Climate: November – April (warm humid summer); June – September (cool dry winter)
Month Travelled: December – January 2017
Number of days on holiday: 10
Currency: Mauritian Rupee (MUR)
Language Most Spoken: French, English, Creole
When I initially started planning my much needed end of year holiday, the intention was to travel to some exotic place in order to escape what was my busy life. Initially, Mauritius was not on my radar and I was considering destinations in the Far East. Somehow, I ended up considering Mauritius and I must say, Mauritius was ohh so perfect and offered soo much more than I was expecting.
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us” – Anonymous
There is soo much beauty in Mauritius from the people you meet, to the places you visit and one just has to be open to taking it all in and experiencing what is Magical Mauritius.
Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean and off the southeast coast of the African continent that was once a Dutch, French and British colony. The people on the island are multiethnic with so many vibrant cultures and traditions of the Creole, Tamil, Marathi, Muslim and Chinese just to name a few.
Where I stayed
In Mauritius I stayed at the Domaine des Alizees Club and Spa which is a residence/ hotel type of accommodation. The serviced apartments have access to a restaurant, spa, bar, gym and pool areas.
DOMAINE DES ALIZEES CLUB AND SPA
PARASAILING IN GRAND BAY
The undersea walk is a mesmerizing walk in the ocean where you get to feed and see the magnificent marine life in their natural habitat.
ÎLE AUX CERFS ISLAND
Île aux Cerfs Island – located near the east coast of Mauritius in the Flacq district is famous for its sandy beaches, restaurants and a variety of water sport activities. Tourists tend to spend the whole day on the island and get to Ile Aux Cerfs from the mainland by speed boat, catamaran or a yacht.
PORT LOUIS & FORT ADELAIDE
Along the Northwest of Mauritius lies Port Louis – the capital city of Mauritius. Fort Adelaide (known as the Citadel) is located on a hill that overlooks the city of Port Louis and its harbor. The fort was built to guard the city against riots during the abolition of slavery and offers a stunning view of the city.
PORT LOUIS WATERFRONT – FRESHLY SQUEEZED JUICE STAND
The Craft Market located at the Port Louis Waterfront is a must visit if you are looking to buy some local goods. I must say though, walk around and compare prices before parting with your money. In most cases, similar goods are sold at different stalls and yet sold for very different prices. Your safer bet is to avoid bargaining and to buy from the shops that have the prices of items clearly displayed.
Enjoyed an ocean sunset cruise on a Catamaran – got to see the deep sea waves beneath me and yet another stunning sun set. On this particular cruise, a scrumptious braai (barbeque) was prepared and served. I also got to see more fireworks at night from the Catamaran as the New Years spirit was still ongoing with some of the Island folk.
One of the things I really enjoyed was experiencing many beautiful sun sets whilst sipping on cocktails and wine.
LA PLAGE BEACH CLUB
The La Plage Beach Club Restaurant is located by the beautiful sandy beaches of Trou aux Biches in the north of Mauritius. This is a perfect setting and a great place for you to relax, unwind and enjoy a beautiful day at the beach.
The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden is situated in Pamplemousses. Amongst other things, here you will find the famous Giant Water Lilies, Deers and Giant Tortoises. The genus of water-lilies found here is known as Victoria Amazonica, a name given in honour of Queen Victoria.
Taking a lazy walk in the botanical gardens and breathing in fresh air whilst admiring the wide collection of exotic flora was just what I needed.
A view of sugarcane fields as you drive through Mauritius – do you see the rainbow?
L’AVENTURE DU SUCRE
L’Aventure du Sucre – A self-tour museum of the old sugar mill that’s been transformed into a modern museum. Sugar was a product of slavery and sugar is largely associated with the history and development of Mauritius.
Le Morne cultural landscape is a mountain that was used as shelter by runaway slaves who formed small settlements in the caves. The Le Morne mountain is an exceptional testimony of the resistance to slavery and is a symbol of the slaves fight for freedom. Slavery was abolished in 1835 and the mountain is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
HINDU TEMPLE AT GRAND BASSIN (GANGA TALAO)
View of Rivière Noire (Black River) situated on the western part of the island.
PARTY LIFE – BANANA BEACH CLUB
To experience Island Party life if in Grand Baie, head on to Banana Beach Club. This is a very popular spot for both locals and tourists in search of good music, tasty cocktails and a good time. This club is one of the most established and popular clubs in Grand Baie.
AUTHENTIC TASTE OF MAURITIUS
The Creole cuisine of Mauritius combines influences from different cultures of the African, French, Chinese and Indian people. If you wish to delight in some Creole cuisine, try out Lakaz, a restaurant situated at Cascavelle Shopping Village in Flic En Flac. I loved this place – great food and great atmosphere. Lakaz also doubles up as a lively spot that plays music including some live shows on certain days.
If in the Grand Baie area, I would recommend that you visit Dalon. This is a small and cozy restaurant that serves very tasty deer burgers. Yes, deer and not dear – Wow! You may easily find yourself ordering seconds.
PAINS ET MOULINS
My last morning in Mauritius was spent at Pains et Moulins, a lovely patisserie serving a variety of scrumptious baked goods. I enjoyed my last hours in Mauritius and took the time to reflect on what was a great holiday. I am thankful for the great friends I met on this trip who are really amazing and wonderful people, each of whom contributed to making my trip memorable and wonderful.
Truth be told, I did not want to leave so soon but I left Mauritius knowing that I’d love to return and enjoy its beautiful shores once again. So, if you ask me what I think of Mauritius, I would recommend visiting this island a thousand times over.
Now that I’m back in South Africa, whenever I feel nostalgic about Mauritius, I sip on some local tea gifted to me by my favourite Mauritian friends.
Jusqu’à la prochaine fois – voyages heureux!
Best Travel Moment: It’s hard to select just one as I actually had a couple but I’ll single out the full day I spent with my friends as we drove from the North towards part of the West and South parts of Mauritius. I got to appreciate and fully enjoy the lovely scenic views of the country whilst stopping to see different beaches and attractions along the drive.
Worst Travel Moment: Like any other place you go to on holiday, be careful of local cheating vendors that come up to you to sell items. Some vendors will rip you off by charging you way too much money for whatever it is they are selling. I fell victim to these vendors a couple of times including some cab drivers so, just stay mindful and very cautious of being overcharged for goods and services. Remember to assess the reasonableness of any quoted price before parting with your money.
Did you know? The Mauritian Police Force has a unit that specifically deals with police responsibilities with regard to tourists on the Island. The Police du Tourisme is there to ensure more protection and safety for visitors, and they in particular attend to any investigations in which tourists are victims. This unit was put in place due to the growing number of tourists visiting the island annually.
Which holiday destination would you like to travel to and why?