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Mauritius the Republic of Mauritius General Information Languages Physical Features
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Activities in Mauritius island in Africa Safety Popular Destinations Black River Gorges National Park
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Mauritius

 
 

Officially known as the Republic of Mauritius, this small island nation is located about 1,200 miles off the southeast coast of Africa. With its tropical climate, beaches, and warm sea waters, Mauritius enjoys a reputation as one of the most preferable tourist destinations in the region. Attractions are complemented by multi-ethnic cultural populations and luxury resorts, making the country globally recognized as the modern version of true getaway island.

 

General Information

  • Area : 790 square miles with 0.07% water
  • Capital : Port Louis
  • Largest city : Port Louis
  • Government : unitary parliamentary republic
  • Climate : tropical with warm and dry winter seasons
  • Official Languages : English and French

 

Physical Features

The main island of the country, also called Mauritius, is of volcanic origin. Almost the entire island is surrounded by coral reefs. Compared to most land areas on Earth, Mauritius is relatively young at 8 million years old. Despite the fact that Mauritius was molded and formed by volcanic activities, the island has not seen any active volcano for the last 100,000 years. Being an off coast island, the edges of Mauritius feature white sandy beaches. The island itself is basically protected from the oceans by one of the largest coral reefs in the world. Many parts of the country are almost entirely intact from human populations; some small islands (also parts of Mauritius) are inhabited. They have become popular spots for tourism activities, but overall the condition remains pristine. Mont Piton is the highest point in Mauritius standing at 828 meters.

 

People

Unlike most other multi-ethnic countries which always ask about ethnicity for population census, Mauritius does not need to know whether you belong to any ethnic group. While a good number of citizens are of Indian, African, European, and Chinese ancestries, all are considered Mauritian. On the other hand, people are still pretty much conscious of their communal identities. Another good thing is that most people in Mauritius speak English and French quite fluently. Creole and French are the main languages, and some oriental languages are still used in day-today activities by some communities.

 

Wildlife

Geographically Mauritius is considered part of Africa. However, the wildlife species in Mauritius is not exactly the same as those typically found in many other African nations. Mauritius is home to dolphins, sharks, whales, and giant tortoises. Due to its isolation, wildlife diversity in Mauritius is not as high as other nations in Africa mainland. That being said, many species that live in Mauritius are not found anywhere else in the world. The bad news is that some of those species are now threatened because of habitat destruction. Dodo, the now-extinct bird species, used to live here in the island. There is no terrestrial mammal in Mauritius; in fact, the only mammals on the island are bats and marine mammals.

 

Birdlife

Mauritius has saved more bird species from extinctions than any other country. Pink Pigeon and Mauritius Kestrel are undeniable proofs of that. Today you can see those two birds in various places in the island along with other species including but not limited to Albatrosses, Flamingos, Hawks, Eagles, Tropicbirds, and Shearwaters.

 

Culinary Delight

When people come to Africa, they do not really imagine of having the culinary delight as if they are coming to Japan, Italy, or French, but Mauritius really has the chance to change all of that. Sprinkled with five-star resorts and fine-dining restaurants, this melting-pot delivers unique mixtures of cuisines influenced by recipes from Indian, French, and Chinese communities. Mauritius is indeed a pot for food excellence. Signature dishes of Mauritian chefs are served with signature ways as well: open family table where everyone can join. Welcoming atmosphere from the locals and inviting meals are all blended to create distinguishable dining experience.

 

The Resorts

As one of the most popular beach tourism destinations in the world, Mauritius gives you a whole range of options when it comes to resorts, from exotic to luxurious, from humble to flashy ones. Regardless of where the resorts are located in the country, you are almost always served with overwhelmingly beautiful views of Indian Oceans. While you can indeed see the ocean from many other places across the world, Mauritius is an entirely different experience thanks to its world class amenities; to name a few, you have extensive options of water-sport facilities including swimming pools, fancy waterfront restaurants, vast ground covered with palm trees, spa’s, and faultless services. In short, come to Mauritius and enjoy the sensation of being treated like royalties.

 

Activities in Mauritius

Lying on the beach all day long and getting tanned by the warm sun are just typical. Instead of sitting and enjoying the view, you can engage in various beach activities such as boat excursions and kite-surfing. When you are in Mauritius, it does not hurt to get even more exclusive treats by paddling to the lagoons too. Let us not forget that Mauritius is surrounded by coral reefs, and the water across the coastline is relatively shallow. This means there is an excellent opportunity to see the world like never before: the underwater wildlife. Moving further inland and away from the beach, land activities are not to be missed as well. Spend time for hiking, golfing, or horse riding to intensify your royalty-like adventures.

