Mauritius – a tropical paradise on the edge of Africa

Mauritius – a beach paradise

The state of Mauritius is several islands, one of which gave its name to the whole country. This land Mark Twain called a model of paradise, by which God created Eden. Tour operator in Mauritius, the company “Pantheon”, will provide agencies and travelers the opportunity to visit this beautiful place and fully enjoy its nature, culture and unique atmosphere. The best beach holidays and breathtaking scenery can be found here.

Geography

The country covers the archipelago of Kargados-Carajos (aka Saint Brandon Cliffs) and the islands of Mauritius, Agalega, Rodrigues, located 800 km east of Madagascar, in the western part of the Indian Ocean, three thousand kilometers from the east coast of Africa.

Nature

The nature of the island has an unearthly beauty, after the rain in the sky often appears several rainbows, and vegetation is amazing variety. There are about 60 species of mango, more than 80 species of palms, an impressive baobab, Paradise Tree, pineapples, bananas and coconuts.

Mauritius is famous for its beaches

Mauritius is famous for its beaches.

Climate

In Mauritius it is warm in all seasons: even during the winter, which lasts from May to October, the thermometer does not usually show below + 25 ° C. In summer, from November to April, the air usually warms up to 34 ° C. It is best to relax on the island from April to June and from September to November. The humidity is relatively low, so the climate change is easier than on most other hot islands. The climate is generally very mild: the heat does not bother you because of the trade winds blowing from the south-east. However, Mauritius is a tropical country. So sunbathing here is best done only from early morning till noon and after 4 pm. You should not forget the sunscreen. It is recommended to wear light-colored cotton clothing, comfortable light shoes, hats and sunglasses.

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The time

The city is one hour ahead of Moscow time.

Capital

The island’s capital, Port Louis, is located in its northwestern part and was named after the King of France. The city itself is bustling with life, and its small port has been called the busiest on the Indian Ocean coast. In Port Louis, St. James Cathedral, built in typical English style, the Jumma Mosque, a Hindu temple, and a bustling colorful market where travelers are sure to meet smiling saleswomen in colorful saris with baskets full of juicy exotic fruits and medicinal herbs.

The official language is English, but the most common are Creole and French. Lessons are taught in English, but the media use mostly French. Many Mauritians also speak their own dialects, Hindi, Urdu, Chinese, and other languages.

Population

The island was first settled by the Portuguese, in the early sixteenth century. Today, the population of Mauritius is very diverse, with Europeans, Indians, Chinese and Africans.

Religion

Mauritius has many religions of the world: Islam, Buddhism, Catholicism. The most common religion amongst the local population is Hinduism.

Money

The state currency is the Mauritian rupee. You can exchange money at a hotel exchange office or any bank. Rupees for foreign currency can be exchanged only when leaving the country, at the airport. Almost all stores, hotels, and travel agencies accept traveler’s checks and credit cards Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Diner. ATMs in the cities are also easy to find.

Hotels

The impeccable level of service in Mauritius corresponds to the premium hotels. To this category of hotels often can be conditionally added another star. Most of these institutions are located on the picturesque coasts and are presented in a complex of low buildings or bungalows. Each hotel in Mauritius is organized as a small town with its restaurants, bars, lounges, gyms and stores, so you can rest here without leaving the complex. Each has swimming pools, and in many – the possibility of secluded recreation in villas by the water.

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Holidays

Mauritius is a cosmopolitan country, so that during the year there are a lot of different holidays. After all, Europeans, Pakistanis, Creoles, Africans, Madagascaris, Indians and Chinese have brought their traditions, beliefs and customs to the island. Therefore, in the calendar of local holidays, Hindu celebrations take the place of Islamic celebrations, interspersed with Tamil, Christian, and Chinese celebrations. For example, the Chinese communities celebrate the Chinese New Year in January and February, the Hindu festival Maha Shivaratri (“night of Shiva”) in February and March, the Ugadi New Year in March and April, and Muslim Ramadan in fall. The common factor is the Independence Day, celebrated on March 12. On this day in the streets there are mass festivities and colorful parades.

Transport

There are three modes of transport in Mauritius: rented cars, cabs and buses. Cabs are the most popular among travelers. Fares are best clarified at the hotel reception. You should negotiate the fare in advance, as many drivers do not usually accept meters. A bargain is more than appropriate.

