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Mauritius is the premier holiday destination island on the Indian Ocean. Itês a famous honeymoon location, or for a relaxing trip with your family. The amazing beauty and natural aesthetics of this country will definitely leave you spellbound.
Calling Mauritius an island paradise is no overstatement. A single visit to the country, it's vast sandy beaches, deep green forests, amazing historic locations and indulging in it's delectable local cuisines will be memories to forever cherish. Mauritius is undoubtedly among the prettiest places you are ever going to visit, which is why it is often at the top of the list for newly weds for the perfect, private honeymoon. It has tons of famous and amazing beaches, where you'll want to lay in the sand and swim in the clear waters all day, and then head out for a delicious bite in the restaurants nearby. Indeed, Mauritius' food is one of it's many charms, with a scrumptious mix of flavours from Europe, India and even China. Take a scenic boat tour, with the vistas calming you through and through, or toughen up and trek up the Les 7 Cascades, a group of 7 waterfalls in a forest, a famous Mauritian trek. Visit the historic Le Morne Brabant, where slaves used to hide in refuge from the countries of nearby, and also check out Eureka, a 19th century Creole house preserved in perfect condition to make a fascinating museum of the times that have passed. The great Mauritian nightlife and endless avenues to shop make Mauritius an even better and complete place to visit. This breathtaking island is one place you cannot miss in this short life!
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The idea of traveling to any new place can be as exciting as your mind can comprehend and it’s no different with Mauritius as well. The long stretches of golden white beaches, the refreshing views of the endless turquoise blue oceans, the vast lush green tropical forests and the breathtaking mountains of the paradise island keep calling you out and you can do a lot on your part to make your visit to Mauritius very convenient and hassle free.
There are a number of tips and advices you need to keep in mind starting with the best time to visit Mauritius so that you can make the most out of your vacation, the appropriate documentation in the form of visa and passport, currency exchange for a seamless shopping experience and expense control, things you need to carry with you, languages that are relevant in the region, check for any health related limitations so that you don’t harm yourself in the process, the best places to eat and shopping according to your needs and desires and the various adventure and excursion activities you can indulge yourself into in order to enjoy your holiday to the fullest. If you manage to check these few things in your to-do list, then you’re good to go ahead and spend a worry-free time in the paradise island of Mauritius!
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The Mauritian cuisine is the direct reflection of its diverse and vibrant culture and is greatly influenced by the residents of the island - French, Chinese and Indian. Dishes representing the French cuisine have become very popular over the years in the island. Quite interestingly, most of the culinary traditions and dishes are inspired from the former Indian workers and slaves and Chinese immigrants who came to island in the 19th century.
Over the years, the culinary experience in Mauritius has witnessed a significant development with the upcoming of several restaurants and wild popularity of the street food in various parts of the island. You can get a taste of the most excellent specialities of the Mauritian kitchen in some of the famous restaurants such as the Domaine Anna at Black River, the Rivoli Restaurant at Grand Baie, Le Pescatore at Trou aux Biches and so on.
If you get the craving to have Indian food in Mauritius, then you wouldn't be disappointed at all as the island offers you a number of fantastic dining experience serving some of the best Indian dishes in restaurants like La Chaumiere Masala at Ile aux Cerfs, Le Tandoor at Grand Baie, Namaste Restaurant at Le Caudan Waterfront and Delhi Taj Restaurant at Quatre Bornes.
And finally, don't forget to lay your hands on the delicious and healthy street food in different parts of the island, the best found in Port Louis and tickle your taste buds with dhol puris, samosas, fried noodles, and a lot more.
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Religion and ethnicity in Mauritius are closely related. The part of the Mauritian population having an Indian origin mostly follow Hinduism and partly Islam as well. The Tamil population in Mauritius is a development from Hinduism itself. The French and Creole staying in Mauritius are mostly Catholics. Some Mauritians with a Chinese origin are known to follow Buddhism and other related Chinese religions. And there’s also a part of the entire population those have converted themselves to Roman Catholicism.
