Information

 Mauritius is a small island of 2,040 km2 in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar.

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History

Climate

What to see

  • North
  • East
  • South east
  • West
  • Interior

     

     History:

    The discovery of Mauritius Island was first made by the Arab sailors, at this time the island was a dense forest. There is no exact date of when Mauritius was discovered by the Arabs, it is said to be around the 9th century.

    Fernandez Pereira, a Portuguese sailor who saw the island decided to give it the name of Cerne. Discovered by the Portuguese in 1505, Mauritius was subsequently held by the Dutch, French, and British before independence was attained in 1968.

    dodo.jpg The first to colonise the island were the Dutch. They took possession of the island in 1598. The Dutch settlers arrived at a bay in the south eastern part of the island which was named Warwyck Haven after the commander VanWarwyck, the bay is now known as Grand Port. Mauritius also got its name during this period; the island was named after the Prince of Holland Mauritz de Nassau. The Dutch left the island in 1710, but before leaving they had introduced on to the island monkeys, sugar cane, and the java deer.

    But when they left Mauritius, the dodos on the island were virtually extint as it was their main source of food. The dodo was a large flightless bird, very sociable and very easy to capture. When the Dutch left the island they also left on the island the slaves that had ran away from their masters.



    map-mauritius-detail.jpg The French settled on the island in 1715 and also landed at the bay in the southeast and named it Port Bourbon. They made settlement on the north-western side of the island which became the harbour and was named Port Louis which is also the capital of Mauritius. During the French settlement there was a lot of development in the country. Mahé de Labournnais whose statue is found in Port Louis at the harbour, is known as the founder of the capital city.

    The British took possession of Mauritius in 1810 after a battle between French and British. From then Mauritius was under the rule of British until they attained independence on the 12 March 1968 within the commonwealth. Slavery was officially abolished in 1835. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam also known as the "Father of the Nation" was the one who brought the island to independence. On the 12 March 1992, Mauritius became a Republic.

    A stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, the country has attracted considerable foreign investment and has earned one of Africa's highest per capita incomes.




     

     

     

    Climate:

    Tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; warm, dry winter (May to November); hot, wet, humid summer (November to May);

    Mauritius has only two seasons, winter and summer. There is not much temperature differences between the two seasons of the year. The climate on the central plateau is cooler than on the coastal areas. The West coast is much wetter and more humid than the East coast.r3


    * Hottest part is the west coast
    * Windiest part is the East coast
    * December to February are the hottest month of the year
    * The driest month of the year is October
    * Coolest months are from June to August







     

    North

    r1* Grand Bay - was the first area of the island to fully experience the tourist boom. A shopping and leisure paradise, Grand Bay also happens to be the area where Mauritians head for when they want a fun-filled night out (restaurants, bars and discos). Recently renovated, La Cuvette beach is well worth a visit.

    * Pereybere - The wonderful Pereybere public beach is popular because of its shopping facilities, restaurants and pubs.

    * Balaclava Ruins - A few metres away from Baie aux Tortues, which 17th century sailors named after the many tortoises in the area, can be found the ruins of the old Balaclava estate. Visitors will be able to see the sea walls, whose initial foundations were laid down by Mahé de Labourdonnais.

    * The Triolet Shivala - The longest village on the island, Triolet offers an opportunity to visit the biggest Hindu temple, the Maheswarnath, first built in 1819 in honour of the Gods Shiva, Krishna, Vishnu, Muruga, Brahma and Ganesha.

    * The Labourdonnais Orchards - Discover a large variety of tropical fruit trees, colourful and perfumed exotic flowers. Trips on mountain bikes or hiking are possible.

    * Pamplemousses Botanical Garden - A true haven of peace. Pierre Poivre, an impassioned botanist introduced impressive numbers of plant species to this magnificent garden. Most famous are the giant water lillies “Victoria Amazonica” which are our companies' symbol. Mahé de Labourdonais initially developed this property and built the house which is in an excellent state. The tortoise park and the Java deer will charm the small ones.

    * L’Aventure du Sucre - Visit an interactive and ultra modern exhibition situated at the heart of an ancient sugarmill and discover the fascinating history of Mauritius and its sugarcane adventure exposed over 5000 sq meters! Then, let yourself be tempted by their boutique with its unique gifts, souvenirs and tasting of special unrefined sugars as well as local rum. Do not miss the opportunity to relish authentic Mauritian cuisine with refined flavours at their restaurant "Le Fangourin". Free access to the restaurant and the Village Boutique Beau Plan-Pamplemousses

     

     East

    r2* Flacq Market - Flacq is one of the most important villages in Mauritius. This meeting point for inhabitants of the East boasts the country’s largest open air market. The extremely colourful market attracts a large number of people.

