A version of paradise on earth, the magical turquoise, pearl white sand and tropical lushness normally attract honeymooners and social media influencers, but Mauritius is for all types of travellers promising a mighty itinerary and enthralling experience. As reported by Mark Twain “Mauritius was made first and then heaven was copied after”.
This beautiful Island has been coveted by many over the years, during the middle ages it was ruled by Arab ruling families and it wasn’t until 1507 that the first Europeans arrived. The Dutch, French and British all fought over this Island and it was only in 1968 that it proclaimed its independence from the UK. These various influences left their imprint on the food, the ethnic mix of the population and the harmonious religious diversity, of Hinduism, Catholicism and Islam.
The culture of the Island rings homage to its many links including the continent of Africa through the captivating traditional dance of Sega and India through the many Hindu festivals such as Maha Shivaratri and Maha Shivaratri.
The capital of Mauritius is a cavern of beautiful cultural fusion with the UNESCO Cultural Heritage sites of Aapravasi Ghat, a complex that commemorates the first buildings made by Indians. Visit the Jummah Mosque with its intricate carvings, the colourful Kaylasson Temple that is unforgettable and the Caudan Waterfront a modern market on the city’s harbour.
The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden
Considered one of the best of its type in the world, and with a 300-year-old history, the oldest botanical garden has over 80 varieties of palm trees and 500 species of plants. Its flora has made it a treasure trove of medicinal plants and the characteristic Giant Water Lillies are a playground for various insects.
At Île aux Aigrettes, off the southeast coast of Mauritius, you can find endemic species such as kestrels and pink pigeons, as well as giant tortoises. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Le Morne Cultural Landscape, with a viewpoint called Macondo, is an impressive mountain that just out into the ocean; its peninsula sheltered runaway slaves in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Moka Mountains encompass Port Louis, as the ever-watching mountain range that protects the capital. It comprises two of Mauritius’s three tallest mounts Pieter Both at 820 meters high and Le Pouce (The thumb) at 812 meters.
The Tamarin Falls are seven- thirteen beautiful cascades amid lush greenery and imposing rocks. This scenic waterfall is a great hiking location and can be achieved alone or with a guide.
Black River Gorges National Park,
The largest national park on the island is the spectacular nature reserve of Black River Gorges National Park about 5% of Mauritius’ nature. This park is a refuge of 6,700 hectares for countless plants, insects and animals. The Black River Peak is the highest point of the park and is considered an easy 2-hour walk with gorgeous views along the hike and when you reach the summit. There are many hiking trails and the Black River Visitor Centre is open from 9 am to 5 pm for any questions and inside tips.
A small village in Mauritius and a major tourist attraction, this highly unique location is marked by the rainbow-coloured layers of sand that will stun visitors with vibrant illusions and stripes of red, green, yellow, indigo and purple. These sands constantly change, transitioning with life to different compositions and colour combinations. Whether it’s caused by volcanic lava or metal oxides, visitors can view the Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth and take a bottle home.
Mauritius is made up of four Islands with 49 islands and islets, and it’s recommended to take book a ferry or catamaran ride to many of the islands around Mauritius. Tours normally include the full sensory package of lunch, dancing and music, visits to white sand beaches perfect for sunbathing, snorkelling and stunning isolated views of waterfalls.
Food and recipes are a great way to trace the heritage and influences of a country, Mauritian cuisine highlights French, Indian, African and South Asian influences that gather all their bests.
Meat eaters can enjoy Vindaloos, Halim, a mutton soup and chicken stews, and Mauritian Biryani similar to the Hyderabadi variant. To pair nicely with these dishes, discover the Ferrata (similar to the rhyming Parata), Dholl puri, dim sums, fried noodles (mine Frites), Bol Renverse (upside down bowl of rice and fried omelette). The dishes are endless and you are bound to find variants of meals you recognise from elsewhere with a proud Mauritian twist. As an Island, the seafood and fish dishes are endless and are guaranteed to be fresh and tantalising in flavours such as Babonne and Fish Vindaye.
Desserts combine the delicateness of french pastries and tropical flavours of the island such as the Napolitaine, Flan, Macatia coco and Puit d’Amour. Indian-inspired desserts include Alouda, a milk-based drink, Gato coco and Ladoo.