Here are some estimated statistics about the different religions in Mauritius:
Hinduism - 48%
Roman Catholic - 26%
Islam - 17%
Christian faiths - 6%
Buddhism and others - 3%
Hinduism found its beginning in the island back in the time when Indians were brought to Mauritius as hired labourers just after the abolition of slavery. You can find numerous temples spread out across the island along with a spiritual park on the eastern coast of the island and a sacred lake situated at Grand Bassin.
Back in the 18th century, Indian sailors from Pondicherry and Bengal sailed to Mauritius, and that resulted in the introduction of Islam to the island. Since Mauritius was a French colony during that time, only Catholics were allowed to practice their religion openly according to the French law. It was not until the beginning of the 19th century when the French Governor allotted some land at Plaine Verte near Port Louis to the Muslim people to build a worship place for themselves where they could practice their religion openly.
The French brought Christianity to Mauritius at the beginning of the 18th century. Back in 1723, when slavery was still in practice, a law was passed making it compulsory for all the slaves arriving in the island to be baptised first. Even during the British rule, they tried to convert the inhabitants into Protestant, but they didn’t succeed in doing so. However, you can find some fascinating churches on the island. During the beginning of the 19th century, Asian immigrants came to Mauritius and popularised Buddhism with their prolonged stay on the island.
The diversity and secularism of all these religions are further amplified by the fact that Mauritius doesn’t have a national or official religion.
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The culture and traditions of any country make it unique and so is it with Mauritius as well. The island gets its customs as a result of the diverse population who express it through music, dance, literature and local crafts.
Like any other country, music stands as a vital part of Mauritian culture as well. Styles like Sega, Reggae and Seggae are wildly practised and rejoiced all over the island.
Sega is a way of expressing the Mauritian way of life through music. The African slaves initially used it as a means of communicating their pain from being taken away from their homeland; however, over the years, it has taken the form of a merry tropical dance. For the dance, men usually wear wide pants and baggy shirts while women wear large skirts in various colours.
The music is traditionally accompanied by instruments like the ravanne, which is a large cylindrical drum, along with a triangle and a maravane. Generation after generation, this music has been carried forward and accepted by all members of the community without hampering its authenticity. If you’re watching a certain performance, you’ll most likely be invited to join the dance.
Mauritius has been a haven of inspiration for many writers as well, be it the sublime beauty of the island or the unparalleled sense of peace. Mauritian writers like Lindsey Collen, Edouard Maunick, Khal Torabully, etc. are famous for transforming the beauty of Mauritius into their novels and poems.
A novel written by the French author Bernardin de Saint Pierre with the title ‘Paul et Virginie’ is set in Mauritius. It was first published in 1787, and it tells a story about two young lovers and throws light on the colonial period and the practice of slavery in Mauritius.
The Mauritians have a tradition known as the “Sundowner” meaning sunset, and it is a holiday ritual and traditional weekend where the people of Mauritius gather in the beach to savour the last rays of the setting sun, especially during the summer.
Other than that, Mauritians organise the “Regatta” which is a traditional event full of sports and cultural activities.
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In Mauritius, you’ll come across several languages and many different dialects in which the Mauritians communicate with each other, and this is what makes this island a multilingual country. If not three, most of the Mauritians can speak two languages fluently.
The Constitution of Mauritius doesn’t specify any official language. The languages spoken mostly by the one million citizens of the island nation are French, English, Mauritian Creole, and other ethnic languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Urdu, Marathi and Mandarin.
French and English are preferred for professional and educational purposes. English is the primary language of Mauritius because of its usage in government administrations and offices, courts and in the business sector as well.
On the other hand, French dominates the mass media and corporate dealings as well. Along with that, it is followed as the primary medium of instruction in the education system. In fact, many English television programmes are dubbed into French. In the travel and tourism industry, everyone is capable of communicating in French and English.
Mauritian Creole is often used in informal settings and is considered to be the native language of Mauritius. It came into being in the 18th century when the slaves used to communicate with their French masters in a pidgin language as they didn’t understand the African languages and eventually it took the form a casual language.