    * The Waterpark Leisure Village - Enjoy unforgettable moments sliding on the giant chutes, with family or friends. Relaxation and pleasure guaranteed.

    * Ile aux Cerfs - Ile aux Cerfs is a paradise for water sports and has the most beautiful beach in Mauritius. You cannot afford to miss this tiny island, delicately poised on the ocean, a real pearl in the Mauritian landscape.

     South East

    * Dutch Ruins At Vieux Grand Port - the oldest settlements in Mauritius, you can see the ruins of the first Dutch fortifications. Excavation work is underway in a bid to uncover an important part of Mauritian history.

    * Ile aux Aigrettes - Owing to the remarkable work accomplished by the Mauritius Wildlife Fund, the island has become an international standard for the protection of natural resources and endangered species. A few of the world’s rarest birds, including the kestrel, can be seen there. You can also discover the extremely rare Pink Pigeon, the Green Gecko Phelsuma and the Aldabra giant tortoise.

    * Mahebourg - Mahébourg is one of the main fishing villages on the island. Built on the magnificent Grand Port Bay it was founded in 1804 by the French Governor Charles Decaën.

    * Domaine du Chasseur - Nestling in the Anse Jonchée hills, the Domaine des Grand Bois has splendid hunting grounds covering an area of 900 hectares. Stags, monkeys and boars live amidst the luxuriant vegetation of the hillside. One can watch a few species of endangered birds, including the kestrel. The Domaine contains four thatched-roof bungalows and a restaurant with a panoramic sea view. Take an opportunity to enjoy a meal of venison.


    mauritius-beach* Souillac - A small seaside resort along the rugged coast of the Savanne district. A famous feature is the garden overlooking the sea and named after Dr. Charles Telfair. A popular viewpoint is found at the southern end of the village, right on the cliff top : Gris Gris.

    * Blue Bay - Bluest water and most amazing white sand beaches you will ever see...period. Take the trip across the island from Port Louis and see what this quiet place has to offer. Very busy with the locals on weekends. Try to go during the week. Glass bottom boats are an excellent outing. Part of Blue Bay has been designated a Marine Park, and the snorkeling trips by boat to this area, offered for sale on the main public beach, are well worth trying.

     West

    * Martello Towers - The Martello Towers represent the scene of the ancient rivalry between old colonial powers and the ingenuity of mankind. They are a milestone in the island’s history; they symbolise the end of slavery and the beginning of Indian immigration.

    * Chamarel - A winding road leads from Case Noyale village to the coloured earths of Chamarel: an undulating landscape of different and contrasting shades of colours. The different shades of blue, green, red and yellow are apparently the result of the erosion of the volcanic ash. The neighbouring waterfalls of Chamarel rise from the moors and the native plant life. The site possesses a rare beauty. An adventure park has also recently been opened at Chamarel.


    * Salt Pans - Owing to the exceptional high level of sunshine the district receives, Tamarin is naturally the heart of salt production in Mauritius.

    * Casela - Situated in the Rivière Noire district, the bird park stretches over 25 hectares and contains more than 140 bird species from all five continents. Other attractions include fish ponds, tigers, tortoises, monkeys, deer and orchids. Also contains a nice playground. Well worth the trip for those with kids.

    r4* Yemen - Yemen Reserve may not be the largest game reserve on the island, but there is still lots to see. You will be able to get close to the herds of deer, as well as admire some splendid species of Mauritian fauna. A few rustic kiosks available in the reserve provide an unobstructed view of the sea. There you can sip a local punch while watching the sun going down.

     The Interior

    * Black River Gorges - This national park of 6,574 hectares (16,244 acres) was created in 1994 for the protection of Mauritius’ remaining native forests. Visitors can enjoy magnificent landscapes, with endemic plants and rare bird species. A trail leads from the Pétrin information centre to an area of typical plant life and to a conservation area.

    * Eureka - Is an old Creole residence built in 1830, Eureka is an essential place to visit during your stay in Mauritius if you wish to immerse yourself in tropical sweetness.

    * Ganga Talao - Grand Bassin Beyond La Marie and Mare-aux-Vacoas is found one of the two natural lakes of Mauritius. It rests within the crater of an extinct volcano. Ganga Talao is an important pilgrimage site and many Mauritians of the Hindu faith walk there during the Maha Shivaratri festival or the night fasting dedicated to Shiva. Gigantic eels live in the lake and are fed by the pilgrims.


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