Tourist Attractions in Mauritius
- Black River Gorges National Park Virgin Forests: Enjoy amazing vistas, wild monkeys, waterfalls, volcanic lakes and excellent hiking…the best time to visit the park is during the flowering season between September and January. Look for the rare tambalacoque or dodo tree, the black ebony trees and the wild guavas.
- Bird-watchers should keep an eye out for the Mauritius kestrel, pink pigeon, echo parakeet and Mauritius cuckoo-shrike, among other rarities.
- Blue Bay lagoon diving
- Cap Malheureux: much-photographed church, the red-roofed Notre Dame Auxiliatrice, stunning views
- Casela Nature and Leisure Park is within walking distance of Flic En Flac: this 14-hectare park is on the main road 1km south of the turn to Flic en Flac. It is beautifully landscaped and has sweeping views over the coastal plain. The park houses some 1500 birds, representing species from around the world (some in rather small cages) including rare pink pigeons. There are also tigers, zebras, monkeys and deer living in a semi-reserve, and giant tortoises, one of which is 180 years old. Children are well catered for with a petting zoo, playground and mini golf. Casela also offers 'safaris' by jeep, mountain bike or on foot around the nearby 45-sq-km Yemen Reserve, where deer, wild pigs, fruit bats and monkeys can be seen in their natural habitat; prices vary according to the different packages.
- Quad biking and rock climbing are also on offer. The park has a pleasant lunch-time restaurant serving drinks, snacks and more substantial meals to visitors.
- Centre de Flacq along the road to Quartier Militaire, Flacq Union of Estates Limited sugar mill largest most modern on the island. Tours of the plant take place during the cane harvest (July to early November); phone ahead to find out when they run
- Central plateau towns of Curepipe and Quatre Bornes shopping and markets or to Floréal’s textile museum
- Chamarel Coloured Earths and the highest waterfall in Mauritius
- Coco Isle
- Coral Reef
- Eureka: preserved historical colonial mansion
- Giant Tortoises
- Grand Baie nightlife
- sea trips
- Grand Bassin Sacred Lake, crater lake, sacred to Hindus, is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the country.
- Grand Gaube a tiny fishing village with a good beach about 6km east of Cap Malheureux: In 1744 the St Géran foundered off Grand Gaube in a storm, inspiring the famous love story Paul et Virginie, by Bernardin de St. Pierre. Beyond small rocky bays of Grande Gaube almost no beaches until a long way down the east coast, making any trip beyond here an illuminating glimpse into traditional Mauritian life without the tourists.
- Ile Aux Cerfs
- La Vanille Nile Crocodile Park
- La Morne Brabant, one of the country's most dramatic peaks
- Pamplemousses Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens feature a stunning variety of endemic and foreign plant species. The nearby decommissioned Beau Plan sugar factory has also been converted into a fascinating museum.
- Port Louis, Capital, Chinatown
- Sea Trips
- Souillac to Baie du Cap coastal road, surrounded by untamed scenery and stunning views
- Ship Models
- Tamarin salt production
- Trou D'Eau Douce beaches and restaurants
Acknowledgement: Lonely Planet Guide Mauritius
- Mauritius is the most accessible island in the Indian Ocean, boasting as much tropical paradise as Maui or Martinique and, better still, offering it at a bargain. Though nestled up alongside Africa, it's actually more influenced by its British and French ties and massive Indian workforce.
- Here, you can enjoy a dish of curried chickpeas or a nice Yorkshire pudding on the terrace of a French café, sipping imported wine or a thick malty ale while listening to Créole music and the conversation of locals in any number of lingoes.
- Its range of visitor facilities runs the gamut from pamper-happy beach resorts and organised excursions to locals who'll put you up in their homes and rent you their cars for daytrips. If you're looking for a lazy beach vacation, you could certainly do worse, but don't forget the rambling interior and the multicultural capital Port Louis.
- Full country name: Republic of Mauritius
- Area: 1,860 sq km
- Population: 1.2 million
- Capital City: Port Louis (pop 150,000)
- People: Indo-Mauritian (68%) Créole (27%) Sino-Mauritian (3%) Franco-Mauritian (2%)
- Language: English, French, Hindi, Urdu, Bhojpuri
- Religion: Hindu (51%) Christian (30%) Muslim (17%)
- Government: parliamentary democracy
- GDP: US$ 11.7 billion GDP per capita: US$ 10,300
- Annual Growth: 5% Inflation: 6%
- Major Industries: Sugar, textiles, tea, tobacco, tourism
- Major Trading Partners: EU, US, South Africa, India
Facts for the Traveller
- Visas: All visitors are required to have a passport and onward ticket in order to enter the country. Most visitors do not require visas for stays of up to 90 days. Contact a Mauritian embassy prior to your visit.
- Health risks: Malaria (There is a slight risk here)
- Time Zone: GMT/UTC + 4
- Dialling Code: 230
- Electricity: 220V or 125V ,50Hz
- Weights and measures: Metric
When to Go
- Apart from the busy Christmas to New Year period, Mauritius doesn't really have a high or low season.
- The depths of Mauritian 'winter' occur from July to September, when daytime temperatures drop from sticky to balmy. With less rain and humidity, this is one of the choicest times to visit.
- Weather-wise, the least agreeable period is from January to April, when the long days can prove too hot and humid for some and the threat of cyclones is in the air. Visitors should be prepared to spend several days cooped up indoors during extra-heavy rains.
- December through March is the best time for diving, when the waters are at their clearest.
- June through August is best for surfing; and October through April is excellent for big game fishing, when the large predators feed close to shore.
- With its host of cultures and multinational residents, it's no surprise that Mauritius celebrates an equally diverse number of holidays and special events.
- Teemeedee, a Hindu and Tamil fire-walking ceremony held in honour of various gods, takes place throughout the year but mostly in December and January.
- Hindus celebrate the major Thaipoosam Cavadee in January or February at temples throughout the island. Look for processions carrying flower-covered wooden arches and pots of milk, with devotees skewering their tongues and cheeks in homage to the second son of Lord Shiva.
- Around the same time, the resident Tamils mark the end of the harvest season by feeding rice pudding to decorated cows in the festival of Pongal, and Chinese New Year is celebrated with the standard barrage of fireworks and foodstuffs.
- Maha Shivaratri occurs over three days in February and March and is the largest and most important Hindu festival outside of India. Most of the island's Hindu population makes a pilgrimage in honour of Lord Shiva to the holy volcanic lake Grand Bassin, where they make food sacrifices and stockpile vessels of the holy water.
- If you happen upon a celebration of Holi, the Hindu festival of colours, count on a good soaking: exuberant celebrants throw cupfuls of coloured powder and water on anyone in their path sometime in February or March.
Independence/Republic Day is 12 March.
- Similar in intent to the Teemeedee celebrations, Hindu and Tamil sword-climbing spectacles take place mostly between April and June.
- Père Laval Feast Day in September marks the anniversary of the Catholic convert-king's death, and pilgrims come from all over the world to his shrine at Ste-Croix to pray for miracle cures and such.
- Muslims celebrate Eid-al-Fitr to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the lunar year. Though the date of Eid-al-Fitr varies from year to year - for the next few years, it's in January and is always a public holiday.
Money and Costs
- Currency: Mauritian Rupee
- Relative Costs: Meals
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