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Mauritius

4.6 /5 40 votes
Sub-Region: Indian Ocean, East of Africa

Weather:

Best Time: May to December (winter) Read More

Ideal duration: 3 days

Nearest Airport: Port Louis Check Flights

"Indian Ocean's Island Paradise."

Mauritius Tourism

Calling Mauritius an island paradise is an understatement; with white sandy beaches, lush green foliage, turquoise blue waters, lavish resorts, Mauritius is the perfect honeymoon destination. Being a volcanically erupted island, it's completely surrounded by vast and colourful coral reefs making it an ideal place for snorkelling and scuba diving.

Although Mauritius is world-famous for its heavenly beaches and resorts, it also has intriguing history and unperturbed environmental beauty. One can explore the endless sea on a calming boat tour, or embark on the popular Mauritian trek up to the Les 7 Cascades, a group of 7 waterfalls in a forest. 

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 history museum. The great Mauritian nightlife and endless shopping avenues make Mauritius even better and complete place to visit. 

This premier multicultural destination also allows one to indulge in gastronomic adventures. Numerous restaurants offer traditional Mauritius' food which is a delectable mix of flavours from Europe, India and even China. 

Mauritius is a breathtaking island that can not be missed! As Mark Twain rightly said heaven was copied after the creation of Mauritius!

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Nightlife in Mauritius

Quite surprisingly, the nightlife of Mauritius is very underrated and only a few happen to know about it. It is in fact 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. 

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Shopping in Mauritius

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. There is the energizing atmosphere of the street markets where you can bargain, 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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Exchanging Money in Mauritius

You can exchange currency at several places in Mauritius. Along with booths of various exchange offices, banks in Mauritius exchange currency as well. ATMs can also be used. Do enquire about international transaction costs beforehand.

Daily Budget for Mauritius

Though Mauritius isn't overly expensive, travelling all over the island and experiencing all the wonderful activities can be a bit heavy on the pocket. That being said, you can save costs on food and modes of travel.

Daily budget per person in Mauritius can be in the region of
Budget trip:
MUR 1500 - 2000
Comfortable trip: MUR 3000 - 5000
Luxury trip : MUR 6500 - 10000

Religion of Mauritius

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. 

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 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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Mauritius Customs

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.

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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. 

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 was written by the French author Bernardin de Saint Pierre 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.

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Language of Mauritius

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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History of Mauritius

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. 

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 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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Travel Tips

There are a number of tips and advice you need to keep in mind

1. the appropriate documentation in the form of visa and passport
2. currency exchange for a seamless shopping experience and expense control
3. things you need to carry with you
4. languages that are relevant in the region
5. check for any health-related limitations so that you don’t harm yourself in the process
6. the best places to eat and shopping according to your needs and desires and the various adventure and
7. 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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Currency in Mauritius

The Mauritian Rupee is the only accepted currency in the country. Visa, MasterCard, American Express are widely accepted throughout. Though you should carry cash since a lot of the places you'll be visiting won't have card services.

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Restaurants and Local Food in Mauritius

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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How To Reach Mauritius

Mauritius, the paradise island among the world’s famous tourist destinations, lies in the Indian Ocean and attracts people from all over the globe due to its iconic beaches, crystal clear waters and breathtaking landscapes. Along with the various countries, Mauritius witnesses the arrival of tourists from India in large numbers, be it for holiday purposes or business related work.

Whenever you plan to travel to any place, the foremost thing you have to look into is the means of travel. Although the best way to reach Mauritius from India is by air, there is another alternative of going by water, thanks to its location.

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