A brief history of Mauritius
Mauritius is in the Indian Ocean. The island is 65km long and 45km wide with a coastline extending to 330Km giving easy access to numerous splendid sandy beaches.
The Arab sailors discovered the island for the first time in the fifteen century, when the Portuguese discovered it in the sixteenth century. Still, in 1598, the Dutch took up possession and named it Mauritius in honour of their then crown prince Maurice van Nassau (1567-1625). The Dutch are known to have eaten all the Dodo, a bird that could not fly. The Dodo became an extinct bird as rats were eating the eggs while the Dutch were feeding on the birds.
In 1715, the French took possession of the island, and it was named Isle De France.
The French Governor, Mahe de la Bourbonnais started the economic development and strengthened its infrastructures by creating the City of Port Louis and the harbour.
In 1810 the English vessels landed at Rodrigues, and from there they launched attacks on Isle de France.
The abolition of slavery occurred in the year 1833, and they were not willing to work in the sugar cane fields. Thus came the indentured Indian labourers and Chinese rice growers were brought on the island. Thus the population started growing.
Today with a population of 1.3 million, the island is densely populated and is made up of the several ethnic groups living together in peace. The community consists of Hindus, Muslims, Creoles, Chinese and Europeans. Each group has preserved its ancestral cultures, and this makes Mauritius a unique island of tolerance and goodness. Being a cosmopolite country, most of the locals are bilingual if not trilingual. Widely spoken languages are Creole, French, English and some Asian language like Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, Tamil and Telegu
Mauritius hosts adherents to all dominant religion as follows.
Hinduism – 50% Christians – 28%
Muslims - - 17% Buddhist - - 03%
All religions celebrate their respective festivals. These festivals have been given the stance of National Festival and are thus a public holiday. The main ones are Cavadee – Maha Shivaratree – Ugadi - Pilgrimage to Père Laval – Divali - Eid el-Fitr and Christmas among others
Tourism in Mauritius
Mauritius is a famous holiday destination across the world. About 80% of the visitors are from European countries. Mauritius offers a wide range of luxury hotels to self-catering villas, bungalows or apartments that meet every budget.
Things to do on the island
Mauritius is well known for its pristine beaches, reefed lagoons and the mountainous interior with its rainforest, wildlife, hiking trails, waterfalls and picturesque sceneries.
Sites preserved due to their cultural-historical value.
- Aapravasi Ghat is a former immigration depot for Indian indentured labourers.
- Ruins of Balaclava - The ruins are in the compound of the Hotel Maritim at Balaclava. The French built a powder mill in 1740. Due to an explosion, the factory was destroyed, killing 300 slaves
- Martello Tower - Martello towers are small defensive forts built by the British on the coastal areas. One tower is open for public viewing at Tamarin Bay.
- Le Morne - Le Morne Brabant mountain is a peninsula in the south-west and a well-known tourist attraction. It also hosts the best surf spot in the world called the One Eye. The mountain top was a shelter for the runaway slaves. In 1835, the police went to inform them about the abolition of slavery. As the policemen reached the base of the mountain, the slaves seeing them form the top, they thought that they would be recaptured and taken back to slavery, so they all jumped from the top and committed suicide. Today Le Morne is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Matthew Flinders Monument
Captain Matthew Flinders was an English navigator and cartographer who circumnavigated Australia the continent. In 1803, he made a stop at isle de France as his ship needed some repairs. Britain and the French were at war when Captain Matthew Flinders reached the island. He was arrested and put in jail for more than six years. In 2003, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his arrival in Mauritius, a monument was erected at Baie du Cap.
- Citadel Fort - It is also known as Fort Adelaide, the fort built by the British on a hilltop offering a beautiful panoramic view of the city of Port Louis and the Champ De Mars Racecourse.
- Champ De Mars racecourse - Built-in 1812, Champ De Mars racecourse is the second oldest racecourse in the southern hemisphere.
With a coastal line of approximately 300km, you will easily find your spot and enjoy your holiday.
In the North, we have the La Cuvette Beach, Grand Bay, Mont Choisy Beach, Trou Aux Biches, Pereybere Beach and Anse Le Raie Beach.
In the South, you will enjoy the Gris Gris Beach, Riviere Des Galets Beach, St Felix Beach, Le Morne Beach and La Cambuse Beach
In the East, the beaches are Poste Lafayette Beach, Belle Mare Beach, Palmar Beach and Ile aux Cerfs Island
In the West, well knows is the Flic en Flac Beach.
Shopping and visits
Popular places to you must visit during your stay on the island.
- Ile Aux Cerfs Island with BBQ on the beach as lunch
- Le Morne World renown kitesurf spot – One Eye
- Ilot Gabriel Beach A perfect getaway on a catamaran cruise
- Chamarel A Natural beauty of seven colours earth
- Black River Gorge Breathtaking Beauty
- Casela World The Wildlife World
- Trou Aux Cerfs The extinct volcano with a stunning view of the mountains.
- Botanical Garden Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam at Pamplemousses
- Rochester Falls
- La Vallee Des Couleurs Nature Park
- La Vanille Crocodile Park
- Chamarel Waterfalls
- Blue Bay Marine Park
- Sugar Museum at Pamplemousses
- Blue Penny Museum at Caudan waterfront
- Grand Bassin
- Aapravasi Ghat
- Chateau De Labourdonnais
- L’Aventure du Sucre at Pamplemousses
- Champ de Mars Racecourse
- Port Louis city and the market
- Mahebourg Flea Market on Sunday
- Le Craft Market at Caudan waterfront Port Louis
- Quatre Bornes Market – Numerous Options
Malls in Mauritius
Bagatelle – La Croisette – Coeur de ville Grand Bay - Le Caudan Waterfront – Bo Valon Mall – Phoenix mall – Riche Terre Mall – Flacq Coeur de Ville.
Mauritius is well known for the ship models factory shops, diamond cutting factories, pashminas in cashmere or an assortment of spices. Mauritius is a good opportunity for all to do some shopping!
Mauritius is one of the leading exporters of clothing. Famous brand like Burberry, Hugo Boss, Gap, Napapijri, Harpers, Café Cotton brands have their production unit o the island and sell part of their production on site at unbeatable prices.
Mauritius has the specialty of manufacturing models of boats and in particular replicas of old boats reconstructed according to the original plans. Curepipe is known for most of the model "factories", the largest factory remains “Histoire Marine” at Goodlands. Also note that the airlines take an overload on the models according to the volume and the weight. Visitors returning home can claim VAT refund at the airport by showing the receipts with the corresponding items.