 

Safety

Mauritius is generally a safe country with minimum risks of safety and health hazards. There is no vaccination required; when required, however, it is usually because you are coming from a country were yellow fever is an issue. Risk of criminal activities is low, yet petty theft is one to be cautious for. Just like anywhere else on the planet, practicing basic safety steps can go a long way to protect yourself. Do not take any of your valuables to the beach, never leave your belongings unattended in public places, and always lock your windows and doors of your hotel room.

 

Popular Destinations

Mauritius is not particularly a big island. However, it does not mean that you cannot enjoy adventures as intense as you can get in bigger African nation. Here are some popular tourist destinations in Mauritius.

  • Le Morne Brabant: this steep elevation offers easy obstruction-free hike to a historical place where slaves used to escape from their masters in Mauritius. As you reach the summit, you’d be surprised that it is actually flat plateau covered with lush vegetations. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and that says a lot. It is part of Le Morne Cultural Landscape located in the southwest corner of Mauritius. From the summit, you are served with possibly the most impressive view of the Indian Ocean as if the world meets its boundary. Le Morne Brabant is now is one of the most preserved and protected wild sanctuaries in the country.

  • Le Chateau de Labourdonnais: after a major overhaul in 2006, this luxurious Victorian-style house is open to public. Nearly all part s of the house have been refurbished to restore its original glory with all its European-themed oddities in the middle of an island far away from anywhere else. A tour in the house is followed by a friendly welcoming open family-table meal time interrupted by educative games and rum tasting experience. Le Chateau de Labourdonnais offers a humble luxury and a bit of a familiar relief between intense bewilderment is Mauritus.

  • Grand Baie: offering a blend of full-blown beach resorts filled with bars or nightclubs and water activities sprinkled with marine wildlife or sports, Grand Baie is at the next level of beach resorts as we know it. With pretty beaches and a whole range of modern facilities in the center, this place brings the proper mixture of comfort, civilized life, privacies, and peace of mind.

  • Chamarel: widely popular for its Seven Colored Earth and generous world-class distillery, Chamarel offers a long walk of wonders. Colored Earth, as the name suggests, is a multi-colored landmark shaped by molten rocks at different time and temperatures. Chamarel also acts as one of the gateways to Black River Gorges National Park.

  • Black River Gorges National Park: much of Mauritius remaining rainforest is within the national park. It is home to more than 4000 giant fruit bats, 300 species of flowering plant, and quite a lot of endemic birds, too. Once it was hunting ground, but now the national park is sanctuary for wildlife to survive and thrive. Black River Gorges offers eight hiking trails; while they do offer similar experience of walking safari, each is at different length and difficulty level.
  • Black River Gorges National Park does not have African Big Five. The good thing about this is that you can explore the territory on foot without any risk of encountering predators. Endemic birds also live in the national park, so you have good chance for bird-spotting at the same time while hiking.

  • Western Wonderland: it is not a name given to a specific spot, because almost the entire western part of Mauritius is simply wonderful. Along the western coast, Mauritius is at its best in terms of diversity. Mountainous backdrops and sandy bays are ready to please your eyes, mind, and souls before you realize that there is also Le Morne Brabant. This steep elevation offers easy obstruction-free hike to a historical place where slaves used to escape from their masters in Mauritius. As you reach the summit, you’d be surprised that it is actually flat plateau covered with lush vegetations. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and that says a lot.

  • Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens: this is one of the world’s most beautiful botanical garden, coming second only to London’s Kew. Not only the garden is a popular tourist destination, it is also the easiest to access from anywhere in the island. Unless you hire a professional botanist to be your guide, you may find it difficult to identify all the plants you encounter. Since botanists are hard to come by, at least a knowledgeable tour guide can be helpful. Getting exhausted of exploring the garden is not uncommon, but there is golf-buggy tour to keep you going. The centerpiece of the garden is Victoria Amazonica; this plant can grow up to 8 meters across, and best of all is that you can watch it grow to about 2 meters wide in a matter of hours.

 

Everybody loves beaches, and Mauritius gives you exactly that and then some. The sparkling turquoise water and tropical warmth are teamed up to bathe both your body and mind, while the diverse underwater wildlife promises a glimpse of memorable unworldly adventures. The people of Mauritius are well aware of the beauty of their nation, and they are blessed with welcoming mind as well as the skills and hospitalities of humble hosts. The beauty of Mauritius lies in its beaches, far inland, and further beyond.

 

 
     
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