French ruled the island until 1810.

By the way, you can read more about the Slavery trade in Zanzibar, the largest slave centre in Africa here.

 

 The British and the Sugarcane industry

In 1810, the British occupied the island and named it “Mauritius” again.
So, Mauritius became the British Empire’s main sugar-producing colony and huge social and economic changes were made. But the most important thing was the abolition of slavery in 1835, and the starting of the program “Great Experiment” initiated by the British Government.

It resulted in the arrival of more than 462,000 indentured labourers who came to Mauritius between 1835 and the First World War. They were from India, Madagascar, Mozambique, China, and South East Asia. Most of them were of Hindu and Muslim religions, who changed the society structure.

But, tensions between the Indian and the Franco-Mauritian populations started in the 1920s. The Mauritius Labour Party was born in 1947, and these elections were the first steps towards independence. Finally, the British rule ended in 1968. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam became the first Prime Minister on 12 March 1968. In 1992, Mauritius became a republic.

 

Mauritius economy today

After gaining independence from Britain, the country had a rapid development in tourism, textile, sugar and financial services. Also, there was the development of property, information and communication technology, renewable energy, education, healthcare and other services making Mauritius one of the wealthier countries in Africa. The economy attracts foreign investment, as well.

Even though you can see the sugarcane fields all around the island, today there are only three mills. But once, there were much more. For example, in 1860, there were 296 mills…

Mauritius Sugarcane Field

Mauritius Sugarcane Field

 

The best time to travel to Mauritius

Mauritius has a tropical climate, which means that you can visit it and swim in the ocean all year round. But the weather could change suddenly. It means that it is a mix of hot, sunny hours and rain, with or without wind. Mauritius is located in the southern hemisphere, which means that the summer and winter are opposite to the seasons in Europe. There are two main seasons.

The summer in Mauritius is from November to April. Days are long and humid, with average temperatures of 28 to 34°C. Also, the average water temperature is between 26-30°C. The sunset is approximately about 7.00 PM. The cyclone season is from late December to March.

The winter season is from May to October. The temperatures are from 22 to 28°C, the humidity is reduced, and the average water temperature is between 22-25°C. Generally, the western and northern areas are warmer and drier than the central, eastern and southern parts of the island.

 

Where to stay

Depending on your budget, there are various types of accommodation: from hostels, apartments, small boutique hotels, and hotels with 2*, 3*, 4*, and 5*,  to 6* luxury resorts. Prices vary due to the periods, but the highest prices are in December, January, February and March, as well as for Christmas and Easter.

The most popular tourist places are located in the north and north-west, such as Grand Baie and Trou aux Biches. In this area, there are many hotels, apartments, restaurants and bars.

Le Morne is one of the landscapes of the island, located on the south-west. It is an amazing area with beaches, and luxury resorts, surrounded by beautiful nature.

Flic en Flac is also a popular tourist place in the west, with a long beach and many tourist facilities.

Generally, a low-budget traveller can expect to spend around 50 to 80 EUR per day, while a mid-range traveller around 100-150 EUR per day. Well, everything depends on your accommodation, meals, transportation, interests, and activities

 

What to see on Mauritius and how to get around the island?

Mauritius offers a diverse range of attractions for travellers who seek relaxation, cultural sights, nature and sea adventures.

So, you can rent a car and explore the island yourself or book various organized excursions. Bear in mind that in Mauritius you have to drive on the left side of the road.

Since we arranged our trip to Mauritius by ourselves, we contacted the Taxi Mauritius transfer agency. Generally, two-way transport (arrival & departure) costs from 65 EUR (2 persons) to 100 EUR for a minibus (10 persons).
Sham, our driver, waited for us at the airport and took us to our apartment in Flic en Flac. At the same time, he was our driver and guide in exploring Mauritius. We had a great time with him because excursions were like private tours making our vacation unforgettable 🙂

Well, let me tell you more about this stunning island…

 

Port Louis

The capital of Mauritius is Port Louis, located in the north-west of the country. It was founded by French Governor Bertrand-François Mahé de Labourdonnais in 1735.