Those over 23 years of age (21 is sometimes sufficient) can rent a car: it will cost from 45 euros per day. The price depends on the availability of air conditioning in the car and its brand. Transport rentals are offered by both local and major international companies such as Avis and Hertz. If the car is hired for less than a month, it is allowed to use the rights of the country of residence of the tourist. However, unaccompanied driving in Mauritius is not easy. The traffic here is left-handed and the roads are very narrow. It is possible to rent a car with a driver.

Cuisine

In Mauritius, cuisines of three continents fused and tourists can enjoy new flavors with French peppered steak, Indian and Creole curry, English roast beef, Chinese delicacies and of course, exotic fruits and all variety of seafood dishes. There is also Mauritian beer and the famous local white rum. The varied buffets at the hotel restaurants are unchanged.

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What to see

In the bay of Grand Port is a small town with a rich history – Maeburg. There you can visit the confectionery, the Naval Museum, the church of Notre Dame de l’Ange, and of course a stroll through the cozy streets and local stores.

On the rocky shores of Savannah County is the small village of Suillac. It is famous for its scenery: there are Rochester Falls, Grie-Grie Cliffs and the Talfair Garden. An interesting museum is Victoria 1840, an old sugar factory, which became a cultural monument of Mauritius after its building was restored. The Museum of Modern Art is also located there.

The capital of the island, Port Louis, is rich in sights: the Hindu temple, Jumma Mosque, Photography Museum, Saint James Cathedral, the Postal Museum (for a few hours a day, there is the most expensive stamp in the world, which all philatelists dream of), Museum of the Mauritius Institute La Chassie, the ancient fortress of Adelaide and the Champ de Mars near its walls. In the north of the city is a colorful Chinatown and unusual buildings of the colonial era.

In the capital of Mauritius

The capital of Mauritius

At 12 km from the capital is located the town of Moka, where you can visit the former residence of the Governor “Le Rédiut”, a cultural center Domaine-le-Paille, museum Dom Eurek, the Gandhi Institute and the Folklore Museum of Indian immigrants.

Close to the capital is the lush Pamplemus botanical garden with huge water lilies and a collection of herbs from which spices are derived.

Travelers will also enjoy the Le Domaine de Pays, a former colonial manor house, where they can watch the rum production process, from harvesting sugar cane to tasting the finished drink.

Most group tours cost from 40 euros. It is also possible to book trips in a personal car or minibus accompanied by a Russian-speaking guide.

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Sports

Most holidays in Mauritius are very sporty, from skydiving and horse riding to badminton. Even the professionals will love the local golf courses. Water sports are also very popular here: surfing, snorkeling, and water skiing are offered free of charge in the hotels. You can also have fun at the water park, go sailing, and go scuba diving.

Fishing

One of the attractions of Mauritius is fishing in the high seas. It is said that the best fishing is from September to April, but in June and July, it is better to postpone this venture. The best place is considered the bays in the south-west. Fishing boats can be rented in almost every hotel, but at the peak season is better to book a boat in advance. Sometimes it is possible to negotiate with a local fisherman and go out to sea with him.

Diving

The stunning underwater views off the coast of the island are not inferior to the best diving centers in the world. Diving services are available in almost all 4* and 5* hotels. Diving here can be done at any time of year, but the most suitable months are from April to June and September to February: during this period the visibility reaches twenty meters. Besides, from December to March there is a danger of cyclones and tropical storms.

What to Bring

For tourists in Mauritius, there are ample opportunities for shopping at duty-free stores. To buy there, you must present your return ticket and passport, and the purchase will be given to the traveler already at the airport.

On the island are made according to ancient descriptions of very elegant and carefully crafted models of ancient ships. The cost of such models of good quality usually from two hundred euros, depending on the size and history of the sailing ship. Also in Mauritius, treated diamonds and make them very beautiful jewelry, which are very popular among tourists. Also here you can find textiles and cashmere of excellent quality, and clothes of world famous brands are sold here at a price three times lower than in Europe. Travelers bring back a lot of scarves and shawls, from inexpensive to unique handmade items.

In terms of products, from Mauritius most often brought cane sugar, which is produced in large quantities here, as well as Green Island rum and vanilla tea.

Also from the island in glass bottles bring home a souvenir from nature itself: multicolored soil Chamarel. It is placed in vessels in layers of blue, brown, orange, pink, and yellow soil, which do not mix with each other.

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Tips

Despite the tropical climate, in Mauritius with you should take in addition to the summer clothes and jackets with raincoats: the weather here sometimes changes very sharply.

You can drink tap water on the island, but it is recommended to prefer bottled water.

In Mauritius, scuba diving is prohibited and there are penalties for damaging corals.

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