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The Portuguese were the first to the island dating back to the early sixteenth century, approximately in 1510. It was the Dutch who named it Mauritius after the Prince of Maurice of Nassau when they came and settled in the island back in 1598. Before leaving Mauritius in 1710 and moving to South Africa, the Dutch had introduced sugarcane and Java deer in Mauritius during their stay. Later in 1715, the French came and occupied the island and renamed it to “Isle de France”.
The first significant development in Mauritius came in the form of the construction of a harbour under the French Governor, Mahe de Labourdonnais and it was named after the ruling king Louis XV - which is the capital of Mauritius now, Port Louis. After the harbour was built, trade got a boost through the supply of sugar and rum to the nearby islands and other visiting vessels.
Over the years, Mauritius was conquered by the British in 1810, and it was formally handed over to them after an agreement in 1815 known as the “Traiti de Paris” which allowed most the French settlers to remain in the island and practice their religions, laws and customs. Mauritius witness the abolition of slavery of 1835 under the British rule and paid labourers were brought from India to work in the sugar plantations. Those are the same labourers who settled in Mauritius, and today it constitutes to the majority of the population. Other significant developments brought by the British include infrastructure, free primary education for improving the civil societies of the island.
On 12th March 1968, Mauritius gained its independence, and a constitution was signed following the British parliamentary system. It took nearly 15 years for Mauritius to achieve a stable economic and political state and later on 12th March 1992, Mauritius was declared as a Republic.
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Quite surprisingly, the nightlife of Mauritius is very underrated and only few happen to know about it. It is infact one of the most fascinating features of Mauritius where you get to engage yourself with the night vibes and shiny lights of the tempting beach clubs pubs, casinos and lounges. People are seen grooving to the upbeat music while enjoying their exotic cocktails and drinks and if you are a party animal, you wouldn’t be able to resist yourself from getting indulged in the island’s happening nightlife. There are a numbers places where you can enjoy the paradise island once the sun sets.
Fifty Five Lounge Club in Grand Baie is a favourite for the classy crowd and is famous for being one of the most visited places by world-known celebrities and musicians. The walls display the posters of famous personalities and dim-lit ambience along with the enthralling music is a cherry on the cake.
Zoobar in Quatre Bornes is reputed as one of the best additions to Mauritius’ nightlife where party-lovers can enjoy a laid-back evening. It is also famous their chilled beer and Bouillon Crabes.
Kenzi Bar in Flic en Flac is popular among the people as the perfect destination for a true hippy experience with its wooden interiors and decorations just amplifying the entire aura of the bar.
7 Merveilles Restro-Bar in Trou aux Biches is a haven for shisha lovers and colourful drinks, the atomic cocktails being the major attraction.
Lambic at Port Louis is the place to be if you want to enjoy the 70 different kinds of freshly brewed beer and it is a must visit places for those who want to spend some quality time with their friends and breakout conversations in the cheerful atmosphere.
These are some of the places you wouldn’t want to miss out on if you ever visit Mauritius.
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If you bring back items with a “Made in Mauritius” label on them for your friends and family, that would make them smile. That’s because this island nation of Mauritius is highly reputed as a shopping paradise and it would be a sin if you didn’t indulge yourself in buying clothes and at least buy some souvenirs to take back with you as a memory.
The shopping experience in Mauritius is absolutely fantastic, starting from the relaxed ambience of the shopping malls with a perfect amalgamation of world-class brands and local stores, where you can quench your thirst in the duty-free shopping, then there is the energizing atmosphere of the street markets where you can flaunt your bargaining skills, the crafts market will surely catch your attention with the wide range of artisanal objects on display perfect as souvenirs.
Mauritius is wildly famous all over the world for its manufacture of textile products, uniquely designed jewellery and a wide range of handicrafts. There are some speciality products related to the extinct species Dodo which is a perfect souvenir.
Port Louis, Goodlands, Arsenal, Floreal, Grand Bay, Curepipe, Rose-Hill, Moka, Flic en Flac, Black River, Quatre Bornes, Flacq, Mahebourg, Grand Baie are some of popular areas full of streets markets and some famous shopping centres like the Bagatelle Mall, Phoenix Mall, Grand Bay Plaza Shopping Complex, Caudan Waterfront, etc.
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