Mauritius a View of Port Louis Houses

A view of Port Louis houses from Citadel

 

Take your time and stroll along the vibrant streets. Visit the colourful market where you can find all: clothes, souvenirs, aromatic spices, fish, fruits, vegetables, etc…

Mauritius Central Market

Central Market in Port Louis

 

The modern part of the city is the Caudan Waterfront on the harbourfront. Take a walk in a promenade, and enjoy restaurants, bars, the Blue Penny Museum, shopping centre, and many various shops.

the Caudan Waterfront Port Louis Mauritius

The Caudan Waterfront and shopping centre

 

Visit the Citadel, known as Fort Adelaide. It is an old stone fortress built on the hill by the British to defend the city. From the fortress, there is a stunning view of Port Louis and the harbour.

Mauritius Port Louis Citadel Fort Adelaide

Port Louis, Citadel – Fort Adelaide

 

Another popular attraction is Champs de Mars, located at the foot of the hill. It is one of the world’s oldest horse racing tracks, from the early 19th century.

Mauritius Port Louis and Champ De Mars

Port Louis and Champ de Mars

 

Jummah Mosque dates back to the late 19th century and it is still in use for daily prayers.
It is located at the entrance to Chinatown, a part of the city where you can find many various shops, restaurants, and souvenirs.

Mairitius Port Louis the Jummah Mosque

The Jummah Mosque

 

Botanical Garden

Pamplemousses Botanical Garden is one of the most visited places, located 13 km northwest of Port Louis. It was constructed in 1770. You can spend all day strolling along the paths and admiring various tropical trees, plants, flowers, and lotus lilies.

Mauritius Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden

 

And… you can read more about the vibrant city of Port Louis in the following post 🙂

 

Religion and Hindu Temple

Almost all the world’s religions are represented in Mauritius. Hinduism dominated with over 50%, followed by Christianity (28%), and Islam (17%). It means that you can see various religious objects such as Hindu temples, churches and mosques all around the island.

Mauritius the Grand Bassin Hindu Temple Statues

Giant statues next to the Grand Bassin Hindu Temple

 

But, the most sacred place is a Hindu temple on the Ganga Talao, the sacred lake known as Grand Bassin. Before the temple, you will see the giant statues of Lord Shiva which is 33 metres high and the goddess Durga Maa.ž

Le Morne, the beach and the slave monument 

Le Morne Brabant is a landscape of Mauritius. This is the most photographed place on the island.
Hm, to be honest, I put a photo of Le Morne beach on my desktop 🙂

Mauritius Le Morne

Le Morne

 

The beach is fascinating and surrounded by luxury resorts. There are three-hour hiking tours with a guide to the top of the mountain with a spectacular view of the beach and ocean.

Mauritius Le Morne Beach

Mauritius Le Morne Beach

 

By the way, in this area, there is a unique natural phenomenon: it is an underwater waterfall! In fact, it is an optical illusion, and it can be seen only from the air!

But there is one sad and tragic story about Le Morne. A group of runaway slaves were hiding on the Le Morne Mountain. In 1834, the British soldiers and police went to the mountain to tell them that the Slavery Abolition Act was signed. But the slaves, seeing them approaching, feared that they were being recaptured and returned to their masters. So they climbed to the top of the mountain and threw themselves off committing suicide by landing in the ocean.

The history of the slaves in Mauritius is commemorated annually on August 23rd, which is UNESCO’s International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade.

 

Amazing Mauritius beaches

Mauritius is known for its endless white sandy beaches of 330 km and the warm turquoise sea. It is not easy to describe the beauty of Mauritius beaches, and I will write more about them. But now, let’s mention the most popular beaches.

Flic en Flac is a beautiful beach in the village of the same name. It is almost 8 km long.

Mauritius Flic En Flac

Flic en Flac, beach and tourist place

 

Gris Gris is located in the southern part of the island. Swimming and snorkelling are prohibited because of the wind, strong sea currents, and big waves. But it looks marvellous! Just relax and enjoy the power of the sea and wind…

Mauritius Gris Gris Beach

Stunning Gris Gris Beach

 

Cap Malhereux is the beach which belongs to a small fishing village close to Grand Baie, on the northern coast. The beautiful lagoon, the blue sea and the Notre Dame Auxiliatrice Church, also known as the red-roofed church, make an unbelievable scene.

Mauritius Cap De Malheureux

Cap de Malheureux, the drone view

 

According to many travellers, the most beautiful beach is Troix aux Biches, located on the north of the island. Around the beach is the town with the same name. The long Mont Choisy beach is located in a bay on the northwestern coast of Mauritius.

 

Catamaran tour

Mauritius Catamaran Tour

Catamaran Tour

 

One of the best ways to see Mauritius is the sea excursion.
You can choose between speedy boats and catamarans to visit the island Ile aux Cerfs, and spend one or half of a day sailing around the island, enjoying the view of the Indian Ocean. On the island, you can relax, sunbathe, go snorkelling or swimming. In a word, it is an escape to nature and one more unforgettable experience.

 

Beautiful nature, waterfalls and national parks

In a word, we were impressed by the fascinating nature of the island. Everywhere you look around, there are beautiful views of beaches, greenery, waterfalls, gorges, sugar cane fields, hills and mountains. Check out the most popular places which became tourist attractions.

Trou aux Cerfs reminds us of the volcanic origin of the island. The former crater is completely covered with trees and greenery. There is a small lake in the middle, and it can be seen from the air, or… from a drone 🙂

Mauritius Trou Aux Cerfs

Mauritius, Trou aux Cerfs volcano crater

 

Chamarel 7 Earth is one of the most fascinating places I have ever seen! Seven colours mix earth dunes making unique views of Mother Nature. I think that a photo tells more than a thousand words!

Mauritius Chamarel 7 Colours

Mauritius Chamarel 7 Colours

 

Close to it, there is a fantastic Chamarel Waterfall surrounded by greenery and wood. It is the tallest single-drop waterfall in Mauritius.

Mauritius chamarel Waterfall

Chamarel Waterfall

 

 The Black River Gorges National Park is another must-see location. Marvellous hills, waterfalls, endemic plants, rare birds and  Alexandra Waterfall, show us the wild part of nature and the remains of native forests.

Black River Gorges National Park Mauritius

Black River Gorges National Park, Mauritius

 

It is not possible to describe them shortly 🙂
👉 You can read more about the Best nature attractions in Mauritius here.

 

 

 

Mauritius gastronomy

Various nations brought their local receipts, making Mauritian cuisine a fantastic mix of Indian, Creole, French and Chinese dishes. Spices are widely used in meals. Try fresh and grilled fish and seafood, French pastry and bread, Persian falooda, wrap called dholl-puri, rice-based biryani and gâteau piment.

If you have enough time, visit the Boa Cheri tea plantation. I am sure you will remember forever the feeling of tasting various teas and stunning 360-degree panoramic views of nature and tea fields…

Mauritius Bois Cheri Teas

Bois Cheri teas

 

Also, you can enjoy a delicious rum-tasting session at Rhumerie De St Aubin or somewhere on the island. Both teas and rum are the perfect souvenirs to take home and as a gift for your loved ones.

Souvenirs from Mauritius

Souvenirs from Mauritius

 

 

 

 

Mauritius, the green paradise in the Indian Ocean

Well, Mauritius is the dreamy destination which attracts people more and more every year. Interestingly, this small area has so many various activities to offer, no matter whether you are travelling with a partner, kids or friends.

So, pack your bags and prepare for a trip that will leave you amazed and speechless.
And the sound of Sega music, created from the hearts of African slaves, takes over your soul…

Some destinations have many stories to tell. So, stay tuned for more interesting texts about marvellous Mauritius.
Coming soon…

 

 

author avatar
Natania
2 replies

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] yes, Mauritius is a paradise destination that attracts beach and nature lovers more and more every day. This […]

  2. […] the previous post about Mauritius, I wrote about the sad story of the maroons from Le Morne. Because of them, this mountain is also a […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *